Find new funds for the interstate road network


In “Congress Debates Infrastructure but Ignores the Interstates” (July 1 editorial), Robert Poole reminds us all of the vital importance of the interstate highway system to our economy and our daily lives. It also reminds us of the urgent need to rebuild and upgrade it without delay.

Like Mr. Poole, the panel of experts that wrote the Transportation Research Board (TRB) report “Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future” called for action to renew the highways. To generate short-term funding, the study committee made two recommendations. First, to increase federal fuel taxes — the sole focus of Mr. Poole’s assessment of the report’s recommendations — while new forms of revenue such as kilometer charges are implemented. Second, lift the toll ban on existing interstate general-purpose highways, as recommended by Mr. Poole. This would help meet urgent needs and provide states and metropolitan areas with more options to generate revenue for the renewal, modernization and operation of highways.

Norman R. Augustine

Potomac, Maryland.

Mr. Augustine, former Chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin (1995-97), was chairman of the TRB report study committee.

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