A strong majority of Americans want better roads and bridges, but they want someone else to pay for them, according to a survey released Monday.
The survey found strong support for infrastructure investment and compromise on Capitol Hill, even among Tea Party members, and for private highway funding.
Half of those surveyed said roads and bridges were inadequate, and 80 percent thought infrastructure investment would boost local economies and create jobs.
The poll of 1,001 registered voters found 71 percent placed a high priority on transportation improvements, but 73 percent were opposed to raising fuel taxes.
Nearly half of those surveyed also thought federal fuel taxes were raised every year, when in fact they haven't risen since 1993.
The respondents were much more open to privatization, with 78 percent supporting greater private investment in transportation infrastructure.
However, they stressed the need for greater accountability in the funding process as well as reform and innovation if the U.S. pays for transportation infrastructure.
An overwhelming 90 percent said they want more accountability from government and certification that projects are completed on time and fit national goals.
Penalties should be imposed when projects run over budget or deadline, 72 percent said. And 90 percent said local regions should be given more say in spending.
Although privatization was a big winner in the survey, 60 percent of respondents supported the Obama administration's proposed national infrastructure bank.
The White House Feb. 14 proposed $30 billion for a national infrastructure bank.
Transportation bonds were backed by 59 percent of respondents to the survey, and 58 percent support eliminating subsidies for American oil companies that drill in other countries.
The survey respondents want cross-aisle cooperation on transportation, with 66 percent saying they want leaders in Washington to compromise on the issue.
-- Contact William B. Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org.