Friday, September 03, 2010

Reports says rural states got most bang for stimulus transportation bucks

A new study from the libertarian Reason Foundation reports stimulus package transportation funds had the greatest effect in rural states. The study reveals: "For states such as North Dakota and South Dakota, stimulus funds can comprise more than 40 percent of their annual highway spending while in New York and Texas, they account for about 14 percent," Henry Goldman of Bloomberg reports. The stimulus package included $26.6 billion to finance 13,000 road projects through Feb. 26.

"Given the focus of stimulus funds on projects that are likely to significantly impact system condition, their impact should be largest in smaller rural states that already have relatively good systems,” the report concluded. Based on 11 indicators reported to the Federal Highway Administration, including spending on highways, pavement and bridge condition, urban interstate congestion, fatality rates and narrow rural lanes, Reason Foundation concluded the overall condition of the state-owned highway system 'has never been in better shape." The report noted the recession, which has decreased travel, also affected road conditions.

"Allocations of stimulus funds paralleled the existing federal highway aid program allocating funds to each state," Cathy St. Dennis, a Federal Highway Administration spokeswoman, told Goldman. "When you look at the data, California and the other big states got the most money. There was no intent to favor the small states." The study reports North Dakota, followed by Montana, Kansas, New Mexico and Nebraska, led all 50 states in road performance. Rhode Island, Alaska, California, Hawaii, New York and New Jersey stood at the bottom of the rankings, Goldman writes. (Read more)

No comments: