The Washington Post

USDOT: Cash running out for roads, bridges

(Gerald Marineau/The Washington Post) (Gerald Marineau/The Washington Post)

The Federal Highway Trust Fund, which uses the 18.4 cent federal gas tax to pay for roads and bridges, will run out of money in the third week of August, the U.S. Department of Transportation projected on Tuesday.

USDOT began spotlighting the looming funding crisis several months ago. The federal agency hoped to get more attention from average Americans, many of whom seem unaware that a source their state transportation agencies have relied on for decades is about to dry up.

The gas tax has not been increased since 1993, and the Highway Trust Fund, into which the revenue flows, has suffered because the tax has not kept pace with inflation. Plus, improvements in vehicle fuel economy have reduced consumption.

The trust fund began the fiscal year with $1.6 billion. A few weeks later, $9.7 billion was transferred into it from the general fund. (Congress had authorized a $10.4 billion transfer, but that was reduced under sequestration.)

But spending on what’s known as surface transportation has continued at a greater pace than that of money coming in, and the construction season that uses lots of cash begins in just a few months.

USDOT said that as of the last week of January, the trust funds had $8.3 billion in cash.

Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
In defense of dads
Play Videos
How to make head cheese
Perks of private flying
The rise and fall of baseball cards
Play Videos
Husband finds love, loss in baseball
New hurdles for a Maryland tradition
How to survive a shark attack
Play Videos
Portland's most important meal of the day
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to save and spend money at college
Next Story
Robert Thomson · February 18, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.