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TRIP Report: South Dakota Faces Deteriorated Roads And Bridges, High Traffic Fatality Rate And Potentially Stifled Economic Growth Without Increased Transportation Investment. Travel On State’s Roads And Bridges Projected To Increase Further In Coming Years

TRIPSouth Dakota’s system of roads and bridges is increasingly deteriorated and crowded, with a traffic fatality rate that is higher than the national average. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could improve road and bridge conditions, boost safety, improve efficiency and support long-term economic growth in South Dakota, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, South Dakota Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout the state, nearly a quarter of locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition. And, one in four South Dakota bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. Vehicle miles of travel (VMT) on South Dakota’s roads increased 29 percent from 1990 to 2011. VMT in South Dakota is expected to increase another 25 percent by 2030.

According to the TRIP report, seven percent of South Dakota’s major locally and state-maintained roads have pavements in poor condition, and an addition 16 percent are in mediocre condition. Driving on rough roads costs the average South Dakota motorist $301 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – a total of $181 million statewide. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

The TRIP report finds that 21 percent of South Dakota’s bridges are structurally deficient, the fifth highest share in the nation. Bridges that are structurally deficient have significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports, or other major components. These bridges are often posted for lower weight or are closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks, school buses and emergency service vehicles. An additional four percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete. These bridges no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment with the approaching road. Bridges that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete are safe for travel and are monitored regularly by the organizations responsible for maintaining them.

“Roads, bridges and highways are essential for business to operate and are a basic function of government,” said David Owen, president of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “This report brings a sharp focus on the needs and will be invaluable in helping seek policies that will keep South Dakota’s infrastructure strong.”

Traffic crashes in South Dakota claimed the lives of 647 people between 2007 and 2011, an average of 129 fatalities per year. South Dakota’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.23 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 is higher than the national average of 1.10. The 2011 traffic fatality rate in on South Dakota’s non-Interstate rural roads was 1.71 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, more than double the 0.77 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel on all other roads and highways in the state.

Signed into law in July 2012, MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), will fund surface transportation programs in South Dakota at approximately $274 million annually for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. From 2007 to 2011, the federal government provided $2.52 for road improvements in South Dakota for every one dollar paid in federal motor fuel fees. Yet, if a lack of adequate revenue into the Federal Highway Trust Fund is not addressed by Congress, funding for highway and transit improvements in South Dakota could be cut by $267 million for the federal fiscal year beginning October 1, 2014.

“Addressing South Dakota’s need for a safe, efficient and well-maintained transportation system will require a significant investment boost at the federal and state levels.  But not addressing the state’s need for an improved transportation system will result in even greater costs to the public,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP.

South Dakota Transportation By The Numbers:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility

Executive Summary

South Dakota’s extensive system of roads, highways and bridges provides the state’s residents, visitors and businesses with a high level of mobility. This transportation system forms the backbone that supports the state’s economy. South Dakota’s surface 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 South Dakota looks to achieve further economic growth the state will need to maintain and modernize its roads, highways and bridges by improving the physical condition of its transportation network and enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient and reliable mobility for motorists and businesses. Making needed improvements to South Dakota’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 enhanced mobility and access.

Meeting South Dakota’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require a significant boost in local, state and federal funding.

Signed into law in July 2012, MAP-21(Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), will fund surface transportation programs in South Dakota at approximately $274 million annually for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

While the new federal surface transportation program 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. As a result, nationwide federal funding for highways will be cut by almost 100 percent from the current investment level for the fiscal year starting on October 1, 2014 (FY 2015) unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues.  This is due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

The level of funding and the provisions of the federal surface transportation program have a significant impact on highway and bridge conditions, roadway safety, transit service, quality of life and economic development opportunities in South Dakota.

Population and economic growth place increased demands on South Dakota’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system.

  • South Dakota’s population reached 833,354 in 2012, a 20 percent increase since 1990, when the state’s population was 696,004. South Dakota has 603,258 licensed drivers.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in South Dakota increased by 29 percent from 1990 to 2011 – from 6.9 billion VMT in 1990 to 9.0 billion VMT in 2011.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in South Dakota is projected to increase by another 25 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2011, South Dakota’s gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 82 percent, when adjusted for inflation. America’s GDP for the same time period increased by 53%.

