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TRIP Report: Maryland’s Heavily Traveled Transportation System Will Need Additional Investment To Ease Congestion & Improve Mobility

NEW REPORT IDENTIFIES STATE’S MOST CONGESTED HIGHWAYS AND ARTERIAL ROADWAYS & IDENTIFIES TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS NEEDED TO IMPROVE ACCESS

 Maryland’s quality of life and economic development is being hampered by high levels of traffic congestion and reduced accessibility, but is benefitting from a statewide program to improve accessibility and Governor Hogan has proposed a comprehensive set of transportation improvements designed to  improve mobility, according to a new report released by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit.

According to the TRIP report, Keeping Maryland Mobile: Accomplishments and Challenges in Improving Accessibility in Maryland to Support Quality of Life and a Strong Economy,”the state’s roads carry the highest traffic volume in the nation and commute lengths are the second longest in the U.S. Traffic congestion costs the state’s residents and businesses billions of dollars each year and severely constrains the number of jobs accessible to residents. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is implementing a plan to relieve congestion and enhance reliability, and Governor Hogan has recommended a $17.8 billion multimodal congestion relief plan designed to accommodate growth and improve economic development.

Maryland’s major urban highways and roads carried the highest average daily traffic per lane mile in the nation in 2017. The average daily commute for the state’s residents was 32.7 minutes, the second longest average commute in the nation, behind only New York at 33 minutes. The average driver in the Washington, DC area loses 87 hours to congestion each year at an annual cost of $2,007 per driver in lost time and wasted fuel. In the Baltimore area, the average driver loses 50 hours to congestion annually at a cost of $1,220 annually in lost time and wasted fuel. Congestion on the state’s highways, freeways, and major arterial roads costs the public $3.4 billion annually in the value of lost time and wasted fuel.

Traffic congestion also impacts the number of jobs available to residents. in 2017, of the approximately 1.9 million jobs accessible within a one-hour drive to residents of the Baltimore metro area, only 30 percent are accessible within a 30-minute drive. And, of the approximately 2.6 million jobs accessible within a one-hour drive to residents of the Washington, DC metro area, only 24 percent are accessible within a 30-minute drive. In 2017, the number of jobs accessible within a 40-minute drive in the Baltimore and Washington, DC metro areas during peak commuting hours was reduced by 38 and 47 percent, respectively, as a result of traffic congestion.

The TRIP report also identified the most congested portions of Maryland highways and arterial (non-freeway) roadways during weekday AM and PM peak travel hours. The chart below details the ten most congested highways and arterial roadways during peak AM and PM travel hours. A full list of the most congested segments is included in the report.

“The TRIP report outlines exactly why the Traffic Relief Plan is critical to address the congestion Marylanders deal with every day,” said MDOT Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

Freight shipments in Maryland, which are primarily carried by trucks, are expected to increase significantly through 2040 due to population and economic growth, and changes in business, retail, and consumer models, which rely on a faster and more responsive supply chain. The efficiency of freight movement in Maryland is threatened by traffic congestion, which reduces the reliability of goods movement to and from destinations in the state and through the state. The chart below ranks the five highway segments in Maryland that provide the worst travel reliability for commercial trucks as a result of traffic congestion. A full list is included in the report.

MDOT SHA congestion relief programs – which include an incident management program, additional park and ride spaces, HOV lanes, new sidewalks, and bike lanes, and improvements to at-grade rail crossings and major intersections – were estimated in 2016 to save approximately $1.6 billion in reduced delays, fuel consumption and emissions. In addition to the efforts already underway, Governor Hogan has recommended a $17.8 billion multimodal congestion relief plan that includes the following: widening approximately 70 miles of Interstates via funding provided through a public-private partnership, completion of the Purple Line from the Bethesda Metro Station to the New Carrollton Metro Station, and a statewide expansion of the smart traffic signal program.

“It is critical that Maryland has a robust transportation plan capable of improving mobility and accessibility, which is vital to the state’s economic health and quality of life,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “While recent state efforts to ease congestion and improve the reliability of Maryland’s transportation system have been helpful, more work still needs to be done. Congress can help by fixing the federal Highway Trust Fund and passing major infrastructure legislation.”

