Daniel Convissor:

Highway Demonstration Projects:
Improved Selection and Funding Controls Are Needed

General Accounting Office
28 May 1991


Although the federal funds authorized in 1987 for demonstration projects represented a three-fold increase over the previous authorization level, the funds will clearly fall far short of the amount needed to complete the projects. Equally important, the funds were often authorized for projects that were not a state or regional priority. In some cases, local road projects are not a part of the federal-aid highway system would have been ineligible for federal funds in the absence of their demonstration designation. Since transportation needs far outstrip available resources, federal funds should be targeted to the most significant transportation problems confronting the nation. GAO believes that the way such projects are selected and funded could be improved. GAO also believes that funds authorized for projects that have been inactive since 1987, and are likely to remain so, should be directed to other transportation projects or be returned to the treasury. About $25 million authorized in 1987 for seven demonstration projects may never be used because there has been no project activity.

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