Highway Construction in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

Federal, state and local governments remain the major contributor of highway construction funding, but the number of public-private partnerships (P3s) is on the increase. Under a P3, private firms either receive money from the government in order to build, operate or maintain parts of the road network, or these firms acquire the right to generate revenue in exchange for a fee paid to the government. A significant amount of the funding for constructing and maintaining highways originates from the United States Highway Trust Fund. This financial instrument derives most of its revenue streams from sources such as fuel and vehicle taxes. The fund was initially established in the late 1950s to finance the United States Interstate Highway System and other transportation projects. However, the Highway Trust Fund has been unable to meet obligations for highway and transit spending for over three years, and several billion U.S. dollars had to be incurred from the U.S. Treasury’s general fund. In 2017, the public sector spent over 87.7 billion U.S. dollars on highway construction. Highway and road construction put in place in the United States is projected to grow to about 98 billion U.S. dollars by 2021. Highway and bridge construction is expected to vary across the United States, growing in about 20 states but remaining in stable in others. Some states have increased investment into transportation construction in recent years; since 2013, 15 states that have raised gas taxes for increased investments.

U.S. gross output originating from highway and street construction - including reconstruction, repairs and maintenance - amounted to around 70.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. The leading companies in the field of highway construction include Kiewit, Colas and Lane Construction. The highway construction industry has been recently limited by budgetary constraints and a lack of investment into transport infrastructure which has trickled through since the recession.

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