Media

CRS Report on High Speed Rail in the US

Published Report

Congress has been interested in high speed rail (HSR) since the 1960s, but the provision of $8 billion for intercity passenger rail and high speed rail projects in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA; P.L. 111-5), enacted in February 2009, has catalyzed enthusiasm for high speed rail in Congress and the nation. One consequence has been a proposed authorization of $50 billion for intercity passenger rail development (including high speed rail) as part of new surface transportation authorization legislation.

Transportation for America: The Route to Reform Blueprint

Published Report

In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the largest public works program in history, an infrastructure project that would reshape America in the 20th century. The National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, as it is commonly known, embodied a vision that America’s cities and states could be linked with a network of superhighways that would allow people, commerce and the military to move rapidly from one part of the country to another.

Report Card for America's Infrastructure

Published Report

The 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure grades 15 categories of infrastructure, including a new category: levees. For the second time, America’s infrastructure rates a cumulative grade of D. While not all categories fare as badly or are plagued by the same problems, delayed maintenance and chronic underfunding are contributors to the low grades in nearly every category.

CBO Report on Issues and Options in Infrastructure Investment

Published Report

The condition and adequacy of the nation’s physical infrastructure—including its surface, air, and water transportation networks; its energy, water, and telecommunications utilities; and its dams and schools—are important for the vitality of the economy and for public health and safety. Yet calls for increased federal investment in infrastructure must be carefully analyzed and weighed against other spending priorities.

The Transportation Challenge: Moving the US Economy

Published Report

Transportation plays a critical role in the nation’s economy. This report examines the relationships between transportation investment and long-term economic productivity, growth, and competitiveness. Section 1.3 begins with a brief summary of the literature addressing the effects on the economy resulting from investments in transportation infrastructure. Following that,

Report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission

Published Report

Just as it helps to know your destination before starting off on a trip, our Commission believed at the outset that it is important to have in mind a vision of what the national surface transportation system might look like — or at least how we’d like it to function — in the middle of the 21st century. But before we even began to sketch this futuristic picture of the system, we agreed among ourselves that our fundamental motivation should be to help the United States to create and sustain the preeminent surface transportation system in the world.

Highway Bridges: Conditions and the Federal/State Role

Published Report

The sudden failure and collapse of the  I-35W Interstate System bridge in Minneapolis has raised policy concerns in Congress regarding the condition of the nation’s transportation infrastructure in general, and in particular the federal role funding, building, maintaining, and ensuring the safety of roads and especially bridges in the United States. Highway bridges are of particular interest both because of the recent tragedy in Minneapolis and the catastrophic results of a major bridge failure, in terms of loss of life and economic impact.

CBO Report on Trends in Public Spending on Transportation and Water Infrastructure

Published Report

This Congressional Budget Office (CBO) paper describes the trends in public spending for transportation and water infrastructure since 1956. The CBO focuses on spending for highways and roads, mass transit, rail, aviation, water transportation, water resources such as the construction and maintenance of dams and levees, and water supply and wastewater treatment.