Keeping Maryland Mobile:

Accomplishments and Challenges in Improving Accessibility in Maryland to Support Quality of Life and a Strong Economy

Executive Summary

Accessibility is a critical factor in a state’s quality of life and economic competitiveness. The ability of people and businesses using multiple transportation modes to access employment, customers, commerce, recreation, education and healthcare in a timely fashion is critical for the development of a region and a state. Maryland’s quality of life and economic development is being hampered by high levels of traffic congestion and reduced accessibility, but stands to benefit from a statewide program to improve accessibility in the Old Line State and could realize significant benefits from a proposal for an even more robust program to improve mobility.

TRIP’s “Keeping Maryland Mobile” report examines the mobility and efficiency of the state’s transportation system and improvements needed to enhance access.

TRAFFIC CONGESTION IN MARYLAND

High levels of traffic congestion on Maryland’s major urban roads and highways reduce the reliability and efficiency of personal and commercial travel and hamper the state’s ability to support economic development and quality of life.

  • Maryland’s major urban highways and roads ranked number one nationally in 2017 for the average amount of traffic carried daily per-lane-mile, and second nationally in average daily commute length from 2013 to 2017.

  • The following chart shows the number of hours lost annually per average driver in the state’s two largest urban areas and the per-driver cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion in 2017.

  • In its 2017 state mobility report, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) estimates that congestion on the state’s highways, freeways and major arterial roads costs the public $3.4 billion annually in the value of lost time and wasted fuel.
  • A Center for Transportation Studies report found that, in 2017, of the approximately 1.9 million jobs accessible within a one-hour drive to residents of the Baltimore metro area, only 30 percent are accessible within a 30-minute drive. And, of the approximately 2.6 million jobs accessible within a one-hour drive to residents of the Washington, DC metro area, only 24 percent are accessible within a 30 minute drive.
  • The Center for Transportation Studies report also found that, in 2017, the number of jobs accessible within a 40 minute drive in the Baltimore and Washington, DC metro areas during peak commuting hours was reduced by 38 and 47 percent, respectively, as a result of traffic congestion.

MARLAND’S MOST CONGESTED ROADWAYS

In its 2017 annual mobility report, MDOT SHA ranked the state’s most congested sections of highways and most congested sections of arterial (non-freeway) roadways.  Traffic congestion on these routes significantly reduces the reliability of travel times in these corridors.

  • The following chart shows the most congested portions of Maryland highways during weekday AM and PM peak travel hours.

  • The following chart shows the most congested portions of Maryland arterial roadways during weekday AM and PM peak travel hours.

POPULATION, ECONOMIC AND TRAVEL TRENDS IN MARYLAND

The rate of population and economic growth in Maryland has resulted in increased demands on the state’s transportation system. 

  • Maryland’s population reached approximately six million residents in 2018, a 14 percent increase since 2000. Maryland’s population is expected to increase to approximately 6.9 million people by 2040 and the state is expected to add another 600,000 jobs by 2040.
  • From 2000 to 2017, Maryland’s gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 45 percent, when adjusted for inflation and U.S. GDP increased by 37 percent.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Maryland increased by 20 percent from 2000 to 2017 –from 50 billion VMT in 2000 to 60 billion VMT in 2017. The rate of vehicle travel growth in Maryland has accelerated since 2013, increasing by six percent between 2013 and 2017.
  • By 2040, vehicle travel on I-495 and I-270 is expected to increase by 10 percent and 15 percent respectively.
  • Travel on the InterCounty Connector, a 19-mile tolled highway from I-370 to US 1, which was opened in stages from 2011 to 2014, increased by 35 percent from 2014 to 2016, reaching a daily average of 50,900 vehicles.

FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION IN MARYLAND

Freight shipments in Maryland, which are primarily carried by trucks, are expected to increase significantly through 2040 due to population and economic growth, and changes in business, retail, and consumer models, which rely on a faster and more responsive supply chain.  The efficiency of freight movement in Maryland is threatened by traffic congestion, which reduces the reliability of goods movement to and from destinations in the state and through the state. 

  • Annually, $369 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Maryland, mostly by truck.  Seventy-seven percent are carried by trucks and another 16 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • The value of freight shipped to and from sites in Maryland, in inflation-adjusted dollars, is expected to increase 110 percent by 2045.
  • The following chart shows the five highway locations in Maryland carrying the largest number of large commercial trucks daily, and the five highway locations where large commercial trucks make up the largest share of daily traffic.

 

  • The following chart details the highway segments in Maryland that provide the worst travel reliability for commercial trucks as a result of traffic congestion.

  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number one site selection factor in a 2017 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine. Labor costs and the availability of skilled labor, which are both impacted by a site’s level of accessibility, were rated second and third, respectively.

PROGRESS IN RELIEVING TRAFFIC CONGESTION IN MARYLAND  

Using a combination of programs and projects, the MDOT SHA is addressing Maryland’s traffic congestion and reliability challenges. These efforts are aimed at improving efficiency and expanding the capacity of the state’s transportation system.

  • MDOT SHA congestion relief programs and projects to improve the efficiency and expand the capacity of the state’s major roadways were estimated in 2016 to save approximately $1.6 billion in reduced delays, fuel consumption, and emissions.
  • MDOT SHA congestion relief efforts include: an incident management program that in 2016 cleared more than 30,000 incidents and assisted approximately 42,000 stranded motorists; improved traffic signalization; the provision of approximately 6,700 park and ride spaces at 106 locations; the use of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on portions of I-270 and US 50; the addition of nine miles of new sidewalks, 88 miles of marked bike lanes and six miles of shared use bike lanes; the addition of four new virtual freight weigh stations; the improvement of eight at-grade rail crossings; and, improvements to ten major intersections and the widening of a portion of MD 355 from Center Drive to West Cedar Lane in Montgomery County.

PROPOSED IMPROVEMENTS TO ENHANCE ACCESSIBILITY IN MARYLAND  

Governor Larry Hogan has recommended a transportation plan designed to provide congestion relief, accommodate growth and improve economic development in Maryland. Using innovative design and funding methods, the goal of the plan is to improve the capacity, operations, and safety of Maryland’s transportation system.

  • The $17.8 billion multimodal congestion relief plan includes:
  • Widening of approximately 70 miles of Interstates in Maryland via funding provided through a public-private partnership, including I-495 from south of the American Legion Bridge to east of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and I-270 from I-495 to I-70, including the east and west I-270 spurs.
  • A traffic relief plan for portions of the Baltimore Beltway from I-70 to MD 43.
  • An active traffic management program for I-95 from MD 32 to MD 100.
  • The expansion of express toll lanes on I-95 from MD 43 to MD 24.
  • The completion of the Purple Line from the Bethesda Metro Station to the New Carrollton Metro Station.
  • Improvements to the BaltimoreLink transit system, the METRO system, and the MARC system.
  • Statewide expansion of the smart traffic signal program.

FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN MARYLAND

Investment in Maryland’s roads, highways, and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments.   The current five-year federal surface transportation program includes modest funding increases and provides states with greater funding certainty, but falls far short of providing the level of funding needed to meet the nation’s highway and transit needs. The bill does not include a long-term and sustainable revenue source.

  • Most federal funds for highway and transit improvements in Maryland are provided by federal highway user fees, largely an 18.4 cents-per-gallon tax on gasoline and a 24.4 cents-per-gallon tax on diesel fuel. Because revenue into the federal Highway Trust Fund has been inadequate to support legislatively set funding levels since 2008, Congress has transferred approximately $53 billion in general funds and an additional $2 billion from a related trust fund into the federal Highway Trust Fund.

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official (AASHTO), the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U. S. Census Bureau, the Center for Transportation Studies, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  All data used in the report are the most recent available. 

TRIP Reports: More Than 300 Connecticut Bridges – Carrying 4.3 Million Vehicles Daily- Are Structurally Deficient. Connecticut Is Ranked Fourth Nationally In Share Of Older Bridges.

More Than 300 Connecticut Bridges – Carrying 4.3 Million Vehicles Daily- Are Structurally Deficient. Connecticut Is Ranked Fourth Nationally In Share Of Older Bridges. Report Identifies Connecticut Bridges In Need Of Repair, Replacement

 More than 300 Connecticut bridges (20 feet or longer), carrying 4.3 million vehicles daily, are structurally deficient, according to a new report recently released by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research group. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components.

The TRIP report, Preserving Connecticut’s Bridges: The Condition and Funding Needs of Connecticut’s Aging Bridge System,” finds that 308 of Connecticut’s 4,254 bridges are structurally deficient. Structurally deficient bridges may be posted for lower weight limits or closed if their condition warrants such action. Deteriorated bridges can have a significant impact on daily life. Restrictions on vehicle weight may cause many vehicles – especially emergency vehicles, commercial trucks, school buses and farm equipment – to use alternate routes to avoid weight-restricted bridges. Redirected trips also lengthen travel time, waste fuel and reduce the efficiency of the local economy.

