“Spending too little on repair and allowing roads to fall apart exposes states and the federal government to huge financial liabilities,” Millar said. “Our findings show that in order to bring their roads into good condition and maintain them that way, states would collectively have to spend $43 billion every year for the next 20 years — more than they currently spend on all repair, preservation and new capacity combined. As this figure illustrates, state have drifted too far from regular preservation and repair and in so doing have created a deficit that is going to take decades to reverse.”
The report comes as Congress to begin debating a new Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, or SAFETEA-LU, transportation bill. Its penny-pinching message could play well with lawmakers who have already expressed concerns with President Obama's proposal to spend $556 billion over six years on the measure, which funds highways and public transportation.
Congress is putting the finishing touches on the first draft of the SAFETEA-LU bill, and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said there could be a draft as early as this week.