Prosence: Federal Highway Administration should be abolished
February 18, 2013
It is totally ironic that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has added thousands of miles to the so-called “National Highway System” when they are currently unable to properly fund modernization of thousands of miles of obsolete roads. The only highways of “national interest” are on the interstate highway system. The others are primarily of local or regional interest only.
FHWA is a federal agency that should be abolished, or at least, drastically reduced in authority. When I went to work for their predecessor, Bureau of Public Roads (BPR), in 1948 they were playing a valuable role in highway development in our country. They were leaders in research, development of highway standards and coordination between state highway departments. Now their major role is dispensing federal gas tax money collected in the states back to the states and spending billions of dollars in this process. Their responsibilities should be limited to research and advice.
The time has come to abolish the federal gas tax. States would have the prerogative of raising their gas tax to make up for lost revenue. State transportation agencies are staffed with professionals capable of directing highway design, construction and maintenance in their state. They do not need a federal agency looking over their shoulders.
Apparently, adding many miles to the National Highway System would beef up the role of FHWA and allow them to continue the waste of taxpayer dollars.
Dick Prosence, Meeker
Retired district engineer, CDOT