The chart below details the five most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges (carrying at least 500 vehicles per day) in each Connecticut county. A list of up to 25 of the most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges in each county is included in the report’s appendix. The appendix includes the individual ratings for each bridge’s deck, superstructure , nd substructure.

 

The following structurally deficient bridges in each county (carrying a minimum of 500 vehicles per day) have the lowest individual score for either deck, substructure or superstructure.  Each major component of a bridge is rated on a scale of zero to nine, with a score of four or below indicating poor condition. If a bridge receives a rating of four or below for its deck, substructure or superstructure, it is rated as structurally deficient. A list of up to 20 bridges in each county with the lowest individual score for either deck, substructure or superstructure is included in the report’s appendix.

“Our outdated, outmoded and potentially dangerous bridges and other structures desperately need robust federal investment,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). “The time for talk is over. Action is needed now.”

“In our ongoing efforts to advocate for the safety of everyone who uses our roadways, AAA encourages lawmakers to act in the best interest of commuters across Connecticut by providing and protecting the funds necessary to repair, maintain or replace our bridges as needed,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “The idea of our bridges being structurally deficient is not intended to frighten people. It’s intended to underscore the importance of investing in our infrastructure before it’s too late.”

A significant number of Connecticut’s bridges were built from the 1950s through the 1970s and have surpassed or are approaching 50 years old, which is typically the intended design life for bridges built during this era. Fifty-nine percent of the state’s bridges are 50 years or older, the fourth highest share in the U.S. The average age of all of Connecticut’s bridges is 53 years, while the average age of the state’s more than 300 structurally deficient bridges is 69 years. The cost of repairing and preserving bridges increases as they age and as they reach the end of their intended design life. The actual prioritization for repair or replacement of deficient bridges is at the discretion of state or local transportation agencies.

“Connecticut’s bridges are a critical component of the state’s transportation system, providing crucial connections for personal mobility, economic growth and quality of life,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without increased and reliable transportation funding, numerous projects to improve and preserve Connecticut’s aging bridges will not move forward, hampering the state’s ability to efficiently and safety move people and goods.”

To view the full report: Click Here

 

Fraley AEC Solutions Tightens Market Focus, Rebrands as Fraley Construction Marketing

Fraley AEC Solutions, launched in June 2014 to provide marketing and communications services to the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry, has narrowed its market focus to the construction industry. The consultancy will rebrand and begin operating as Fraley Construction Marketing, effective January 1, 2017. The ownership, management, team, services, contact information, and remain unchanged.

“Fraley Construction Marketing is essentially doubling down on the construction market, which has been our core area of expertise,” said Owner Brian M. Fraley. “The truth is that most marketing agencies and consultants, even those that claim to occupy this niche, serve multiple market sectors. This will be a bona fide construction marketing pureplay.”

Fraley has not only provided marketing, communications, and editorial services to construction firms during his 20-plus career; he has

Brian M. Fraley, Owner of Fraley Construction Marketing.

also worked alongside of them in various capacities such issues as government agency and political liaison, construction safety, payment, design-build, transportation funding, specification changes, and more.

Streamlining the focus from three distinct market segments to one will allow Fraley Construction Marketing to better serve its clients. “The construction industry is very complex in its own right, from construction equipment dealers and manufacturers, to contractors, to material suppliers, technology firms, and more,” said Fraley. “Narrowing our focus to the construction industry that 86 percent of our clients occupy will allow us to more deeply understand the challenges they face.”

Click here to read the official announcement from Fraley Construction Marketing.

Fraley Construction Marketing is a niche consultancy with a unique 360-degree understanding of the construction industry. We start with strategy to create written and visual content that gets results for clients including construction equipment distributors, contractors, construction equipment manufacturers, construction material suppliers, trade associations, and trade magazines. Fraley specializes in marketing strategy, branding, digital marketing, public relations, writing and editing, content marketing, social media marketing, website design, photography and video, and advertising. Learn more at fraleyconstructionmarketing.com.

