Traffic on U.S. roads is up 1.5 percent in year-over-year comparisons, says a report in the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials Journal. Put another way, motorists drove 15.2 million miles in just the first four months of 2017.
The report, by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), said that 2016 traffic increased 2.8 percent for the entire year.
In April alone this year, motorists logged 271.7 billion miles, up 1.2 percent from April 2016.
The good news is that the rate of increase in traffic has slowed. The bad news is that more cars and trucks are filling the same roadways and causing more damage to an already overburdened system.
According to AASHTO, Vice President Mike Pence June 22 told the Associated Builders and Contractors that the Trump administration “will not rest or relent” until the U.S. has the best roads, bridges, airports and infrastructure.
State departments of transportation are hoping the U.S. Department of Transportation will issue $850 million in 2017 Fastlane grants for highway freight corridors and other projects plus $500 in TIGER grants for transportation projects so construction can get under way during summer and fall.
Meanwhile, states are seeking to boost their own transportation funding, with West Virginia set to increase its fuel taxes and registration fees to finance such projects.