Twenty-three percent of major locally and state maintained roads and highways in South Dakota have pavement surfaces in poor or mediocre condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • Seven percent of South Dakota’s major roads and highways have pavement in poor condition and an additional 16 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Fourteen percent of South Dakota’s major roadways are rated in fair condition and the remaining 63 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.
  • The 2011 pavement data in this report for arterial roads and highways is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, based on data submitted annually by the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • Driving on rough roads costs the typical South Dakota motorist an average of $301 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – a total of $181 million statewide. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Twenty-five percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in South Dakota show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length. South Dakota has the fifth highest share of structurally deficient bridges in the nation.

  • Twenty-one percent of South Dakota’s bridges are structurally deficient – the fifth highest share in the nation. 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.
  • Four percent of South Dakota’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.

South Dakota’s traffic fatality rate on rural, non-Interstate routes is more than double that on all other roads and highways in the state. Improving safety features on South Dakota’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in traffic fatalities and serious crashes in the state. Roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • Between 2007 and 2011, 647 people were killed in traffic crashes in South Dakota, an average of 129 fatalities per year.
  • South Dakota’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.23 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 is higher than the national average of 1.10 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel.
  • The fatality rate on South Dakota’s rural non-Interstate roads was 1.71 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011, more than double the .77 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • The number of fatalities occurring on the state’s non-Interstate rural roads is disproportionately higher than the amount of vehicle travel on these roads. While 49 percent of all vehicle travel in the state takes place on South Dakota’s non-Interstate rural roads, 68 percent of the state’s fatalities occurred on non-Interstate rural roads.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. It is estimated that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • 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.
  • 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 South Dakota’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.

  • Annually, $27 billion in goods are shipped from sites in South Dakota and another $28 billion in goods are shipped to sites in South Dakota, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-seven percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in South Dakota are carried by trucks and another 13 percent are carried by multiple mode deliveries, including trucks.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number one site selection factor in a 2011 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.

The federal government remains a critical source of funding for South Dakota’s roads, highways and bridges and provides a significant return to South Dakota in road and bridge funding based on the revenue generated in the state by the federal motor fuel tax.

  • The MAP-21 program, approved by Congress in 2012, increased funding flexibility for states and improved project approval processes to increase the efficiency of state and local transportation agencies in providing needed transportation improvements.
  • MAP-21 does not provide sufficient long-term revenues to support the current level of federal surface transportation investment.  Nationwide federal funding for highways is expected to be cut by almost 100 percent from the current investment level for the fiscal year starting October 1, 2014 (FY 2015) unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues. This is due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.
  • If the funding shortfalls into the federal Highway Trust Fund are addressed solely by cutting spending it is estimated that federal funding for highway and transit improvements in South Dakota will be cut by $267 million for the federal fiscal year starting October 1, 2014, unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues.
  • From 2007 to 2011, the federal government provided $2.52 for road improvements in South Dakota for every one dollar paid in the state in federal motor fuel fees.
  • From 2007 to 2011, federal revenues accounted for 54 percent of state revenues used for South Dakota’s roads, highways and bridges.

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U. S. Census Bureau, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). All data used in the report are the most recent available. 

Veterans as a Valuable Resource, Feature Article, August 2013 ACP Magazines

Helmets to Hardhats-1Helmets to Hardhats-2

Donaldson Company Announces a $10 million Expansion of its Minnesota Testing Laboratories

DCI_newDonaldson Company, Inc., a worldwide manufacturer of filtration systems and replacement parts, is pleased to announce a $10 million expansion of its testing laboratories at its Bloomington, MN corporate headquarters. Expected to be fully operational in CY2014, the state-of-the-art expansions will enhance Donaldson’s capabilities for testing filter performance under various environmental conditions, further elevating its leadership in technology development.

The expansions will enhance current capabilities to test products in real world environments, factoring in multiple variables at one time such as: temperature, humidity, vibration, pulsation and flow as well as various contaminants. This will allow Donaldson’s in-house scientists and engineers to speed development time and decrease costs, while increasing product effectiveness and reliability. The addition of these rigorous, automated testing capabilities provides a competitive advantage for both Donaldson and its Customers.

