Only 5.2 Percent of Highway Funds Used to Build Roads

Approximately 5.2 percent of funds obligated to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) during fiscal years 2009-2011 actually went to the construction of new highways.

An additional two and a half percent of that funding went to new construction of bridges, according to a Jan. 16 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) entitled “Highway Trust Fund Obligations, Fiscal Years 2009 to 2011.”

Between FY 2009-2011, the Department of Transportation [DOT] authorized $144 billion from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to four separate administrations within the Department. Of that $144 billion, $116.7 billion went to the FHWA.

FHWA then devoted 81 percent ($94 billion) of the funding it received towards “construction and maintenance purposes.” Of the total $116.7 billion to the FHWA, $6.094 billion (5.2 percent) was spent on the construction of new highways and $2.963 billion (2.5 percent) on new bridges.

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