The estimated number of automobile miles logged in the Northeastern United States dropped 4.2 percent annually in May, according to federal stats reported in this morning’s Wall Street Journal.
That decline in driving (and similar declines across the nation spurred by higher gas prices) have robbed the government of fuel taxes, which go toward infrastructure improvements for highways and mass transit systems.
In many areas, the ragged edges are already showing. About 25% of bridges in the U.S. are either “functionally obsolete” or “structurally deficient,” like the Mississippi River bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis last August, killing 13 people.
Moreover, the pavement is rated “not acceptable” on one of every seven miles of the nation’s roads, according to the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission.