In 1991, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) changed the federal-state transportation relationship by devolving decision making to the states. In turn, states were required to work with local officials on transportation improvements. ISTEA was authorized for 1992-1997, and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century continued ISTEA policies through 2003. Changes in road and bridge conditions in the rural south are examined under these new transportation policies. Federal funding trends are detailed with state funding. Overall condition of roads and bridges eligible for federal funding improved, traffic increased on all roads, but condition disparities between local roads and federally funded roads grew.