WH details state-by-state impact of highway fund insolvency

Sixty-five percent of U.S. roads are in poor condition and 25 percent of the nation's bridges need "significant repair," according to a new study released Monday by the White House.

The report, which was produced by President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers and the National Economic Council, comes as the administration is trying to push Congress to quickly approve a new round of infrastructure funding.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has said that its Highway Trust Fund will go bankrupt next month unless Congress acts to prevent it.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers released a state-by-state breakdown of infrastructure issues it said would arise if the highway fund is allowed to go broke.

The study found that 95 percent of the 1,501 miles of public roads in Washington, D.C., were in poor condition.

A Highway Trust Fund bankruptcy would jeopardize 5,946 jobs and 290 active highway and transit projects, according to the report.

In nearby Maryland and Virginia, the number of roads that are rated to be in poor condition is lower, but the number of jobs that could be lost is higher, according to the study.

Six percent of Virginia's 74,461 miles of public roads are in poor condition, according to the report. The Commonwealth would risk losing 17,228 jobs and 6,596 transportation projects if the Highway Trust Fund becomes insolvent.

By comparison, 20 percent of Maryland's 32,321 miles of public roads are in poor condition. The White House said 12,013 jobs in Maryland would be jeopardized and 1,881 active highway and transit projects would be slowed or stopped.

The White House said President Obama's plan for a four-year transportation bill would help solve a lot of the nation's infrastructure woes.

"Our nation's infrastructure has long been our economic backbone — a symbol for our might and dynamism. But we've been investing in it less and less — and right now, we have some work to do," the White House said in a statement announcing the release of the report.

"The president's plan would rebuild our roads and bridges in a smarter, more responsible way while supporting millions of jobs," the statement continued.

The Obama administration has pushed Congress to approve a four-year, $302 billion transportation funding bill. That proposal relies largely on using approximately $150 billion from closing corporate tax loopholes, which Congress has long balked at.

The traditional funding source for transportation projects has been revenue collected by the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax. The tax has been stagnant since 1993, however, and has struggled to keep pace with infrastructure expenses as cars have become more fuel efficient in recent years.

The federal government's current level of spending on transportation projects is about $50 billion, which infrastructure advocates say is barely enough to maintain the current state of the nation's roads and bridges. The gas tax only brings in approximately $34 billion per year.

Lawmakers in Congress are scrambling to approve at least a temporary fix for the transportation funding shortfall. Both chambers have been working on stopgap measures that would replenish the transportation trust fund until next  spring.