The end of the road?

The looming fiscal disaster for transportation

America is at a crucial decision point for transportation.  The nation’s transportation trust fund is facing a crisis.  The gas tax that has sustained the federal transportation program since the middle of the last century is no longer keeping up with investment needs.  Starting this fall, every dollar of gas tax revenues collected will be needed to cover the federal share of projects already promised to states, regions, and transit agencies, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Unless Congress adds new revenue to the trust fund, the federal government will be unable to commit to funding new projects, depriving states and localities of resources critical to maintaining and improving the infrastructure that makes our economy possible.

At the same time, Congress has an opportunity to save and reinvigorate our most important infrastructure program in order to boost today’s economy and ensure future prosperity. The federal law that sets national transportation policy and investment levels – known as MAP-21 –expires on October 1. As Congress reconsiders this vital program, business and elected leaders across the country are calling on the representatives not only to save the transportation trust fund, but also to refocus federal transportation policy on locally-driven, innovative transportation solutions.

This report examines the impact of Congressional inaction on the transportation needs of each state and metropolitan area, a potential loss of nearly $47 billion that would jeopardize the nation’s future economic growth. It demonstrates why Congress must act – and soon – to avoid depriving states and communities of the critical resources needed to provide the safe and reliable transportation networks that allow people to thrive and businesses to succeed.


Just how much money do states, regions, and local transit agencies stand to lose?

The first table below shows how that number breaks down among states; the second shows the breakdown among metropolitan areas. Click on the appropriate bar below to expand (or collapse) any of the tables. Permalinks to tables also available here: Table 1Table 2Table 3

Federal dollars as a percentage of state (capital) transportation budgets (2001-2012)

State Federal share
Alabama 67.5%
Alaska 93.3%
Arizona 49.9%
Arkansas 63.0%
California 48.1%
Colorado 52.3%
Connecticut 71.3%
Delaware 42.5%
Dist. of Col. 52.1%
Florida 39.3%
Georgia 60.4%
Hawaii 70.5%
Idaho 68.0%
Illinois 41.6%
Indiana 55.2%
Iowa 58.8%
Kansas 48.4%
Kentucky 44.7%
Louisiana 50.4%
Maine 56.4%
Maryland 49.4%
Massachusetts 38.0%
Michigan 42.3%
Minnesota 60.9%
Mississippi 64.8%
Missouri 63.2%
Montana 88.0%
Nebraska 48.2%
Nevada 52.9%
New Hampshire 64.7%
New Jersey 35.0%
New Mexico 71.7%
New York 44.1%
North Carolina 48.3%
North Dakota 77.9%
Ohio 59.0%
Oklahoma 61.6%
Oregon 54.5%
Pennsylvania 47.4%
Rhode Island 98.1%
South Carolina 79.5%
South Dakota 72.0%
Tennessee 62.9%
Texas 43.8%
Utah 34.6%
Vermont 84.2%
Virginia 58.6%
Washington 36.2%
West Virginia 60.8%
Wisconsin 54.4%
Wyoming 72.7%

Notes: Compares federal highway funding provided to states with state capital outlays for highways, and federal transit capital funding provided to states and urbanized areas with transit capital expenditures.


Highway Receipts:
FHWA: Highway Statistics Series 2001-2012, Table SF-1, “Revenues Used for Highways by States” and SF-2, “Disbursements by States for Highways”

Transit Funds Applied:
FTA: “National Transit Database TS1.3 – Capital Funding Time-Series, 2001 to 2012.”

How much federal highway and transit funding states stand to lose in FY 2015

State Total Funding (dollars)
Alabama 795,940,522
Alaska 530,948,095
Arizona 825,732,143
Arkansas 537,519,402
California 4,874,210,701
Colorado 636,443,044
Connecticut 654,278,090
Delaware 193,071,689
Dist. of Col. 300,280,023
Florida 2,210,614,868
Georgia 1,439,920,626
Hawaii 210,909,824
Idaho 307,943,173
Illinois 1,917,564,166
Indiana 1,036,206,363
Iowa 526,271,553
Kansas 406,157,492
Kentucky 696,759,307
Louisiana 748,956,978
Maine 212,291,022
Maryland 823,464,184
Massachusetts 956,611,330
Michigan 1,166,560,552
Minnesota 739,788,429
Mississippi 498,547,291
Missouri 1,017,454,027
Montana 421,688,246
Nebraska 304,996,749
Nevada 409,378,648
New Hampshire 181,282,406
New Jersey 1,570,130,769
New Mexico 405,437,832
New York 2,999,147,247
North Carolina 1,135,237,623
North Dakota 259,623,174
Ohio 1,479,609,333
Oklahoma 664,190,048
Oregon 585,919,232
Pennsylvania 1,979,652,555
Rhode Island 231,998,035
South Carolina 703,867,293
South Dakota 293,245,716
Tennessee 912,390,805
Texas 3,787,141,049
Utah 406,651,187
Vermont 208,123,748
Virginia 1,196,356,996
Washington 907,772,105
West Virginia 456,828,352
Wisconsin 826,022,133
Wyoming 262,121,298

