Federal stimulus boosted road spending considerably
Federal grants from the 2009 stimulus package boosted highway spending substantially, but the increase was offset by pressures to cut state spending in response to plummeting tax revenues. Thatês the conclusion of a recent report by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The net result: Highway spending by state and local governments was flat from 2008 to 2011.
Itês widely acknowledged that U.S. highways are in need of repair and upgrade. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nationês roads a rating of D last year. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act gave states $27 billion specifically for roads. That was in addition to money from the Highway Trust Fund.
The report found that states increased their highway spending more than dollar-for-dollar in response to the stimulus money. Without the stimulus, the writers estimate that national spending on highways would have declined about 20 percent between 2008 and 2011, on par with the decline in state tax revenues.Download Bulletin PDF