TRIP Reports: Extending the Mon-Fayette Expressway and Busway East (E/BEE): Reducing Traffic Congestion, Enhancing Economic Vitality, Improving Public Safety, and Accommodating Desirable Development in the Mon Valley in the Pittsburgh Area

TRIP Reports: Extending the Mon-Fayette Expressway and Busway East (E/BEE): Reducing Traffic Congestion, Enhancing Economic Vitality, Improving Public Safety, and Accommodating Desirable Development in the Mon Valley in the Pittsburgh Area

Executive Summary

Improving the efficiency of a region’s transportation system by expanding the capacity of highways, transit and intermodal facilities has been found to be an effective way to enhance economic development opportunities and improve quality of life.

  • This report looks at the impact of the proposed 13-mile extension of the Mon- Fayette Expressway from PA-Route 51 to I-376 in Monroeville as proposed by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.
  • This report also looks at the benefit of the extension of the Martin Luther King Jr. Busway East by 2.8 miles from its current terminus in Swissvale to the extended Expressway in East Pittsburgh as a separate project.
  • The proposed busway extension would include a park-and-ride lot at the Busway’s junction with the Expressway. The proposed busway extension would be a separate project of the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT). PAT is currently undertaking a feasibility study of the busway extension.

The key findings of the report include:

The proposed extension of the Mon-Fayette Expressway and the extension of Busway East (E/BEE) will play a critical role in enhancing economic development opportunities in the Mon Valley by improving transportation access in the region.

  • The E/BEE would extend the Mon-Fayette Expressway 13 miles from PA-Route 51 to I-376 in Monroeville and extend the Martin Luther King Jr., Busway East 2.8 miles from its current terminus in Swissvale to the extended Expressway in East Pittsburgh.
  • The Expressway proposal replaces an earlier proposal that included the Expressway expansion to Monroeville and a second additional Expressway spur heading west into central Pittsburgh.
  • The Federal Highway Administration is currently conducting a re-evaluation of the new Expressway proposal.
  • The expanded portion of the Expressway would be a tolled highway, administered by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, which also administers the existing portion of the Mon-Valley Expressway.
  • The estimated cost of the Expressway is approximately $1.7 billion.
  • The estimated cost of the Busway East is approximately $100 million.

The benefits of the Expressway completion include:

  • The improvement of access and mobility in the economically distressed Mon Valley area, including industrial brownfield sites in Duquesne, McKeesport and Keystone Commons in East Pittsburgh. This would result in increased economic development opportunities along the corridor.

The completion of the entire Mon Valley Expressway system from I-68 in West Virginia to I-376 in Monroeville

The benefits of the Busway East extension include:

  • The improvement of mobility between East Pittsburgh and Oakland
  • Improved transit access from the proposed Expressway project north of PA Route 51 as well as completed sections south of PA Route 51.
  • Significantly enhanced transit access for the Monroeville, East Pittsburgh and Duquesne areas and communities located along the Expressway and busway extension.
  • Some traffic congestion relief on the Parkway East.
  • Construction of the Mon-Fayette Expressway or construction of the combined Expressway and Busway (E/BEE) will significantly reduce travel time in key travel corridors in East Pittsburgh.
  • The following chart indicates one-way travel times between key destinations in East Pittsburgh using the current transportation system, estimated one-way travel times with completion of either the Expressway extension or the combined Expressway/Busway extension (E/BEE) and reductions of one-way travel times as a result of improved transportation in the region:
Travel time improvements with Mon-Fayette Expressway Extension (in minutes)
From/To Current With Extension Time Savings
Monroeville Convention Center / East Pittsburgh 20 7 13
East Pittsburgh / Duquesne 17 3 14
Duquesne / Monroeville Convention Center 30 10 20

 

Travel time improvements with E/BEE (in minutes)
From/To Current With Extension Time Savings
East Pittsburgh / Pittsburgh 30 20 10
Duquesne / Pittsburgh 30 20 10
  • The selection of travel destinations is based on access of major Mon Valley economic assets to Monroeville. The City of Duquesne is the location of City Center Industrial Park and Keystone Commons is located in East Pittsburgh. The travel distance from Duquesne to Monroeville on existing roads is nine miles; from East Pittsburgh to Monroeville is four miles; and from East Pittsburgh to Duquesne is six miles. Existing roads include multiple traffic lights and two lane roads over and around hilly terrain that can compromise travel safety, particularly in winter months.
  • Traffic congestion in the Pittsburgh urban area causes 45 million hours of delay annually — an average of 39 hours per commuter — at an annual cost of approximately $1 billion in the value of lost time and wasted fuel.

