"Converting highways to toll roads and leasing toll roads to private groups will not be enough to fill the revenue gap."
March 9, 2007
United Press International
WASHINGTON, March 8 (UPI) — A report from a state highway association calls for an increase in the federal gas tax to meet the repair needs of the U.S. interstate highway system.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials group said that by 2009 the cost of planned highway projects will exceed income from gas taxes by $11 billion, and the shortfall could be $19 billion in 2010, Stateline.org reported.
The gas tax, now 18.4 cents per gallon, has not been increased since 1993. The report said that a 3-cent hike by 2009 and another 7-cent increase by 2015 would be needed to to pay for projects that are already in the pipeline.
States are converting some highways to toll roads and leasing toll roads to private groups. However, those measures will not be enough to fill the revenue gap.
But the reality is, no matter how far we try to stretch these resources, we're not even coming close to dealing with the real needs of the critical roads that are the lifeblood of this country, said Pete Rahn of the Missouri Department of Transportation.
© 2007 United Press International
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