The Highway Trust Fund that finances most federal government spending for highways and mass transit is projected to lose an average of $18 billion per year in the next several years.
That’s according to the Federal Fumbles report from Republican Sen. James Lankford (Okla.).
President Dwight Eisenhower created the Highway Trust Fund in 1956 as part of the Federal Aid Highway Act to sustainably fund interstate roads without adding to the federal deficit.
The law authorized the construction of a 41,000-mile network of interstate highways across the nation. It also gave $26 billion to pay for them. Under the terms of the law, the federal government would pay 90 percent of the cost of expressway construction.
Today, almost 70 years after the act passed, the federal highway system has grown to almost one million miles of road, while the funding mechanism — a fuel user fee — has remained basically the same.