Note: This table shows the contract authority that would be available if the total authorization in FY2015 remained at the FY2014 level, with no changes in distribution formulas.

Sources: FHWA: Revised Apportionment of Federal-aid Highway Funds for FY 2014, Table 1 (;

FTA: FTA Allocations for Formula and Discretionary Programs by State FY 1998-2014 (Excel) (

How much federal highway and transit funding urban areas states stand to lose in FY 2015

Urbanized Area State Total (dollars)
Anchorage AK 56,819,364
Birmingham AL 25,319,929
Huntsville AL 9,177,857
Mobile AL 11,100,862
Montgomery AL 8,998,969
Little Rock AR 16,478,311
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers AR-MO 10,193,489
Phoenix-Mesa AZ 115,459,367
Tucson AZ 28,994,739
Antioch CA 14,616,612
Bakersfield CA 15,098,548
Concord, CA CA 56,467,224
Fresno CA 21,190,815
Indio-Cathedral City CA 9,471,196
Lancaster-Palmdale CA 19,329,048
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim CA 569,165,114
Mission Viejo-Lake Forest-San Clemente CA 22,108,474
Modesto CA 10,187,086
Murrieta-Temecula-Menifee CA 10,767,276
Oxnard CA 18,173,696
Riverside-San Bernardino CA 70,050,262
Sacramento CA 59,451,807
San Diego CA 139,495,771
San Francisco-Oakland CA 292,964,961
San Jose CA 85,120,892
Santa Clarita CA 10,054,084
Santa Rosa CA 8,799,456
Stockton CA 16,062,217
Thousand Oaks CA 8,553,912
Victorville-Hesperia CA 8,171,158
Visalia CA 7,196,371
Colorado Springs CO 16,153,127
Denver-Aurora CO 96,447,083
Fort Collins CO 7,324,846
Hartford CT 40,372,423
New Haven CT 32,957,455
Bridgeport-Stamford CT-NY 94,492,510
Norwich-New London CT-RI 9,009,723
Washington, DC DC-MD-VA 424,309,910
Bonita Springs FL 8,775,634
Cape Coral FL 14,333,101
Jacksonville FL 31,570,166
Kissimmee FL 10,031,204
Lakeland FL 6,942,984
Miami FL 238,630,565
Orlando FL 46,712,576
Palm Bay-Melbourne FL 13,164,181
Palm Coast-Daytona Beach-Port Orange FL 10,613,170
Port St. Lucie FL 9,225,979
Sarasota-Bradenton (Manatee Cnty) FL 18,730,571
Tallahassee FL 7,138,119
Tampa-St. Petersburg FL 70,231,526
Winter Haven FL 5,468,493
Pensacola FL-AL 8,754,287
Atlanta GA 203,500,127
Columbus, GA GA 7,725,933
Savannah GA 9,029,164
Augusta-Richmond County GA-SC 10,767,082
Honolulu HI 47,183,465
Des Moines IA 17,508,568
Davenport IA-IL 9,900,256
Boise City ID 12,769,041
Peoria IL 7,813,821
Rockford IL 7,964,631
Chicago IL-IN 612,582,940
Round Lake Beach-McHenry-Grayslake IL-WI 13,509,735
Fort Wayne IN 9,888,997
Indianapolis IN 46,513,085
Evansville IN-KY 7,822,339
South Bend IN-MI 12,329,071
Wichita KS 14,627,524
Lexington-Fayette KY 11,539,473
Louisville/Jefferson County KY-IN 36,376,021
Baton Rouge LA 18,943,791
Lafayette LA 8,087,491
New Orleans LA 39,641,306
Shreveport LA 10,639,961
Barnstable Town MA 11,776,798
Springfield, MA MA-CT 22,755,744
Worcester MA-CT 18,803,948
Boston MA-NH-RI 335,082,492
Aberdeen-Bel Air South-Bel Air North MD 6,481,740
Baltimore MD 149,349,072
Portland, ME ME 21,099,593
Ann Arbor MI 11,805,898
Detroit MI 103,607,766
Flint MI 12,969,343
Grand Rapids MI 18,362,052
Kalamazoo MI 6,215,545
