Infrastructure investment by the U.S. public sector accounts for approximately 2.4 percent of GDP, compared to 5 percent in Europe and 9 percent in China.
Spending on transportation and water infrastructure has declined at all levels of government in recent years, but it has declined most sharply at the federal level. Federal infrastructure spending has fallen by 19 percent since 2003, compared to a 5 percent decline at the state and local level.
The average state gasoline tax is 22.9 cents per gallon, ranging from a high of 50.5 cents per gallon in Pennsylvania to a low of 0.3 cents per gallon in West Virginia. The federal gasoline tax stands at 18.4 cents per gallon.
The federal gas tax has lost nearly 40 percent of its purchasing power since it was last raised 22 years ago. As a result, Congress has passed 35 stop-gap funding measures in the last six years to prevent the National Highway Trust Fund from becoming insolvent.
Congress has transferred $65 billion from the U.S. Treasury’s general fund since 2008 — including $22 billion in 2014 — to meet the Federal Highway Trust Fund’s obligations, as federal spending on highways and transit has exceeded the funds available.
In terms of the ease of construction permitting, the United States ranks just 33rd out of 189 countries.
The United States ranks 13th out of 144 countries in terms of the quality of its overall infrastructure, down from its position at eighth in 2006, before the recession.
An estimated 42 percent of major U.S. urban highways are congested, and nearly one in four bridges in the national highway system is structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
Aviation congestion and airport delays cost the economy nearly $22 billion in 2012, and the Department of Transportation estimates that approximately one-third of delays are attributable to airport infrastructure and systems.1