GAO discussed the Highway Trust Fund, focusing on unexpended
balances and trust fund revenues that could be made available to
meet highway needs. GAO noted that: (1) the Highway Trust Fund's
highway account balance was approximately $10.6 billion; (2)
Congress placed limitations on states' use of funds and states had
not used an estimated $1 billion in available trust fund revenues;
(3) state officials believed that they did not use funds primarily
because the funds provided a cushion against an uneven flow in
federal funds; (4) projections indicated that the final trust fund
balance would exceed outstanding commitments by $6.4 billion; (5)
to prevent future trust fund buildups, Congress should limit trust
fund revenues to more closely approximate expected obligations; (6)
since 1987, the advance construction balance has ranged between $2
billion and $2.6 billion; (7) the amount of funds not subject to
obligation ceilings ranged from approximately $700 million to $2.2
billion, and minimum allocation funds and demonstration projects
accounted for 98 percent of the exempt funds in 1990; (8) from 1982
through 1988, highway system bridge deficiencies increased from
about 70,000 to 77,000, primarily due to the rapid growth in
deficient interstate bridges; (9) through fiscal year 1991, the
mass transit account (MTA) is expected to receive income of about
$13.5 billion; and (10) Congress did not authorize the Urban Mass
Transit Administration to obligate about $3.8 billion because of
appropriation process limitations.
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