Lansing MI 11,408,005
Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI 113,800,764
Springfield, MO MO 9,116,324
St. Louis MO-IL 99,604,975
Kansas City MO-KS 52,205,823
Gulfport MS 7,657,399
Jackson MS 11,250,727
Asheville NC 6,922,934
Concord, NC NC 5,400,539
Durham NC 13,573,188
Fayetteville NC 8,031,351
Greensboro NC 10,416,480
Hickory NC 5,309,651
Raleigh NC 25,749,807
Wilmington NC 6,257,729
Winston-Salem NC 10,767,385
Charlotte NC-SC 39,646,189
Lincoln NE 9,166,606
Omaha NE-IA 25,438,848
Nashua NH-MA 5,706,220
Atlantic City NJ 20,381,900
Trenton NJ 26,025,244
Albuquerque NM 42,678,603
Las Vegas-Henderson NV 71,953,624
Reno NV-CA 13,538,382
Albany-Schenectady NY 19,904,171
Buffalo NY 32,983,279
Rochester NY 21,147,339
Syracuse NY 12,573,475
Poughkeepsie-Newburgh NY-NJ 32,521,807
New York-Newark NY-NJ-CT 1,916,894,759
Akron OH 17,100,930
Canton OH 8,639,819
Cleveland OH 70,880,738
Columbus, OH OH 39,274,751
Dayton OH 38,688,615
Cincinnati OH-KY-IN 48,577,720
Toledo OH-MI 15,224,689
Youngstown OH-PA 10,907,397
Oklahoma City OK 30,428,372
Tulsa OK 23,607,908
Eugene OR 11,335,624
Salem OR 10,977,659
Portland, OR OR-WA 95,096,643
Harrisburg PA 17,075,070
Lancaster PA 23,490,845
Pittsburgh PA 83,825,043
Reading PA 8,841,739
Scranton PA 11,761,206
York PA 7,568,950
Allentown PA-NJ 21,427,657
Philadelphia PA-NJ-DE-MD 383,895,301
Providence RI-MA 69,972,775
Charleston-North Charleston SC 17,933,620
Columbia SC 16,372,586
Greenville SC 11,875,636
Myrtle Beach-Socastee SC-NC 6,445,739
Knoxville TN 17,053,646
Nashville-Davidson TN 43,550,696
Chattanooga TN-GA 11,607,017
Memphis TN-MS-AR 34,459,208
Austin TX 57,008,519
Brownsville TX 6,996,892
Conroe-The Woodlands TX 8,632,892
Corpus Christi TX 11,937,198
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington TX 202,693,279
Denton-Lewisville TX 13,293,955
Houston TX 184,677,140
Killeen TX 6,765,375
Laredo TX 8,301,090
Lubbock TX 8,210,135
McAllen TX 20,775,048
San Antonio TX 67,631,910
El Paso TX-NM 31,682,150
Ogden-Layton UT 22,039,139
Provo-Orem UT 15,220,159
Salt Lake City-West Valley City UT 50,619,306
Richmond VA 30,651,495
Roanoke VA 6,650,719
Virginia Beach VA 47,686,071
Kennewick-Pasco WA 11,760,512
Seattle WA 203,708,894
Spokane WA 14,349,980
Appleton WI 7,087,751
Green Bay WI 6,401,771
Madison WI 16,775,448
Milwaukee WI 48,847,836
Huntington WV-OH-KY 8,058,339

Notes: Includes funding that is provided directly or suballocated to entities in urbanized areas.

This table shows the contract authority that would be available if the total authorization in FY2015 remained at the FY2014 level, with no changes in distribution formulas.

Urbanized areas (UZAs) are defined by the Census Bureau, and are based on population of a core urban cluster as well as density. Because density is a factor in UZA definitions, the boundaries do not necessarily follow state, MPO, MSA, or county boundaries. While each UZA must be represented by an MPO, the boundaries of the MPO do not necessarily match the UZA boundaries. Also, in some cases there is more than one MPO for a given UZA.

Sources: FHWA: “Fiscal Year 2014 Supplementary Tables, Tables 3 and 10.”

FTA: FY 2014 Apportionment Tables. (


Which projects would states, regions, and local transit agencies put back on the shelf?

The loss of funding for states and metro areas for FY15 would have tangible impacts on planned projects. Click on any title below to expand a box containing one of just a handful of selected stories of specific states or projects threatened by this potential loss of funding.

Bridge out ahead
Boise, Idaho
Federal share at risk: $10.4 million // Project cost: $11.2 million
Broadway Bridge in downtown Boise has the lowest structural rating of any bridge in the state. On game days at Boise State University, thousands of people crowd the narrow 4-foot sidewalks to cross the critical choke point for traffic in the area. Given its degraded condition, the bridge could require weight restrictions or closure at any time.

broadway bridge boise idaho

The Broadway Bridge replacement, scheduled for 2015, is one of few new construction projects in a state plan dedicated almost entirely to maintaining existing roads. The Idaho Transportation Department is partnering with the city of Boise on the design to ensure the new bridge serves the needs of city residents and will enhance the neighborhood. Sidewalks will be expanded to 10 feet and bicycle lanes will be added on the bridge and adjoining sections of Broadway Avenue and there will be new connections to the Greenbelt, a regional recreational trail that passes under the bridge.


Tennessee stops work on new projects

Because of uncertainty about future federal funding, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has halted engineering on new projects. TDOT Commissioner John Schroer reports that with a loss of federal dollars, the department would need to pare back its plan to work “exclusively on the maintenance of our existing pavement and bridges rather than new projects.”  Limited funding could jeopardize projects that many regional leaders have planned to limit congestion and maintain quality of life as population booms.

Columbus, Ohio: Waiting on the bus

Columbus, OH, home to a major university and Ohio’s state government, is a growing region with a projected 22 percent growth in transit ridership this decade. To accommodate demand, the Central Ohio Transit Authority plans to add 29 new buses to its fleet in 2015, replacing some of its dilapidated buses and adding 12 buses to the peak-time fleet. New buses are critical to get residents across the region to work.

Residents in the region support transit service through a voter-approved local sales tax and the agency is using primarily local funds to rehab a garage to service the new buses, but the agency is planning for federal matching funds to purchase new buses. In addition to adding service on existing routes, COTA is planning the region’s first bus rapid transit corridor on Cleveland Avenue.

CC photo by Derek Rust /photos/drust/181587661
Passengers pack an existing COTA bus line in Columbus, Ohio.

Quad Cities, Illinois // I-74 bridge project

Quad Cities, Iowa/Illinois: A top priority back on the shelf

Quad Cities I-74 Bridge

The I-74 bridges connecting Iowa and Illinois carry nearly half the traffic each day between the cities of this bi-state region where one of five workers crosses the river to go to work. The narrow, obsolete bridges date back to 1935 and were never designed to be part of an interstate highway system. This stretch of road sees more than three times as many crashes as comparable corridors and increased traffic on the bridge has created a critical bottleneck that also affects freight passing through the middle of the country on the national freight network. Replacing the I-74 bridges have been a top priority for regional leaders for the last two decades.

When Illinois and Iowa DOTs released a construction plan for coming years including more than $800 million programmed for the central bridge span, The Quad City Times editorialized that “The Quad-Cities’ biggest public construction project in history seems to suddenly move from planning to action.” Yet collapsing federal funding would threaten that progress. Illinois’ improvements on adjoining streets have begun and Iowa is scheduled to begin construction next year. Beyond just next year, though, the long-term funding uncertainty created by the insolvent trust fund jeopardizes the progress of the entire corridor project, which will depend on reliable federal contributions.

Sec. Foxx with Bustos and Loebsack at I-74 bridge
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx tours the existing I-74 bridge site with Representatives Cheri Bustos (IL-17) and Dave Loebsack (IA-2). Photo courtesy of Rep. Loebsack’s office.

Arkansas bears up under bad bridges, needed maintenance

Ten bridge replacement, road repair and highway expansion projects set to go forward this summer have been pulled by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department because of uncertainty about federal reimbursement.  Arkansas has nearly nine hundred structurally deficient bridges that carry a total of more than 1.5 million vehicles a day.