The American Road & Transportation Builders Association has launched an interactive, on-line storehouse of highway funding data that it says will provide detailed state-by-state snapshots displaying how each state uses the federal dollars it has received.
Using the "Highway Dashboard," viewers clicking on an individual state will see the number of projects there that received federal funds in a given year, along with total federal highway dollars and the projects' combined total costs. The data range available is from fiscal year 1950 through 2018.
Viewers also can see each state’s 10 largest federally aided projects, ranked according to those projects’ federal funds.
Each state’s page also has a breakdown of the federally assisted projects according to the type of work, such as reconstruction and repair, capacity additions and new construction.
Alison Premo Black, ARTBA chief economist—who led the dashboard effort—says the association plans to update the numbers annually.
Nationwide data is also available on the dashboard. For example, in fiscal year 2018—the most recent year for which numbers were available—states received $31 billion in federal funds. When combined with states' own dollars, the total cost of the projects that year was $66.5 billion.
The dashboard also shows that the largest share of the 2018 dollars—45%—went for repairs or rebuilding work on existing highways.
Projects to increase highway capacity, such as additional lanes, accounted for 22% of the funds, and 14% went for planning, design and engineering.
New construction represented just 4% of the total.
“This is the first time that this type of project information has been available like this to the public," Black says.
Access to the dashboard is free. “We believe this information on how states leverage federal-aid and tax dollars is important for the public to see," Black adds.
The first mention of the dashboard came in ARTBA Chairman Steve McGough's testimony June 4 before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The association formally announced the program June 10.
To produce the new dashboard, ARTBA drew on figures provided through a Freedom of Information Act request from the Federal Highway Administration. States submitted the data to FHWA as part of the agency’s Fiscal Management Information System.