“Donaldson has a longstanding history and global reputation as a filtration technology innovator,” said Sheila Peyraud, Donaldson’s Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “For nearly 100 years, we have developed breakthrough filtration technologies that meet our Customers’ evolving needs for industrial and engine filtration. These expanded testing capabilities augment our 10 international laboratories, affirming our commitment to innovation and our global Strategic Growth Plan.”

Additional information is available at www.donaldson.com.

Don Schmidt passed away peacefully on July 12, 2013

Donald Eugene Schmidt Jan 26, 1936 - July 12, 2013

Donald Eugene Schmidt
Jan 26, 1936 – July 12, 2013

Schmidt, Donald Eugene Born on January 26, 1936, passed away peacefully on July 12, 2013 at age 77. A native of Wisconsin, he most recently resided in Overland Park, KS. He was preceded in death by his parents, Luther and Irmgard Schmidt. Don is survived by his wife of 56 years, Phyllis (nee Hahn), his daughter Lynne (Patrick), son Thomas (Shelly), son John (Jaqueline), grandchildren, Ryan, Jack, Jeremy, Robby, Tyler, Haley, and Lindsey and step-grandchildren Jon-MIchael and Jason. He is also survived by his brother Richard (Betty), his brother Thomas (Marcia), and his sister Susan (Robert)as well as many other relatives and friends. Don had a zest for life and enjoyed meeting people. His smile and charismatic personality contributed to a successful career in sales and marketing that spanned nearly 50 years. He was an avid golfer and loved history. His presence in this life will forever resonate with family and friends. A memorial service celebrating his life was held at noon on Sunday, July 21, at Western Lakes Golf Club, W287 N1963 Oakton Rd., Pewaukee. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Angels Grace Hospice at W359 N7430 Brown St. in Oconomowoc.

Published in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on July 14, 2013

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/jsonline/obituary.aspx?n=donald-eugene-schmidt&pid=165816998#fbLoggedOut

Don was a long-time affiliate of the Associated Construction Publications. He was sales representative, associate publisher, publisher and executive director during his years with the ACPs.

The ACP staff offers its condolences to his wife Phyllis and family.

Bobcat Company Breaks Ground On $20 Million Expansion To Create Innovation, Testing And Technology Facility

New Acceleration Center will be high-tech home for advancing innovation, and designing and testing new Bobcat products

Bobcat Company has officially broken ground on its $20 million renovation and expansion to create the Acceleration Center in Bismarck, N.D. When complete, the Acceleration Center will be a modern complex for advancing innovation where professionals use technology and modern design to ensure the position of Bobcat as a leader in the compact equipment industry.

The project includes expansion of an existing building as well as development of a new test track and indoor testing facility — all at the Northern Plains Commerce Centre in Bismarck. The expansion of the existing building will include a two-story office building and provide a total of 160,000 square feet of modern workspace. Additionally, a 35,000-square-foot indoor testing arena will be constructed next to a 22-acre outdoor testing and track area. Construction is expected to be complete by summer 2014.

Birdseye_viewThe Acceleration Center will initially house 135 employees tasked with innovating and advancing designs; testing; prototype engineering; and the computer simulation of ideas and concepts. These efforts will be accelerated thanks to the collaborative open environment and modern technology built into the facility.

Company President Rich Goldsbury was the master of ceremonies for the groundbreaking event, while North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple, U.S. Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp, U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer, and Bismarck Mayor John Warford were on hand to make the ceremonial turn of dirt, which included the use of Bobcat® equipment to mark the moment.

“This is an exciting day as we invest in the future of Bobcat and the future of North Dakota,” said Goldsbury. “We created the compact equipment industry, and the Acceleration Center will ensure the Bobcat tradition of innovation and market leadership continues.”

The Acceleration Center will also serve as a center for excellence and a learning institute for employees. The facility features an open space and high-tech design to encourage collaboration and discussion. Bobcat dealers and customers will be brought to the complex for training and hands-on experience operating the newest innovations from Bobcat.

“The newest designs, the latest technologies and the best ways to apply product features important to our customers will be part of the daily life inside the Acceleration Center,” Goldsbury added. “We take great pride in our North Dakota roots. Today, we have set the foundation for the future in North Dakota.”

The contractor for the project is Comstock Construction Inc. of Wahpeton. When complete, the entire project — including the original building built in 2005 — will mark a $35 million investment by Bobcat in the Northern Plains Commerce Centre in Bismarck.

For more information on Bobcat products, visit www.bobcat.com.