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Highway Bridge Program: Clearer Goals and Performance Measures Needed for a More Focused and Sustainable Program

GAO-08-1127T Published: Sep 10, 2008. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2008.
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The August 1, 2007, collapse of a Minnesota bridge raised nationwide questions about bridge safety and the Department of Transportation's (DOT) prioritization of bridge resources. The Highway Bridge Program (HBP), the primary source of federal funding for bridges, provided over $4 billion to states in fiscal year 2007. This testimony, based on a report GAO is releasing today, addresses (1) how states use HBP funds and select bridge projects for funding, (2) what data indicate about bridge conditions and the HBP's impact, and (3) the extent to which the HBP aligns with principles we developed, based on our prior work and federal laws and regulations, for reexamining surface transportation programs. The testimony also discusses the implications of our work for related sections of proposed legislation under review by this committee, the National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act of 2008 (S.3338).

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BridgesData collectionEligibility criteriaEligibility determinationsFederal aid for highwaysFederal aid for transportationFederal aid to localitiesFederal aid to statesFederal fundsstate relationsFunds managementGround transportationHighway planningHighway safetyMaintenance (upkeep)Performance measuresProgram evaluationProgram managementPublic roads or highwaysSafety standardsTransportation planningTransportation policiesTransportation safetyProgram goals or objectivesProgram implementation