Everything You Need to Know About the Highway Trust Fund and MAP-21
Why Should I Care About MAP-21 and the Highway Trust Fund?
2014 is a critical year for America’s infrastructure. There is an issue in Washington that if unaddressed, could bring the American economy to a halt: the expiration of the federal transportation bill and the impending insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund.
The Highway Trust Fund spends over $48 billion annually to repair and modernize roads, bridges, and transit systems in every state across the country. This revenue comes from a motor fuels user fee that has not been raised since 1993. Simply, we are trying to fund a 2014 transportation system on 1993 dollars. Given this untenable formula, when the Fund finally becomes insolvent at the end of the year, highway and transit programs will sustain a 92% cut if Congress fails to act.
For too long we have been told that we do not have the resources, or that funding is not available to fix our ailing infrastructure systems. 2014 will be a year of stark choices for Congress. Will Congress finally commit to the longer-term, sustainable funding mechanisms that our ailing roads, bridges, and transit systems so desperately need?
What Are ASCE’s Policies on These Issues?
ASCE believes the nation continues to under-invest in infrastructure at the federal level. The total of all federal spending for infrastructure as a share of all federal spending has steadily declined over the last 30 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). A key reason for the decline is the fact that federal revenues supporting the Highway Trust Fund have not been adjusted since 1993; however, the demands on the systems have grown.
ASCE’s Policies give guidance to all ASCE members on how and why professional engineers should care about our ailing surface transportation system.
Where Can I Learn More?
ASCE strives to be at the cutting edge of policy and advocacy. From our 2013 Report Card, to our social media channels, members are consistently given the most up-to-date information on the Highway Trust Fund and MAP-21. Our new Blueprint For Success: Modernizing the Nation's Surface Transportation Program offers a thorough breakdown of why we need to finance the Highway Trust Fund and the consequences of inaction.