High(way) Finance

The condition of U.S. highways is much in the news, not only because a brutal winter has left its mark in many places, but also because many analysts believe that highway infrastructure is underfunded. The legislation that governs the federal highway program expires at the end of September 2014, and has its own funding problems. Specifically, the program pays out more than it takes in, requiring transfers from the general fund. With no apparent consensus in Congress over how to move forward, many states have taken it upon themselves to venture beyond the traditional financing framework.