Infrastructure Investment

  • Los Angeles freeway


    Pay as You Go

    Using vehicle miles traveled as a means of distributing the cost of maintaining America's roads and bridges may not be the only answer. But it represents the kind of innovative thinking that is necessary when this sector of the American transportation infrastructure is desperately in need of a fix.

    Jul 22, 2015

  • Vehicles driving toward Mt. Hood in Oregon


    How to Improve Oregon's Mileage-Fee Experiment

    Oregon is rolling out the nation's first large-scale pilot to examine switching to a mileage fee instead of the gas tax. The trial is a welcome next step toward understanding how mileage fees can be deployed.

    Jul 7, 2015

  • Flood waters from Hurricane Isaac partially submerge homes in Lafitte, Louisiana neighborhoods in August 2012


    Future of Coastal Flooding

    President Obama's executive order that directs federal agencies to plan and build for higher flood levels as they construct new projects in flood-prone regions will affect hundreds of billions of dollars of future public works projects. In an ideal world, planners would estimate the benefits and costs for each project, taking into account everything from the details of the local landscape to the potential for adaptive responses over time.

    Feb 25, 2015

  • A bulldozer is parked in the Queens borough of New York where a concrete foundation is all that remains of a house that burned to the ground during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012


    Lessons Learned from Implementing Infrastructure Resilience Guidelines

    The Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force developed guidelines to ensure that federal agencies incorporate key principles of resilience into their formulation, evaluation, and prioritization of infrastructure investments related to Sandy rebuilding. An initial assessment of the implementation of the guidelines identifies opportunities and challenges.

    Dec 9, 2014

  • Russia's Prime Minister Medvedev and President Putin attend a meeting with members of the Russian Parliament in Yalta, Crimea, August 14, 2014


    Crimean Adventure Will Cost Russia Dearly

    Moscow may have overreached, as it appears ill-prepared to come up with the necessary funds to cover Crimea-related costs. Infrastructure improvements, development aid, government operations, and other costs will be a multi-billion drain — as much as $4.5 billion per year — on Russia's already strained budget.

    Sep 8, 2014

  • Central Texas Roadway System map


    Examining Feasibility of Time-of-Day Tolls to Reduce Congestion

    To reduce traffic along a heavily congested Texas toll road, researchers are using stated preference surveys and discrete choice models to understand how motorists will respond to alternative time-of-day pricing policies.

    Jul 14, 2014

  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd R) and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) walk as they arrive to the site of previously burnt ivory, in Nairobi National Park May 10, 2014


    In Africa: U.S. Promotes Security, China Does Business

    Africans require both security and economic growth. Global powers like China and the United States do not need to choose between the two when focusing their foreign policy efforts.

    May 31, 2014

  • Labourers work at a railway station construction site in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa


    Emerging Infrastructure Financing Mechanisms in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Explores the new flows and policy implications of private sector and emerging countries investments of emerging infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Sep 9, 2013

  • Traffic Jam Stopped Cars Pennsylvania Turnpike Exit 358 Bristol Levittown


    Paying for Infrastructure, a Taxing Issue

    If the “user pays” idea is worth saving, the United States needs a different calculation, writes Liisa Ecola. Some states are looking at mileage fees. With mileage fees, you pay based on the number of miles you drive, rather than the number of gallons of gas used.

    May 16, 2013

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineer contractor explains to FEMA Future Leaders how the levee system in New Orleans works


    Options for Financing Louisiana's Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System

    Incremental operations and maintenance costs for new hurricane protection infrastructure vary considerably across Louisiana's levee districts, but most can cover costs for infrastructure within their boundaries. Stakeholders will need to determine an equitable cost allocation for infrastructure that spans district boundaries.

    Nov 28, 2012

  • View of a person driving from the back seat of a car


    Getting Over the Privacy Hurdle to Mileage-Based Road Fees

    There is no need for privacy concerns to halt all discussion of new technologies to help address America's mounting transportation funding crisis, writes Liisa Ecola.

    Jun 6, 2012

  • Report

    Mileage-Based User Fee Winners and Losers: An Analysis of the Distributional Implications of Taxing Vehicle Miles Traveled, with Projections, 2010-2030

    Estimates changes in annual vehicle miles traveled in response to changes in the cost of driving that would result from adopting a mileage-based user fee.

    Apr 26, 2012

  • Commentary

    No Data? Big Problem.

    Good data can inform decision makers about what really works—how best to relieve congestion and improve supply-chain connectivity to make freight transportation—and hence the U.S. economy—more competitive, write Mortimer Downey, Joseph Schofer, and Johanna Zmud.

    Mar 20, 2012

  • Commentary

    Save Money — Hire Police

    The high cost of crime to society suggests that adding police officers may give large cities a sizable return on their investments, write Greg Ridgeway and Paul Heaton.

    Nov 22, 2011

  • Commentary

    A System Under Strain

    Our transportation future will be multi-layered and complex—bounded by transportation infrastructure that is under-funded on the one hand and ever-expanding congestion and capacity constraints on the other, writes Johanna Zmud.

    Sep 30, 2011

  • Commentary

    Policymakers and Public Need to Be Able to Track and Account for Federal Disaster Funds

    If the U.S. does not improve its ability to track federal spending and develop reliable measures of effectiveness, precious federal disaster aid will continue to be at risk of being squandered, writes Agnes Gereben Schaefer.

    Jul 14, 2011

  • Report

    The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State

    An examination of options and cost estimates for strengthening the housing and transportation infrastructure of a potential future independent Palestinian state in the context of a large and rapidly growing Palestinian population.

    May 19, 2011

  • Report

    How Does Investment in Highway Infrastructure Affect the Economy?

    To inform debate on a new transportation bill being considered, an analysis of literature on the effects of highway infrastructure spending on the economy offers principles for reforming federal policy and programs, as well as ideas for future research.

    May 17, 2011

  • Research Brief

    Moving Toward Vehicle Miles of Travel Fees to Replace Fuel Taxes: Assessing the Path Forward

    Assesses alternate mechanisms for implementing fees to fund the nation's road network based on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and outlines a plan for large-scale system trials to further evaluate the most promising concepts.

    Mar 29, 2011

  • Commentary

    Among Potential Deficit Remedies, Don't Rule Out Raising Gas Tax

    A proposed 15-cents-a-gallon gas tax is worth a second look. Among various painful options put forward in the Deficit Reduction Commission's draft report, this tax hike may be well justified, writes Martin Wachs.

    Dec 25, 2010