Completion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway and the extension of the Busway East (E/BEE) would stimulate the development of underutilized property in the Mon Valley region and significantly improve mobility and connectivity in the Mon Valley and surrounding areas, improving access to jobs for the area’s residents.

  • The Expressway would improve access for the 1,500 current manufacturing and related firms in the Mon Valley that employ approximately 22,000 people and help to retain and grow these companies.
  • The Expressway would provide direct access to 1,000 acres of brownfield redevelopment sites including Duquesne City Center and Keystone Commons.
  • The Expressway extension would serve as the crucial eastern leg of the Southern Beltway system.
  • The Expressway would promote just-in-time production and shipping. In a survey of Mon Valley firms, 71 percent of the respondents said they would use the Expressway.
  • The Expressway would increase employment by existing firms. Twenty-five percent of Mon Valley firms surveyed said they would hire additional employees if the Expressway was completed.
  • The Expressway would improve access for intermodal commerce at facilities such as the Norfolk Southern Pitcairn Intermodal Terminal.
  • The E/BEE would promote community redevelopment in Mon Valley communities including infill development and transit-oriented development.
  • Good highway access is critical for manufacturers or companies reliant on goods distribution. Of the $1.1 trillion of goods shipped annually from and to sites in Pennsylvania, 79 percent were transported by truck and 14 percent were shipped by multiple modes, including trucks.

The completion of the Mon-Fayette Expressway and the extension of the Busway East (E/BEE) would create numerous jobs during the estimated four-year construction phase as well as numerous long-term jobs created as a result of both projects.

  • Based on the most recent estimate of the employment impacts of highway and transit investment generated by the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) with the Executive Office of the President, TRIP estimates that the construction of the Expressway and Busway Extension (E/BEE) would support approximately 5,850 jobs annually in the construction and related sectors over a four-year period.
  • The following chart provides employment estimates during the four-year construction period anticipated for completing the Expressway and Busway extensions.
Annual Jobs Created
Total Construction Cost (Over 4-Year Period)
Construction of Mon-Fayette Expressway Extension $1.7 Billion 5,525
Construction of Busway East Extension $100 Million 325
Construction of E/BEE $1.8 Billion 5,850
  • Based on the Transportation Research Board’s extensive analysis of the impact of improved transportation access on employment, TRIP estimates that the completion of the E/BEE would result in the creation of approximately 20,880 long-term jobs: including 12,960 long-term jobs along the E/BEE corridor and approximately 7,920 jobs outside of the E/BEE corridor.
  • The following chart provides estimates of long-term jobs created by the completion of the E/BEE:

The need for the Mon-Fayette Expressway was born of the historic and unprecedented economic challenges encountered by the Mon River corridor.

  • Fifty years ago, the Mon Valley suffered the shutdown of the US Steel Donora Works, the first integrated steel mill in the United States to close. In the mid- 1980s, the entire corridor saw the near-collapse of basic manufacturing.
  • While there has been significant economic progress in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania, the ramifications of the economic losses in the 1960s and 1980s still reverberate in the Mon Valley.
  • The improved access provided by the E/BEE will be crucial to the redevelopment of Mon Valley communities and will attract and promote economic development in the region.

According to a 2012 national report, “Interactions Between Transportation Capacity, Economic Systems and Land Use,” prepared by the Strategic Highway Research Program for the Transportation Research Board, improved access as a result of highway and transit capacity expansions provides numerous regional economic benefits. Those benefits include higher employment rates, higher land value, additional tax revenue, increased intensity of economic activity, increased land prices, and additional construction as a result of the intensified use.

