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Program Assessment


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Highway Infrastructure

The purpose of the FHWA's Highway Infrastructure Program is to provide financial grants and technical assistance to States to construct, maintain, and improve the performance of the Nation's highway system in accordance with federal policy goals.


What This Rating Means


This rating describes a program that needs to set more ambitious goals, achieve better results, improve accountability or strengthen its management practices.
  • While funding is not based on need or performance and has been heavily earmarked, the Program does successfully deliver highway funding. The majority of funds are allocated to States, which ultimately use the funds directly for highway maintenance and construction. However, projects are chosen by the States themselves and are not based on need or the value-added to the nation's highway system.
  • States are given flexibility to achieve their goals, but this limits the federal ability to address the Nation's highway infrastructure as a whole. In 2004, 42 percent of Federal funds ($13 billion) were spent on projects off of the National Highway System which were not determined to have national significance. The program's long-term trends do show improvement for all strategic outcome measures.
  • The program, with the State departments of transportation, has recently implemented a financial integrity review and evaluation procedure as a remedy to longstanding issues. As a result of the new initiative, the Agency eliminated a grants management material weakness in the Highway Trust Fund 2006 financial statements and is working next to eliminate additional internal control weaknesses.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Proposing modifications and performance-based improvements to the program design during the formulation of a reauthorization proposal in FY 2009.
  • For improving program and project oversight of States, during 2008 DOT will update a 2006 memo providing implementation guidance to improve its oversight program per Section 1904 of SAFETEA-LU.
  • Pursuing financial management improvements in order to eliminate all material weaknesses in the FY 2009 financial audit.

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