Impact of Federal Highway Policy on County Road Programs

by Robert A. Larson, (M.ASCE), Dir. of Transportation; Wayne County Road Commission, Detroit, Mich.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 1, Pg. 23-30

Document Type: Journal Paper


County road agencies have become dependent on Federal aid to construct and maintain a minimum network of usable roads. County road programs will be critically impacted by future Federal transportation policy decisions regarding post-Interstate System funding levels, Federal-aid program structure (local matching ratios, eligibility requirements, programming regulations), the Federal Highway Trust Fund, Transportation System Management, and energy conservation. The Wayne County Road Commission has become increasingly dependent upon Federal aid. This dependency has resulted in higher project costs, lengthened project implementation time, a distortion of local priorities, and greater use of debt financing. Future Federal transportation policy should consider the needs of county road programs. Continued Federal financial assistance to counties is needed in the short term. A more efficient Federal aid program structure is advised. There is a long-term need to base highway revenues on an ad valorem fuel tax.

Subject Headings: Highways and roads | Federal government | Financing | Systems management | Aging (material) | Computer programming | Highway and road structures | Energy efficiency

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