Transportation Makes North Carolina Work!


North Carolina’s Economy, Quality of Life & Security Depend on Our Transportation Infrastructure

What We Invest in Our Roads & Bridges (North Carolina)

What We Invest in Our Roads & Bridges

The average North Carolina motorist pays $1.29 per day in highway user fees to build and maintain our state’s roads and bridges.

  • 72 cents/day through the state gas tax
  • 33 cents/day through the federal gas tax
  • 24 cents/day through motor vehicle ownership state fees
  • 0 cents/day in tolls
LandlinesCell phonesCableInternetElectricityand GasUser Fees& Taxes050100150200Road & Bridge Inv…Television and Inte…Electricity and GasPhone ServicesMonthly Household Spending
ExpenditureLandlinesCell phonesCableInternetElectricity and GasUser Fees & Taxes
Road & Bridge Investment39.21
Television and Internet65.4488.17
Electricity and Gas151.26
Phone Services61.8891.33

The average North Carolina household spends 4 times more per month for land line and cell phone service than it invests to build and maintain the roads and bridges we use.

North Carolina spends $268 a year per capita on road and bridge capital improvements. North Carolina ranks #21 among all U.S. states in this important category. Here’s how we compare to our neighbors:

$0$75$150$225$300VirginiaTennesseeSouth CarolinaGeorgiaNorth Carolina
StatesCapital SpendingCapital Spending
South Carolina$180.48
North Carolina$268.18

Driving on poor roads costs the average North Carolina motorist $340 per year in vehicle repairs and wasted fuel.

How Our Money is Spent (North Carolina)

How Our Money is Spent

This is How the North Carolina Transportation Department Spends Our Highway User Money
Grants to Local GovtsLaw EnforcementAdmin & ResearchMaintenanceBonds & Debt ServiceCapital Outlays8.3%6.3%18%58.6%
Grants to Local Govts144,432,000
Law Enforcement375,877,000
Admin & Research285,668,000
Bonds & Debt Service247,951,000
Capital Outlays2,641,080,000

This is How We Compare to Neighboring States

CapitalOutlaysMaintenanceAdmin &ResearchLawEnforcementGrants toLocal GovtsBonds & DebtServiceNorth CarolinaGeorgiaSouth CarolinaTennesseeVirginia0%20%40%60%
StateCapital OutlaysMaintenanceAdmin & ResearchLaw EnforcementGrants to Local GovtsBonds & Debt Service
North Carolina59%18%6%8%3%6%
South Carolina57%24%7%8%4%

Source of Funding for North Carolina’s Annual Road & Bridge Capital Investment Budget
Over the Past 10 Years


How North Carolina Invests Its Federal Highway Funds

The federal gas and diesel fuel taxes we pay supported $16 billion in road and bridge work in North Carolina just over the past 10 years, including $1.8 billion to improve our share of the nation’s Interstate Highway System.

Employment & Tax Impact (North Carolina)

Employment & Tax Impact

North Carolina Jobs & Tax Base Supported by Transportation Infrastructure Investment Investments in North Carolina’s transportation infrastructure supports…

109,902 full time jobs in the state—more than 50% non-construction related.  These North Carolina residents earn $3.7 billion annually and contribute $674 million in state taxes.

1,919,316 full time jobs in the state in key industries like tourism, trucking, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation infrastructure network.  These North Carolina residents earn $69 billion annually and contribute $12.6 billion in state taxes.

State of Our Roads & Bridges (North Carolina)

State of Our Roads & Bridges

2,137 miles of North Carolina’s major roads — nearly the equivalent of driving from Raleigh to Phoenix — are in poor condition.

Driving on poor roads costs the average North Carolina motorist $340 per year in vehicle repairs and wasted fuel.

2,085 bridges in North Carolina are classified as structurally deficient. This means one or more of the key bridge elements, such as the deck, superstructure or substructure, is considered to be in “poor” or worse condition by government inspectors. These bridges are crossed 7 million times each day.

Placed end-to-end, there are 59 miles of structurally deficient bridges in North Carolina. Over 3,000 of these bridges have weight restrictions in place.

State and local governments in North Carolina spent $3 billion on bridge repair and construction contracts over the past five years.

Sources: ARTBA analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.  Employment and tax information from ARTBA’s 2015 U.S. Transportation Construction Industry Profile. 

Updated June 2016