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TRIP Report: New York’s Top Transportation Issues

TRIPDeficient, Congested Roadways Cost New York State Drivers $24.9 Billion Annually, As Much As $2,798 Per Driver. Costs Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Increased Funding

Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost New York State motorists a total of $24.9 billion statewide annually – as much as $2,798 per driver in some areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in New York, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, New York’s Top Transportation Issues: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout New York, 38 percent of major locally and state-maintained urban roads are in poor condition. Nearly two-fifths of New York’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year. And, nearly 5,800 people were killed in crashes on New York’s roads from 2010 to 2014.

Driving on deficient roads costs some urban area drivers as much as $2,798 per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculated the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, New York City, Poughkeepsie-Newburgh, NY_Albany_TRIP_Infographic_Jan_2016Rochester, Syracuse and Utica urban areas. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.

NY 1The TRIP report finds that 38 percent of major urban roads in the state are in poor, while 42 percent are in mediocre or fair condition, and the remaining 21 percent are in good condition. Driving on deteriorated roads costs New York State motorists a total of $6.3 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Traffic congestion in the state is worsening, costing the state’s driver a total of $12.4 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

A total of 39 percent of New York’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Twelve percent of New York’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional 27 percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete, which means they no longer meet modern design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

“Today’s TRIP report highlights the poor conditions that New Yorkers across the state face on our roads and bridges every day,” said John Corlett, Legislative Committee chairman at AAA New York State.  “In 2015 alone, AAA serviced more than 200,000 flat tire calls throughout New York – many of which were due to potholes and other hazardous road conditions.  This is a symptom of the lack of adequate investment in roads. I look forward to working with the Governor and State Legislature to fully fund the needs of our road and bridge system, which will enhance safety and help improve the quality of life for the millions of drivers who travel on our roads and bridges every day.”

Traffic crashes in New York claimed the lives of 5,775 people between 2010 and 2014. New York’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.92 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is lower than the national average of 1.09.

The efficiency and condition of New York’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $550 billion in goods are shipped from sites in New York and another $597 billion in goods are shipped to sites in New York, mostly by truck.

“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the local, state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive NY_Binghamton_TRIP_Infographic_Jan_2016director. “Without additional transportation funding New York’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, the state will miss out on opportunities for economic growth and quality of life will suffer.”

NEW YORK’S TOP TRANSPORTATION ISSUES 

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility

JANUARY 2016

Executive Summary

Eight years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, New York’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in New York, which will be greatly impacted by the reliability and condition of the state’s transportation system, continues to have a significant impact on quality of life in the Empire State.

An efficient, safe and well-maintained transportation system provides economic and social benefits by affording individuals access to employment, housing, healthcare, education, goods and services, recreation, entertainment, family, and social activities. It also provides businesses with access to suppliers, markets and employees, all critical to a business’ level of productivity and ability to expand. Conversely, reduced accessibility and mobility – as a result of traffic congestion, a lack of adequate capacity, or deteriorated roads, highways, bridges and transit facilities – diminishes a region’s quality of life by reducing economic productivity and limiting opportunities for economic, health or social transactions and activities.

With a wide based economy including finance, manufacturing, technology, communications, printing, entertainment, shipping, publishing, agriculture and tourism, the quality of New York’s transportation system will play a vital role in the state’s level of economic growth and quality of life.

In this report, TRIP looks at the top transportation issues faced in New York as the state addresses its need to modernize and maintain its roads, highways, bridges and transit systems.

In December 2015, Congress passed and the president signed into law a long-term federal surface transportation program that includes modest funding increases and allows state and local governments to plan and finance projects with greater certainty through 2020. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) provides approximately $305 billion for surface transportation with highway and transit funding slated to increase by approximately 15 and 18 percent, respectively, over the five-year duration of the program. While the modest funding increase and certainty provided by the FAST Act are a step in the right direction, , the funding falls far short of the level of needed to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs and fails to deliver a sustainable, long-NY_Buffalo_TRIP_Infographic_Jan_2016term source of revenue for the federal Highway Trust Fund.

COST TO NEW YORK MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs New York motorists a total of $24.9 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • TRIP estimates that New York roadways that lack some desirable safety features, have inadequate capacity to meet travel demands or have poor pavement conditions cost the state’s residents approximately $24.9 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear), the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.
  • TRIP has calculated the average cost to drivers in the state’s largest urban areas as a result of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features. The chart below details the costs to drivers in the state’s largest urban areas.

NY2 POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN NEW YORK

Population and economic growth in New York have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system.

  • New York’s population reached approximately 19.7 million residents in 2014, an 18 percent increase since 1990.
  • New York had 11.2 million licensed drivers in 2013.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in New York increased by 21 percent from 1990 to 2013 –from 106.9 billion VMT in 1990 to 129.7 billion VMT in 2013.
  • Vehicle miles of travel in New York for the first ten months of 2015 were 3.3 percent higher than the first ten months of 2014. During the first ten months of 2015, U.S. vehicle miles of travel were 3.4 percent higher than the first ten months of 2014.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in New York is projected to increase by another 15 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2013, New York’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 46 percent, when adjusted for inflation. U.S. GDP increased 65 percent during this time.

NEW YORK ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in more than one third of major urban roads and highways in New York having NY_Poughkeepsie-Newburgh_TRIP_Infographic_Jan_2016pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • Thirty-eight percent of New York’s major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 42 percent of the state’s major state and locally maintained urban roads are rated in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 21 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Roads rated in poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, poor roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • Driving on rough roads costs New York motorists a total of $6.3 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • The chart below details pavement conditions on major urban roads in the state’s largest urban areas:

 NY3NEW YORK BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Nearly two-fifths of locally and state-maintained bridges in New York show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

  • Twelve percent of New York’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles.
  • Twenty-seven percent of New York’s bridges are functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
  • The chart below details bridge conditions in the state’s largest urban areas as well as statewide:

NY4HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN NEW YORK

New York’s rural traffic fatality rate is approximately three-and-a-half times the fatality rate on all other roads in the state. Improving safety features on New York’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. It is estimated that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • Between 2010 and 2014 a total of 5,775 people were killed in traffic crashes in New York, an average of 1,155 fatalities per year.
  • New York’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.92 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2013 is lower than the national average of 1.09.
  • The chart below details the average number of fatalities in each of the state’s largest urban areas from 2011-2013 as well as the annual cost of traffic crashes for the average driver in each area.
  • NY5The fatality rate on New York’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.15 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2013, approximately three-and-a-half times the 0.61 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.

 

  • Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP NY_Rochester_TRIP_Infographic_Jan_2016estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over the next 20 years.

NEW YORK TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in New York, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer.

  • Based on Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) estimates, the value of lost time and wasted fuel in New York is approximately $12.4 billion per year.
  • The chart below details the annual cost to the average motorist of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of congestion, as well as the number of hours lost annually to congestion by the average driver in the state’s largest urban areas.
  • NY6
  • Increasing levels of congestion add significant costs to consumers, transportation companies, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers and can reduce the attractiveness of a location to a company when considering expansion or where to locate a new facility. Congestion costs can also increase overall operating costs for trucking and shipping companies, leading to revenue losses, lower pay for drivers and employees, and higher consumer costs.

 

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN NEW YORK

Investment in New York’s roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments.  The recently approved 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.

  • From 2009 to 2013, the federal government provided $1.45 for road improvements in New York for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fuel fees.
  • According to the 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report, a significant boost in investment in the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public NY_Syracuse_TRIP_Infographic_Jan_2016transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs.
  • AASHTO’s report found that annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase 36 percent, from $88 billion to $120 billion, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs, based on an annual one percent rate of vehicle travel growth. Investment in the nation’s public transit system needs to increase from $17 billion to $43 billion.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that if the national rate of vehicle travel increased by 1.4 percent per year, the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent to $144 billion. If vehicle travel grows by 1.6 percent annually the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 77 percent to $156 billion.
  • Vehicle miles of travel in New York were 3.6 percent higher during the first nine months of 2015, compared to the first nine months of 2014. U.S. vehicle miles of travel were 3.5 percent higher during the first nine months of 2015, compared to the first nine months of 2014.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN NEW YORK

The efficiency of New York’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses rely on an efficient and dependable 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.

  • Annually, $550 billion in goods are shipped from sites in New York and another $597 billion in goods are shipped to sites in New York, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-two percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in New York are carried by trucks and another 23 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • Businesses have responded to improved communications and greater competition by moving from a push-style distribution system, which relies on low-NY_Utica_TRIP_Infographic_Jan_2016cost 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 2013 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.

Sources of information for this report include the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U.S. Census Bureau, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

ECA Strengthens New England Presence

Equipment Corporation of America (ECA), a leading distributor of foundation construction equipment, acquired the assets and merged with sister company New England Construction Products, LLC (NECP) on March 1, 2015. The company, located in Taunton, Mass., will continue serving Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, and Rhode Island as ECA Boston.

ECA is retaining the core team from NECP. David Sciortino will continue his service as vice president and Boston branch manager. Anthony Sciortino will assume the position of sales engineer, and Bob Martinelli will remain service manager.

“We have been serving the New England region since 1997 through our partnership with NECP, but this move allows us to give the team that was in place the tools to expand their both the level of service and the availability of equipment and parts inventory,” said Executive Vice President Ben Dutton. “This is an important territory and we want to make sure construction firms in New England have access to the full ECA experience as it relates to their foundation construction equipment needs.”

About Equipment Corporation of America: ECA has been a supplier of foundation construction equipment in the Eastern United States and Eastern Canada for nearly a century. We are exclusive distributors for BAUER Drills, Klemm Anchor and Micropile Drills, RTG Piling Rigs, Pileco Diesel Pile Hammers, HPSI Vibratory Pile Hammers, Word International Drill Attachments, Dawson Construction Products, and Grizzly Side Grip Vibros. ECA offers sales, rentals, service, and parts from six facilities throughout the Eastern U.S. and Eastern Canadian Provinces.

TRIP Reports: More Than One-Third Of New York Roads Are In Poor Condition, More Than A Third Of The State’s Bridges Are Deficient Or Do Not Meet Modern Design Standards. Conditions And Safety Will Worsen Without Increased Funding

TRIPMore than one-third of New York’s major roads are in poor condition, while more than one-third of the state’s bridges are deficient or do not meet modern design standards, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could improve road and bridge conditions, enhance safety, relieve traffic congestion and support long-term economic growth in New York.

The TRIP report, Conditions and Safety of New York’s Roads and Bridges,” examines road and bridge conditions, traffic safety, economic development and transportation funding in New York State. In addition to statewide information, the report also provides regional pavement and bridge condition and highway safety data for Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester and Syracuse.

NY_VOC_TRIP_Infographic_March_2015According to the TRIP report, throughout the state 37 percent of major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways are in poor condition. An additional 43 percent of the state’s major urban roads have pavements in mediocre or fair condition, and the remaining 20 percent are in good condition. Driving on rough roads costs all New York State motorists a total of $6.3 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs (VOC). Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

More than one-third – 39 percent — of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or longer) in New York show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment. Twelve percent of New York’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles. Twenty-seven percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

New York State’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.92 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is lower than the national average of 1.09. Traffic crashes in New York claimed the lives of 5,892 people between 2009 and 2013, an average of 1,178 fatalities each year. Where appropriate, roadway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.

The efficiency and condition of New York’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $550 billion in goods are shipped from sites in New York and another $597 billion in goods are shipped to sites in the state, mostly by truck.

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.

“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the local, state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without additional transportation funds, the state’s pavement and bridge conditions will continue to decline, needed safety improvements will not be made, congestion will worsen and the state will lose out on opportunities for economic growth.”

CONDITIONS AND SAFETY OF NEW YORK’S ROADS AND BRIDGES

Executive Summary

New York’s extensive system of roads, bridges and highways provides the state’s residents, visitors and businesses with a high level of mobility, while acting as the backbone that supports the state’s economy. New York’s transportation system enables the state’s residents and visitors to travel safely to work and school, visit family and friends, and frequent tourist and recreation attractions while providing businesses with reliable access to customers, materials, suppliers and employees.

However, the state’s locally and state-maintained roads, highways and bridges face a significant challenge in the need to improve conditions and traffic safety. As New York works to retain its quality of life, maintain its level of economic competitiveness and achieve further economic growth, the state will need to preserve, maintain and modernize its roads, highways and bridges by improving the physical condition and safety of its transportation network, thus enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient and reliable mobility for motorists and businesses. Making needed improvements to New York’s roads, highways and bridges could also provide a significant boost to the state’s economy by creating jobs in the short term and stimulating long term economic growth as a result of reduced vehicle operating costs, improved safety and enhanced mobility.

Meeting New York’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require significant local, state and federal funding.

New York’s major roads have significant deterioration which provides motorists a rough ride and increases the cost of operating a vehicle. Repairing roads and highways while they are in good or fair condition greatly reduces long-term preservation costs because of the high cost of repairing roads in poor condition.

  • More than a third – 37 percent – of New York’s major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition. An additional 43 percent of the state’s major urban roads have pavements in mediocre or fair condition, and the remaining 20 percent are in good condition.
  • The following chart details the percentage of major locally-and state-maintained roads and highways in poor, mediocre, fair and good condition in each of the state’s largest urban areas.

NY 1

  • Roads in good condition can be maintained by preventive maintenance, which costs approximately $85,000 per lane mile; roads in mediocre or fair condition require resurfacing, which costs approximately $575,000 per lane mile; and roads in poor condition require reconstruction to repair the surface and the base under the road, which costs approximately $1,625,000 per mile – 19 times greater than the cost of preventive maintenance.
  • Roads rated in poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, poor roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • Driving on rough roads costs all New York motorists a total of $6.3 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs (VOC). Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • The following chart details the annual extra vehicle operating costs per motorists as a result of driving on rough roads in each of the following urban areas.

NY 2

More than one-third – 39 percent — of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or longer) in New York show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

  • Twelve percent of New York’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles.
  • Twenty-seven percent of New York’s bridges are functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
  • The following chart details the percentage of bridges in each of the following urban areas that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

NY 3

Improving safety features on New York’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in traffic fatalities and serious crashes. It is estimated that roadway features are a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • Between 2009 and 2013 a total of 5,892 people were killed in traffic crashes in New York, an average of 1,178 fatalities per year.
  • New York’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.92 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2013 is lower than the national traffic fatality rate of 1.09.
  • The fatality rate on New York’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.15 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2013, more than three-and-a-half times higher than the 0.61 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • The following chart indicates the average number of people killed annually from 2011 to 2013 in the following urban areas.

NY 4Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.

  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over the next 20 years.

The efficiency of New York’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Increased deterioration of New York’s roads and bridges and the lack of needed transportation improvements to serve economic development threaten the state’s economic vitality.

  • New York’s population reached approximately 19.6 million in 2013, a nine percent increase since 1990. New York had 11,248,617 licensed drivers in 2012.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in New York increased by 21 percent from 1990 to 2013 – from 107 billion VMT in 1990 to 130 billion VMT in 2013. By 2030, vehicle travel in New York is projected to increase by another 10 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2013, New York’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 46 percent, when adjusted for inflation.
  • Annually, $550 billion in goods are shipped from sites in New York and another $597 billion in goods are shipped to sites in New York, mostly by truck. Seventy-two percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in New York are carried by trucks and another 22 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • 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 2013 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.

A 2014 report by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) concluded that allowing its state’s major roads, highways and bridges to deteriorate would result in significant reduction in job growth and reduced state gross domestic product (GDP) as a result of reduced economic efficiency. The report found that the cost of making needed road, highway, and bridge improvements is far less than the potential loss in state economic activity caused by a lack of adequate road, highway and bridge preservation.

  • The ODOT report used a sophisticated model that integrates transportation, land use and economic activity to compare how an economy operates when a transportation system is well-maintained versus when it is allowed to deteriorate. The report found that deteriorated pavements, which result in a rougher and slower ride for vehicles, and deteriorated bridges, which need to be closed to heavy trucks, reduce economic productivity by increasing transportation costs.
  • The report found that allowing roads and bridges to deteriorate reduces business productivity by increasing vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on rough roads, reducing travel speeds and increasing travel times because of route detours necessitated by weight-restricted bridges.
  • As road and bridge conditions deteriorate, transportation agencies are likely to shift resources from preservation projects, which extend the service life of roads and bridges, to more reactive maintenance projects, which results in higher lifecycle costs, the report found. Transportation agencies are also likely to respond to increased road and bridge deterioration by shifting funds from modernization projects, which relieve congestion and increase business productivity, to maintenance projects.
  • The ODOT report estimated that the road, highway and bridge deterioration anticipated over the next 20 years will result in Oregon creating 100,000 fewer jobs and generating $9.4 billion less in state GDP.
  • Oregon could avoid losing 100,000 jobs and $9.4 billion in GDP through 2035 by spending an additional $810 million more on road, highway and bridge repairs – nearly a 12-to-1 return on investment, according to the ODOT report.

Without additional transportation funding at the local, state and federal level, the condition and safety of New York’s roads, highways and bridges will deteriorate.

  • 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.
  • Signed into law in July 2012, MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), has improved several procedures that in the past had delayed projects, MAP-21 does not address long-term funding challenges facing the federal surface transportation program.
  • A significant boost in investment on the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs, concluded a new report from AASHTO. The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase from $88 billion to $120 billion and from $17 billion to $43 billion in the nation’s public transit systems, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs.

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). All data used in the report is the latest available.

 Fraley AEC Solutions now offers full-service professional video

Fraley AEC_SiteK Ad Fraley AEC Solutions LLC, a growing marketing communications firm serving the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) marketplace, now offers full-service professional video custom-tailored to firms working within the built environment. The firm’s offerings include concept development, script writing, on-site video recording, production, and editing.

“We’re taking things to the next level by merging a deep knowledge of the construction and design industry with professional video,” says Founder and Manager Brian M. Fraley. “This is the very foundation upon which Fraley AEC Solutions was founded. Our understanding of this complex marketplace is reflected in every project we complete.”

Fraley AEC Solutions, LLC, headquartered in Morgantown, Pa., is a niche marketing communications agency providing solutions to the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industry. The firm provides marketing strategy, branding, public relations, video marketing, advertising, digital marketing, website services, graphic design, and photography.

Watters Campaigns for Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act

Tim Watters, 2014 Chairman of the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) and President of Hoffman Equipment, is working hard to educate people about the importance of infrastructure investment. Watters is doing everything he can to encourage elected officials to take action and address long term needs for infrastructure funding across the country.
One of these measures is the proposed Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act.

The act would eliminate the volume cap on private activity bonds for water and sewage projects, which would be expected to increase private investments in the construction segment. It is anticipated that the passage of this act could generate as much as $6 billion in demand and could produce up to 1,000 jobs over the next 10 years.

“We are excited about this bi-partisan effort to address aging water infrastructure,” says Watters. “This bill will bring economic growth to the nation, create jobs in the construction industry and improve services around the country.”
The Sustainable Water Infrastructure Investment Act would bring small changes to the tax code in order to bring water infrastructure regulations in line with other infrastructure spending. An AED commissioned study shows that every dollar invested in water infrastructure generates $2.03 in tax savings over 20 years.

Another infrastructure crisis facing the country is the projected budget shortage of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). The Congressional Budget Office originally projected the HTF would have ran out of money this summer, causing significant delays and work stoppages during the busy construction season. Congress recently passed a short-term package that would fund the HTF through next May, but a long-term solution is still needed.

At a recent press conference, organized by Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-California), Watters said the looming crisis threatens 4,000 jobs at construction equipment dealerships across the country and 700,000 jobs in the broader construction industry.

“Every morning hundreds of thousands of hard-working men and women in the construction industry get up, go to work and build America’s transportation infrastructure. If they didn’t do their jobs, this country would come to a grinding halt,” Watters said.

Watters says that Boxer is someone who is working to address the problem, but he encourages people across the country to get in touch with their representatives to demand action. Watters demanded of legislators, “Do what we sent you here to do. Legislate. Govern. Give us a highway bill. And give us the infrastructure the U.S. economy needs to function.”

Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Tim Watters (to the right of Boxer) at a recent conference in Washington D.C.

Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Tim Watters (to the right of Boxer) at a recent conference in Washington D.C.

Tim Watters, 2014 Chairman of AED and President of Hoffman Equipment, speaking at a press conference in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.

Tim Watters, 2014 Chairman of AED and
President of Hoffman Equipment, speaking at a press conference in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.