Four highway funding questions for AASHTO

By |  January 25, 2021
Susan Howard


With Washington in transition, P&Q reached out to the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to capture some perspective on the year ahead as it pertains to funding highways. Susan Howard, program director for transportation finance at AASHTO, offered some insights on behalf of her organization.

How does AASHTO hope to work with the Biden administration to accomplish infrastructure-related goals? What specific goals or initiatives is AASHTO pushing?

AASHTO’s membership looks forward to working with Department of Transportation Secretary [nominee] Pete Buttigieg and the Biden administration to deliver a safe, integrated, efficient and innovative national transportation system.

Our top policy priorities for 2021 are highway and transit economic recovery funding and timely reauthorization of a long-term surface transportation bill.

Sure, New York City traffic is horrible. But eliminating cars from New York City roads and expecting other U.S. cities to adopt the Big Apple's model is quite the stretch. Photo: Bim/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Photo: Bim/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Given the pandemic-induced revenue losses for state Departments of Transportation (DOT) across the country, how can DOTs recover from a financially challenging year and continue to move forward with current and new projects?

State Departments of Transportation faced severe losses in state transportation revenues as vehicle travel declined because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $10 billion provided to State DOTs in the Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act in December 2020 will allow DOTs to stay on track and retain capacity to deliver infrastructure investment moving forward. 

What construction industry-related issues most concern AASHTO in 2021, and why?

Long-term stability through the reauthorization of surface transportation policies is a top priority. Having a multi-year reauthorization in place will prevent unnecessary program disruptions and delays and provide federal funding stability to support state transportation investment needs.

What industry opportunities is AASHTO most excited about this year, and why?

There is a lot to look forward to with a new administration and a new Congress. Transportation plays a vital role in quality of life and economic growth, and AASHTO looks forward to working with policymakers to ensure that we have a transportation system rooted in the values of safety, mobility and access for everyone.

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