  • The report, reviewed 100 projects, costing a minimum of $10 million, which expanded transportation capacity either to relieve congestion or enhance access.
  • The projects analyzed in the report were completed no later than 2005 and included a wide variety of urban and rural projects, including the expansion or addition of major highways, beltways, connectors, bypasses, bridges, interchanges, industrial access roads, intermodal freight terminals and intermodal passenger terminals.
Long-Term Jobs Long-Term Jobs Total Long-Term
Construction of Mon-Fayette Expressway Extension Created in Corridor 12,240 Created Outside Corridor 7,480 Jobs Created 19,720
Construction of Busway East Extension 720 440 1,160
Construction of E/BEE 12,960 7,920 20,880
  • The expanded capacity provided by the projects resulted in improved access, which resulted in reduced travel-related costs, faster and more reliable travel, greater travel speeds, improved reliability, and increased travel volume.
  • The report found that improved transportation access benefits a region by: enhancing the desirability of an area for living, working or recreating, thus increasing its land value; increasing building construction in a region due to increased desirability for homes and businesses; increasing employment as a result of increased private and commercial land use; and, increasing tax revenue as a result of increased property taxes, increased employment and increased consumption, which increases sales tax collection.
  • The report found that benefits of a transportation capacity expansion unfolded over several years and that the extent of the benefits were impacted by other factors including: the presence of complementary infrastructure such as water, sewer and telecommunications; local land use policy; the local economic and business climate; and, whether the expanded capacity was integrated with other public investment and development efforts.
  • For every $1 million spent on urban highway or intermodal expansion, the report estimated that an average of 7.2 local, long-term jobs were created at nearby locations as a result of improved access. An additional 4.4 jobs were created outside the local area, including businesses that supplied local businesses or otherwise benefited from the increased regional economic activity.
  • The report found that highway and intermodal capacity projects in urban areas created a greater number of long-term jobs than in rural areas, largely due to the more robust economic environment and greater density in urban communities.

The efficiency of a region’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the state’s economy. Businesses are increasingly reliant on an efficient and reliable transportation system to move products and services. A key component in business efficiency and success is the level and ease of access to customers, markets, materials and workers.

  • Businesses have responded to improved communications and greater competition by moving from a push-style distribution system, which relies on low-cost movement of bulk commodities and large-scale warehousing, to a pull-style distribution system, which relies on smaller, more strategic and time-sensitive movement of goods.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2015 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

 

James Joseph Elliott passed away August 4, 2016 at the age of 94

James Joseph Elliott May 03, 1922 - August 04, 2016

James Joseph Elliott May 03, 1922 – August 04, 2016

James Joseph Elliott passed away August 4, 2016 at the age of 94. James was born in Hastings, Nebraska, the youngest of seven children born to Joe and Anna Elliott. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corp with the 7th Regiment 1st Division while attending Hastings College. James was in the landing invasion of Okinawa and active in combat with the Japanese for the 86 day fight to secure the island. He then served in China for 9 months and was honorably discharged in 1946. James married Leitha Seberg and they shared 27 years together. After the passing of Leitha, he later married Jeannie Markert and they resided in Visalia for 28 years. Jeannie passed away on January 10, 2007. He leaves behind his companion of ten years, Betty Peters of Visalia. James is also survived by his children, Anne Hickman and Gregory Elliott and wife Mary, all of Bonanza, Oregon. James leaves the Elliott grandchildren, Teri Torres and husband, George Torres and Daniel Hickman and wife, Pamela; three great grandchildren Austin Torres, Hunter and Bryce Hickman. James was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Jeffrey Hickman and granddaughter Leanna Torres. He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church of Visalia for 27 years where he served as an usher for many years. James’ greatest love was for the Lord. He was a very spiritual man. He was a member of Avenue of the Flag, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. James volunteered at Kaweah Delta District Hospital as a Blue Boy and was a member of Lifestyle Center for 18 years. James worked as an advertising/public relations executive for over 60 years. Baseball was his passion. Our Dad had a great sense of humor; loved his family and loved life. Memorial services will be held on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 1111 S. Conyer Street in Visalia. Remembrances may be made to Grace Lutheran Project “The Next 100 Years” or Avenue of the Flag, PO Box 1261, Visalia, CA. Tributes and condolences may be made at www.millerchapel.com. Arrangements entrusted to Miller Memorial Chapel, 1120 W. Goshen Ave., Visalia, CA (559) 732-8371.

Jim will be missed and remembered by his numerous friends in the construction industry where he plied his skills as an advertising and public relations executive for the Associated Construction Publications (ACP) from 1972 to 1990. Jim was ACP’s Western Regional representative responsible for all 14 ACP magazines (California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Bulletin [no loner with the ACP magazines],Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder) – a big territory, from Oregon to the Dakotas all the way to Texas. After leaving the ACPs Jim was an independent rep for several publications including the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) association magazine.

Jim really was an industry icon.

Greg Sitek