States in the US Midwest led the way as transportation departments moved forward on more than 16,000 highway and bridge improvement projects in fiscal year 2021. This, according to a new analysis of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data conducted by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).
The association’s “Federal Highway Investment Benefits by State" dashboard, compiled by chief economist Dr Alison Premo Black, shows that states leveraged US$31.4 billion in federal funds with their own funds to advance nearly $57 billion in projects.
The top five states with the most projects are: Missouri with 1,040 projects; Michigan with 903 projects; Ohio with 796 projects; Indiana with 731 projects; Tennessee with 663 projects .
Of the projects 43% were for repair or reconstruction work. An additional 20% were for adding capacity, such as a new lane or major widening, to an existing roadway. Ans 6% of funds were invested in new roads or bridges.
There are five largest projects nationally that include a mix of federal, state, local, and private funds. In Georgia there is the SR 400 North Springs Marta Station to McFarland Road Express Lane worth $3.8 billion. In Arizona there is the I-17 Split worth $899 million. In Texas there is the project to construct new roadway lanes/reconstruct existing roadway on IH 35E worth $715 million. In Nebraska there is the 20th St, Missouri River Omaha project worth $607 million. And in Louisiana there is the LA 1, Leeville to Golden Meadow, Phase 2 project worth $524 million.
“One of the most attractive benefits of major public investments in transportation infrastructure is they foster immediate economic growth and create tangible capital assets that are long-lived,” Black said.
“We expect to see even more projects in the coming year as states work to obligate the record increase in FY 2022 federal funding available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that was approved by Congress earlier this month,” Black added.
The dashboard aims to provide US taxpayers, elected officials, news media and the public with greater transparency about how federal highway program funds are invested annually. It allows users to see how each state annually deployed federal funds and features the top projects dating back to 1950. Black populates the dashboard using the data states submit to FHWA’s Fiscal Management Information System (FMIS).