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GAO discussed the Federal Highway Administration's (FHwA): (1) proposed fiscal year (FY) 1992 through FY 1996 federal-aid highway budget commitment; and (2) plan for restructuring the federal highway program. GAO found that: (1) although the FHwA proposed $86.8-billion highway program was $18 billion over the prior federal-aid highway program authorization, the proposed funding level could additionally increase by $5.1 billion between FY 1992 and FY 1996; (2) proposed funding increases would be affected by spending caps, obligation ceilings, and pressures for budget deficit reductions; (3) FHwA should phase in any significant shifting of financial burden to the states; (4) the proposed two-tiered federal highway program system would provide states with more flexibility to better target funds to address their individual needs; and (5) the proposed system would not adequately ensure the preservation of the interstate highway system. In addition, GAO believed that the proposed highway program should also address such issues as: (1) an improved criterion for targeting federal bridge funds to the most critically deficient bridges; (2) the potential adverse effects of certain funding apportionment factors on states; and (3) state guidance for the successful implementation of highway/mass transit funding flexibility.

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