Solution to crumbling roads, bridges elusive

JOAN LOWY Associated Press Published:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress is struggling to come up with a solution to the nation's crumbling roads, bridges and transit systems, which are at the point of hindering economic growth.

The problems are numerous. Americans have been driving less due to a slow economy, reducing revenue from the gas tax that pays for transportation improvements. Cars that get better gas mileage are likely to offset any uptick in driving as the economy recovers.

A sweeping House Republican plan to transform federal transportation programs was quickly attacked from the left this week as a giveaway to greedy industries and from the right as big government overspending.

A House transportation committee meeting Thursday to approve the $260 billion, 4½ -year bill was marked by bitter partisanship.