Constructing, improving, and repairing roads is fundamental to meeting the nation's mobility needs. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) supplies most of the money (about $20 billion in fiscal year 2003), and state departments of transportation are primarily responsible for completing projects. Many federal and state agencies (called resource agencies) help ensure that environmental and other concerns are considered. These and other organizations have recognized that the time it takes to complete complex federally funded highway projects is too long--in some cases nearly 20 years. GAO was asked to report the views of knowledgeable officials on the most promising approaches for reducing completion time for federally funded highway projects. GAO obtained the views of 33 officials from federal, state, and private organizations with interests in federally funded roads.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Transportation||In order to reduce Highway project completion time, the Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, to consider the benefits of at least each of the 13 most promising approaches discussed in this report relative to the costs and feasibility of implementing them and take the actions needed to foster more widespread adoption of those approaches that appear to be the most cost effective.|