Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Home|Legal Information|Privacy Policy|Copyright Notice
At A Glance

​​​At A Glance

The 2015 Bottom Line report reveals that the cumulative investment needed to meet today's need just for highways and bridges – independent of future growth prospects – tops $740 billion over 6 years. With annual spending at approximately $88.3 billion, the need is a huge number and it is growing.

Highways and Bridges
An annual capital investment of at least $120 billion for highways and bridges between 2015 and 2020 is necessary to improve the condition and performance of the system. That assumes a rate of travel growth of 1.0 percent per year in vehicle miles of travel, which has been AASHTO's sustainability projection and which represents the likely impacts of both population growth and economic recovery. Meanwhile annual capital spending at all levels of government – federal, state and local – is just $88.3 billion.


An annual investment of $43 billion for public transportation is necessary to improve system performance and condition, given an expected 2.4 percent annual growth in transit passenger miles of travel. If transit ridership growth rises to 3.5 percent, the level that would double transit passenger miles of travel in 20 years, investment in public transportation capital would have to increase to $56 billion per year.  Meanwhile, annual capital spending on transit is just $17.1 billion.


Additional items from the report: At a Glance


  • Recent research, "A Failure To Act," sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers on the economic impacts of investing to improve conditions and performance of highways and public transportation, indicated the average US household will benefit by a cumulative $157,000 in extra income between 2012 and 2040 compared to current levels of highway and transit investment, which is more than three times current median household income.

  • An economic analysis for APTA of the transit investments in the 2009 Bottom Line report showed that the marginal return from investing additional dollars in transit capital was 3.5 times the incremental cost of those investments.

  • FHWA's condition and performance report for 2010 showed that by the 20th year of the analysis, annual user cost savings from higher levels of highway investment were 2.6 to 3.8 times more than the annual added investment.

  • Highway travel declined during the recession and its aftermath, and has slowly resumed growth since 2011, reaching an annual increase of only 0.7 percent in 2013; transit travel grew only 1.1 percent in 2013, reflecting the slow beginning of the economic recovery from the Great Recession.

  • In 2011, the freight transported in America was 17.6 billion tons, with 64 percent by truck, and freight ton miles are expected to grow 72 percent from 2015 to 2040.

  • In 2013, transit passengers totaled 10.7 billion, the highest level since 1956.

  • Since 1950, the population of the United States more than doubled but the road system grew only from 3.3 million miles to 4.1 million miles.

  • The number of motor vehicles in the United States has quadrupled from around 65 million at the start of the Interstate highway system in 1956 to 254 million in 2012.

  • The overall population of the US is anticipated to grow by 37 million from 2010 to 2025, but the over 65 population is expected to grow by 25 million, the under 18 population by 4 million, and the 18 to 64 population by only 8 million.

  • Structurally deficient bridges have declined by 43% from 1994 to 2013, but 63,500 structurally deficient bridges remain.

  • While highway fatalities have decreased annually since 2007, there were still an estimated 35,000 highway fatalities in 2013.