As the fight over how to temporarily rescue the Highway Trust Fund ramps up this week, the White House would like you to know that 34 percent of the 172,201 miles of public roads you may drive in California are in poor condition, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. The same is true of about 20 percent of Maryland’s roads, and 23 percent of New York’s. West Virginia, meanwhile, has some abominably bad-off bridges — 35 percent of the 7,125 in the state are considered structurally deficient.
If Congress doesn’t plug the trust fund that’s set to run out of money next month, federal dollars that prop up state projects building and repairing roads and bridges will soon be rationed as new gas tax receipts come in, according to the DOT. The most direct way to raise money for the fund would be to raise the gas tax that fuels it (at least in the medium term). Instead, members of Congress are trying to come up with revenue this summer from sources that have nothing to do with transportation (one piece of the plan: allow companies to underfund their pensions). And they disagree even on how long a short-term fix should last, and what that timeline would mean for prospects for a long-term funding solution after the November election.
In the meantime, construction jobs are in limbo. Governors are universally angry. And the White House is scaling up its public pressure campaign on Congress. Which brings us back to those numbers. This afternoon, the White House released the map below so you’ll know precisely how miffed your state should be about Congressional inaction. We give the White House points for interactivity, although the result is admittedly a bit clunky: