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TRIP Report: Nine Percent Of Southern Maine Bridges And 14 Percent Of Statewide Bridges Are Structurally Deficient.

                                                        

Nine Percent Of Southern Maine Bridges And 14 Percent Of Statewide Bridges Are Structurally Deficient. New Report Identifies Bridges In Southern Maine, Bangor And Central Maine That Are In Need Of Repair Or Replacement 

Fourteen percent of bridges statewide and nine percent of bridges in Southern Maine are structurally deficient according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is a significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components.

The TRIP report, Preserving Maine’s Bridges: The Condition and Funding Needs of Maine’s Aging Bridge System,” finds that Maine has the ninth highest rate of structurally deficient bridges in the nation. In Southern Maine, which includes Cumberland and York Counties, 53 of the 566 bridges (20 feet or longer) are structurally deficient. Bridges that are structurally deficient 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.

MaineDOT’s current funding for state bridge repairs is $105 annually, but a 2014 report found that the state should be spending $140 million annually to maintain bridges in their current condition and $217 million annually to make significant progress in improving the condition of the state’s bridges.  Early findings from an updated bridge analysis being conducted by MaineDOT indicate that the annual cost to maintain the state’s bridges in their current condition has increased significantly from the 2014 estimate.

A significant number of Maine’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. The average age of Maine’s bridges is 52 years. The cost of repairing and preserving bridges increases as they age and as they reach the end of their intended design life.

“Maine’s businesses and employers alike rely on transportation systems to connect them to their workforce and to connect that workforce with suppliers and customers around the state and around the globe,” said Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “Ensuring that our bridges continue to be safe, and addressing the backlog of needs in roads, bridges and all transportation infrastructure is critical to growing our economy.  We can and we must do better to make transportation funding a higher priority for our state.”

The TRIP report includes lists of the 25 most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges in Southern Maine, Bangor and Central Maine. It also includes lists of the 25 structurally deficient bridges in each region that have the lowest average rating for deck, substructure, and superstructure. The report’s appendix includes a list of all structurally deficient bridges in Maine that carry more than 500 vehicles per day.

The chart below details the 10 most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges in the Southern Maine region. A list of the 25 most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges in the region is available in the report.

The following 10 structurally deficient bridges in Southern Maine have the lowest average rating for deck, substructure, and superstructure (carrying a minimum of 500 vehicles per day). Each major component of a bridge is rated on a scale of zero to nine, with a score of four or below indicating the 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 the 25 bridges in Southern Maine with the lowest average sufficiency rating is included in the report.

“We must invest wisely in infrastructure improvements that not only account for today’s needs but also prioritize needs for the future,” said Pat Moody, manager of public affairs for AAA Northern New England. “With 2016 highway fatalities topping 37,000 last year and marking the highest total since 2008, we must invest in our highway system to promote efficiency, reduce congestion and reduce the deaths and injuries on our roadways.”

“Maine’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 Maine’s aging bridges will not move forward, hampering the state’s ability to efficiently and safely move people and goods.”

Executive Summary

Maine’s bridges are a critical element of the state’s transportation system which supports commerce, economic vitality, and personal mobility. The state’s transportation system is literally the backbone of Maine’s economy. Maine’s transportation system enables the state’s residents and visitors to travel to work and school, visit family and friends, and frequent tourist and recreation attractions, while providing its businesses with reliable access to customers, materials, suppliers, and employees.

As vehicle travel again begins to increase in Maine, maintaining Maine’s aging transportation network, including its bridges will become more difficult. A significant number of Maine’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. The average age of Maine’s bridges is 52 years. The cost of repairing and preserving bridges increases as they age and as they reach the end of their intended design life.

To retain businesses, accommodate population and economic growth, maintain economic competitiveness and achieve further economic growth, Maine will need to maintain and modernize its bridges by repairing or replacing deficient bridges and providing needed maintenance on other bridges to ensure that they remain in good condition as long as possible. Making needed improvements to Maine’s bridges will require increased and reliable funding from local, state and federal governments, which will 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 preserved and enhanced mobility and access.

Population and Vehicle Travel growth

Increased demands on Maine’s major roads, highways, and bridges, leads to additional wear and tear on its transportation system.

  • Maine’s population reached approximately 1.3 million residents in 2016, a four percent increase since 2000. Maine had 1 million licensed drivers in 2015.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Maine remain largely unchanged between 2000 and 2013, but has increased by six percent over the last three years, from 14.1 billion VMT in 2013 to 15 billion VMT in 2016. By 2030, vehicle travel in Maine is projected to increase by another ten percent.
  • From 2000 to 2015, Maine’s gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by nine percent, when adjusted for inflation. U.S. GDP increased by 27 percent from 2000 to 2015, when adjusted for inflation.

MAINE BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Fourteen percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in Maine are structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration to the major components of the bridge. This is the ninth highest rate in the nation.

  • There are a total of 2,450 bridges in Maine that are 20 feet or longer. These bridges are maintained by local and state agencies.
  • Fourteen percent of Maine’s state-and locally maintained bridges are structurally deficient, the ninth highest rate in the nation.
  • Bridges that are structurally deficient 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.
  • A significant number of Maine’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. The average age of Maine’s bridges is 52 years. The cost of repairing and preserving bridges increases as they age and as they reach the end of their intended design life.
  • The chart below details the number and share of structurally deficient bridges statewide and in each county in Maine.The report’s appendix includes a list of all structurally deficient bridges in Maine that carry more than 500 vehicles per day.
  • The chart below details the number and share of structurally deficient bridges in the Bangor area (which includes Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties), Central Maine (which includes Kennebec and Somerset Counties) and Southern Maine (which includes Cumberland and York Counties).

  • The list below details the 25 most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges in the Bangor area. ADT is average daily traffic.

  • The following 25 structurally deficient bridges in the Bangor area have the lowest average rating for deck, substructure, and superstructure (carrying a minimum of 500 vehicles per day). Each major component of a bridge is rated on a scale of zero to nine, with a score of four or below indicating the poor condition. If a bridge receives a rating of four or below for its deck, substructure or superstructure, it is rated as structurally deficient.

  • The list below details the 25 most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges in Central Maine

  • The following 25 structurally deficient bridges in Central Maine have the lowest average rating for deck, substructure, and superstructure (carrying a minimum of 500 vehicles per day). Each major component of a bridge is rated on a scale of zero to nine, with a score of four or below indicating the poor condition. If a bridge receives a rating of four or below for its deck, substructure or superstructure, it is rated as structurally deficient.

  • The list below details the 25 most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridges in Southern Maine.

  • The following 25 structurally deficient bridges in Southern Maine have the lowest average rating for deck, substructure, and superstructure (carrying a minimum of 500 vehicles per day). Each major component of a bridge is rated on a scale of zero to nine, with a score of four or below indicating the poor condition. If a bridge receives a rating of four or below for its deck, substructure or superstructure, it is rated as structurally deficient.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING AND PRESERVING MAINE’S AGING BRIDGES

Maintaining aging bridges becomes more costly as they reach the limits of their design life, challenging state and local transportation agencies to take an asset management approach to bridge preservation that emphasizes enhanced maintenance techniques that keep infrastructure in good condition as long as possible, delaying the need for costly reconstruction or replacement.

  • Repairing and replacing poor bridges and preserving bridges that are in fair and good condition requires adequate and consistent funding.   The current replacement cost of Maine’s state-maintained bridges is $8.2 billion.
  • MaineDOT’s current annual bridge funding is $105 million per year from 2016 to 2018. This level of annual investment is slightly lower than the $112 million per year from 2009 to 2013 that resulted from the authorization of $160 million in TransCap bonds.
  • The report, “Keeping our Bridges Safe 2014,” found that an annual bridge investment of $140 million was needed to maintain the state’s bridges in their current condition. An annual investment of $217 million in the state’s bridges would be needed to maintain the entire bridge system and substantially meet service, condition and safety goals.
  • Early findings from a new analysis by MaineDOT are showing that the annual investment needed to maintain bridges in their current condition has increased significantly, as may be expected due to the ongoing funding level gap.
  • Repairing and replacing bridges in poor condition and preserving bridges in fair and good condition will require increased and reliable funding from local, state and federal governments.
  • A recent survey of states by the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) found that more than half of states surveyed (14 out of 24) reported that inadequate funding was a challenge to their ability to maintain bridges in a state of good repair.
  • Under pressure from fiscal constraints, aging bridges, and increased wear due to growing travel volume, particularly by large trucks, transportation agencies are adopting cost-effective strategies focused on keeping bridges in good condition as long as possible. While this strategy requires increased initial investment, it saves money over the long run by extending the lifespan of bridges.
  • The GAO Report found that the increase in the number and size of bridges that are approaching the limits of their design life will likely place a greater demand on bridge owners in the near future, making it more difficult to mitigate issues in a cost-effective manner.
  • A survey included in the GAO report found that more than half of states surveyed (13 out of 24) indicated that the advanced age of many bridges posed a challenge to their ability to maintain their bridges in a state of good repair.
  • The average age of Maine’s bridges is 52 years. The design life of most bridges is 50 years, though bridges havelifespanss that are dependent on factors such as materials, environment, level of use, and level of maintenance. Current design guidelines and construction materials may raise the expected service life of new bridges to 75 years or longer.
  • Bridge preservation may include washing, sealing deck joints, facilitating drainage, sealing concrete, painting steel, removing channel debris, and protecting against stream erosion.
  • Rehabilitation involves major work required to restore the structural integrity of a bridge as well as work necessary to correct major safety defects.
  • Replacement projects include total replacements, superstructure replacements, and bridge widening.
  • The need to repair or replace high priority bridges may create a funding cycle that makes it difficult to keep pace with the needed preservation activities.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN MAINE

The efficiency of Maine’s transportation system, particularly its roads, highways and bridges, 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, $89 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Maine with 80 percent of the freight tonnage being shipped by trucks.
  • 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 relocate 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.

Sources of information for this report include the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Bridge Inventory (NBI), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), and the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

 

CASE Dealer Robert Childs Inc. Donates Equipment for Key Restoration Projects in Cape Cod

Donated equipment brings long-awaited grassland and wetland restorationCASE Dealer Robert Childs Inc. Donates Equipment for Key Restoration Projects in Cape Cod

 

CASE Construction Equipment dealer Robert Childs Inc. donated the use of five CASE machines to Team Rubicon to be used for land-clearing and grasslands restoration in the Coonamessett Reservation fields in Hatchville, Mass. The donated equipment—two excavators; a CX80C and CX130C, and three skid steers; an SV185, SR270 and SV300—were used to help clear the land of overgrown invasive brush that had overtaken the native sand-plain grassland.

Restoring the Native Habitat

Located within the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge, the land is managed as part of the refuge and in alignment with refuge goals by the nonprofit Falmouth Conservation Commission. The Coonamessett Inn operated on the land in the 1950s. Eventually, it was demolished, and the land has been managed for conservation. The native sandplain grasslands—home to a variety of birds, butterflies and other wildlife, as well as several endangered species—are critical to the Cape Cod ecosystem. But habitat has dwindled as the area has continued to develop.

The Falmouth Conservation Commission had been seeking restoration of the overgrown fields to native grassland for many years, but; lack of funding was one factor that had prevented any real progress. However, in January 2016, several local conservation groups banded together to share resources, and by the end of the year were able to recruit the help of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Team Rubicon.

CASE and Team Rubicon

Team Rubicon—a veteran-led disaster response organization—has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create opportunities to provide heavy equipment training to returning veterans. A key component is Team Rubicon’s partnership with CASE, which provides both training and heavy equipment through their dealer network. CASE dealer Robert Childs Inc. of South Dennis, Mass., donated all of the heavy equipment to be used in the Coonamessett Reservation land clearing project.

Tasked with clearing the land of brush, trees, invasive vegetation, overgrown foundations and even an old tennis court from the site’s former days as a resort property, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Team Rubicon accomplished the job at no cost to the local municipalities, saving tens of thousands of dollars in equipment rental fees and labor costs.

This project not only made huge strides in continuing to restore the natural landscape of the area, it provided Team Rubicon with an opportunity to train their heavy equipment operators for wildfire, hurricane, tornado and other land-clearing disaster response scenarios.

What’s Next? 

Now that the land has been cleared, local conservation groups plan to plant a variety of grasses and other native perennial species to restore the natural sandplain grassland. Plant species are also being selected to help boost the native butterfly species of the area. A mowing and prescribed burn plan will be scheduled to manage this rare habitat and control invasive plant species.

In addition, large stumps and other materials left over from this project will be used in a nearby Coonamessett River restoration project. The project will incorporate logs, root structures and slash materials along and within the reconfigured, more meandering waterway to change stream flow, which will improve breeding habitat for native fish species as well as enhance the surrounding wetlands for other local wildlife.

For more information on Team Rubicon, visit TeamRubiconUSA.org. For more information on the partnership between CASE and Team Rubicon, visit CaseCE.com/TeamRubicon. For more information on Robert Childs Inc., visit RobertChildsInc.com.

TRIP Reports:Deficient, Congested Roadways Cost Average Portland Area Driver More Than $1,000 Annually, A Total Of $1 Billion Statewide

Trip LogoCosts Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Increased Funding

 Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Maine motorists a total of $1 billion statewide annually – $1,035 per driver in the Portland urban area – 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 Maine, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Maine Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Maine, 26 percent of major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition. Thirty-four percent of Maine’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, more than 700 people were killed in crashes on Maine’s roads from 2010 to 2014.

Driving on deficient roads costs each Portland area driver $1,035 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. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in Portland and a statewide total is below.

maine-1The TRIP report finds that 56 percent of major roads in the Portland urban area are in poor or mediocre condition, costing the average motorist an additional $524 each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

“Maine’s transportation system is the cornerstone of the state’s economy,” said Paul Bradbury, P.E., Airport Director, Portland International Jetport.  “Every business in Maine depends on it, as do our citizens.  That’s why Question #6, the transportation bond on Maine’s statewide ballot, is so important.  It will make needed investments in our bridges and roads, as well as our airports, marine and rail facilities, and trails systems, while leveraging millions of dollars in federal funds.  This is critical for the safety of the traveling public, and for the many businesses across Maine that depend on our system to ship their products to market.”

Traffic congestion in the Portland area is worsening, causing 14 annual hours of delay for the average motorist and costing each driver $332 annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

A total of 34 percent of Maine’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Fifteen percent of Maine’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional 19 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. In the Portland urban area, 11 percent of bridges are structurally deficient and 25 percent are functionally obsolete.

Traffic crashes in Maine claimed the lives of 737 people between 2010 and 2014. Maine’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.92 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is lower than the national average of 1.08. But, the fatality rate on Maine’s rural non-Interstate roads was 1.32 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014, nearly three and a half times higher than the 0.39 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.

The efficiency and condition of Maine’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $89 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Maine, mostly by truck. Eighty percent of the goods shipped annually to and from Maine are carried by trucks and another 14 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.

“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the state and local levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate investment, Maine’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth and quality of life of the state’s residents.”

MAINE TRANSPORTATION BY THE NUMBERS:

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

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Maine

 

$1 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Maine motorists a total of $1 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
 

$1,035 – Portland

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the Portland urban area in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. Driving on deficient roads costs the average Portland driver $1,035 annually.
737

147

A total of 737 people were killed in Maine traffic crashes from 2010 to 2014, an average of 147 fatalities annually.
 

4 %

Vehicle miles of travel on Maine’s roads and highways increased by four percent from the first six months of 2016 compared to the first six months of 2015.
3.5X The fatality rate on Maine’s rural roads is nearly three and a half times higher than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state (1.32 fatalities per 100 million VMT vs. 0.39).
 

26%

Statewide, 26 percent of Maine’s major urban roads are in poor condition. Fifty-eight percent are in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 16 percent are in good condition.
$89 Billion Annually, $89 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Maine, mostly by truck.
 

34%

A total of 34 percent of Maine bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. Fifteen percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and 19 percent are functionally obsolete.
14 hours-Portland

$332-Portland

 

Congestion is robbing Maine drivers of time and money. The average driver in the Portland urban area loses 14 hours annually to congestion. Lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion costs each Portland driver $332 annually.
 

$1.00 = $5.20

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.

Executive Summaryme_trip_infographics_oct_2016

Eight years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Maine’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Maine, 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 Pine Tree 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. 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 an economy based largely on manufacturing, agriculture, tourism and fishing, the quality of Maine’s transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic growth and quality of life.

In this report, TRIP looks at the top transportation numbers in Maine as the state addresses its need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit.

In December 2015 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 needed to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs and fails to deliver a sustainable, long-term source of revenue for the federal Highway Trust Fund.

COST TO MAINE MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs Maine motorists a total of $1 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • Driving on rough roads costs Maine motorists a total of $494 million annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Traffic crashes in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor cost Maine motorists a total of $382 million each year in the form of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance and other financial costs.
  • Traffic congestion costs Maine motorists a total of $135 million each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.
  • The chart below details the average cost per driver in the Portland urban area and statewide.

maine-2POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN MAINE

The rate of population and economic growth in Maine have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system.

  • Maine’s population reached approximately 1.3 million residents in 2015.
  • Maine had 1 million licensed drivers in 2014.
  • Vehicle miles of travel on Maine’s roads and highways increased by four percent from the first six months of 2016 compared to the first six months of 2015.

MAINE ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in 26 percent of major urban roads and highways in Maine having pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorists in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • The pavement data in this report, which is for all arterial and collector roads and highways, is provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), based on data submitted annually by the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways.
  • Pavement data for Interstate highways and other principal arterials is collected for all system mileage, whereas pavement data for minor arterial and all collector roads and highways is based on sampling portions of roadways as prescribed by FHWA to insure that the data collected is adequate to provide an accurate assessment of pavement conditions on these roads and highways.
  • Twenty-six percent of Maine’s major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition, while 58 percent are in mediocre or fair condition. The remaining 16 percent are in good condition.
  • In the Portland urban area, 22 percent of major roads are in poor condition and 34 percent are in mediocre condition. Twenty percent of major roads are in fair condition and the remaining 25 percent are in good condition.
  • Roads rated in mediocre to poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, these roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • Driving on rough roads costs Maine motorists a total of $494 million annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

MAINE BRIDGE CONDITIONS

More than one-third of locally and state-maintained bridges in Maine 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.

  • Fifteen percent of Maine’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.
  • Nineteen percent of Maine’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.
  • In the Portland urban area, 11 percent of bridges are structurally deficient and 25 percent are functionally obsolete.

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN MAINE

Improving safety features on Maine’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.

  • A total of 737 people were killed in Maine traffic crashes from 2010 to 2014, an average of 147 fatalities per year.
  • Maine’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.92 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014 was lower than the national average of 1.08.
  • The fatality rate on Maine’s non-interstate rural roads in 2014 was nearly three and a half times higher than on all other roads in the state (1.32 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.39).
  • In the Portland area, 14 people were killed on average annually in traffic crashes over the last three years.
  • Traffic crashes in Maine imposed a total of $1.1 billion in economic costs in 2014. TRIP estimates that traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $382 million in economic costs in 2014.
  • According to a 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, the economic costs of traffic crashes includes work and household productivity losses, property damage, medical costs, rehabilitation costs, legal and court costs, congestion costs and emergency services.
  • 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 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 20 years.

MAINE TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Maine, 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 Maine is approximately $135 million per year.
  • In the Portland urban area, the average driver loses $332 annually as a result of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion. The average Portland driver loses 14 hours annually stuck in traffic.
  • 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 MAINE

Investment in Maine’s roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments. The 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.

  • According to the 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report, a significant boost in investment in the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs.
  • AASHTO’s report found that based on an annual one percent increase in VMT 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 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.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN MAINE

The efficiency of Maine’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, $89 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Maine, mostly by truck.
  • Eighty percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Maine are carried by trucks and another 14 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 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.

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

 

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

CASE Construction Equipment Announces 2016 “Diamond Dealer” and “Gold Dealer” Award Winners

Diamond Dealer Logo copyNorth American dealers recognized for excellence in five categories related to sales and support of CASE construction equipment.            

CASE Construction Equipment has released its list of 2016 “Diamond Dealer” and “Gold Dealer” award recipients as a part of its North American Construction Equipment Partnership Program. The awards recognize dealerships across the US and Canada for leadership in growing the CASE dealer network, as well as excellence in five categories: sales performance, marketing and communications, product support, parts support and training.

The 2016 Diamond Dealer award winners are: ASCO (Texas), Birkey’s Construction Equipment (Ill.), J.R. Brisson Equipment (Ontario), Burris Equipment Company (Ill.), Groff Tractor (Pa., Md. and N.J.), Hills Machinery (N.C., S.C.), HiTrac (Manitoba), Kucera Farm Supply (Ontario), McKeel Equipment (Ky.), Miller Bradford & Risberg (Wis., Mi. and Ill.), Nueces Power Equipment (Texas), Redhead Equipment (Saskatchewan) and State Equipment (Ky., W.Va.).

The 2016 Gold Dealer award winners are: Crawler Supply Company (La.), Diamond Equipment (Ill., Ind., Ky. and Tenn.), Eagle Power & Equipment (Pa., Del.), Hopf Equipment (Ind.), Longus Equipment (Quebec), McCann Industries (Ill., Ind.), Medico Industries (Pa.), Monroe Tractor (N.Y.), OCT Equipment (Okla.), Potter Equipment (Ark., Mo.), RPM Machinery (Mich., Ind.), Scott Equipment (La., Ark.), Sequoia Equipment (Calif.), Townline Equipment (N.H.), Triebold Implement (Wis.) and Yukon Equipment (Alaska).

“I would like to congratulate these exemplary dealers who have displayed true leadership and dedication in growing the CASE brand,” says Scott Harris, vice president for CASE Construction Equipment in North America. “These high-performing dealerships live up to the CASE brand promise throughout every aspect of their business; hiring the right people, delivering a differentiated level of service in market, and building enduring relationships with customers.”

CASE’s Partnership Program is designed to increase dealer performance per the results of a dealer assessment while encouraging them to excel in their role as a “Professional Partner” to customers.