Archive for the 'Construction' Category

Toro Continues to Expand Underground Dealer Network

home_logoToro Broadens Distribution in North America with Two New Dealers

The Toro Company is pleased to welcome two additional equipment dealers to their expanding distribution network. The new dealers will carry the full line of Toro underground equipment, including directional drills, compact utility loaders, trenchers, vibratory plows and stump grinders.

Eagle Power & Equipment, based in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania is one of the new underground dealers. For over 40 years, Eagle Power & Equipment has represented major equipment manufacturers in the tri-state area and has a strong focus on reliable equipment and exceptional customer service.

Indianapolis-based Best Equipment will also carry the full line, and has been providing quality equipment solutions to contractors in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky since 1917. Also providing their customers with a high level of support, Best Equipment’s core values match up with those of The Toro Company.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with these two new organizations, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Toro underground family,” explains Butch Greeninger, director of sales for The Toro Company. “By forming strategic partnerships with dealers whose core values align closely with our own, we can ensure that contractors are receiving the best equipment solutions available, backed by a consistent track record of exceptional service and support.”

To learn more about Eagle Power & Equipment, please visit eaglepowerandequipment.com. To learn more about Best Equipment, please visit bestequipmentco.com.

For more information on Toro’s full line of directional drills, trenchers, vibratory plows, compact utility loaders and stump grinders, visit www.toro.com/underground. To learn more about the newest underground dealers, or Toro’s distribution network, visit www.toro.com/locator.

About The Toro Company

The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) is a leading worldwide provider of innovative solutions for the outdoor environment including turf, snow and ground engaging equipment, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions. With sales of $2.2 billion in fiscal 2014, Toro’s global presence extends to more than 90 countries.  Through constant innovation and caring relationships built on trust and integrity, Toro and its family of brands have built a legacy of excellence by helping customers care for golf courses, landscapes, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties and agricultural fields. For more information, visit www.toro.com

TRIP Reports: Deficient Roadways Cost South Carolina Drivers $3 Billion Annually – As Much As $1,300 Per Motorist.

TRIPDeficient Roadways Cost South Carolina Drivers $3 Billion Annually – As Much As $1,300 Per Motorist. Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Significant Funding Boost

  Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost South Carolina motorists a total of $3 billion statewide annually – as much as $1,300 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 and bridge conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in South Carolina, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, South Carolina Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout South Carolina, 46 percent of major roads and highways (state-maintained Interstate, primary and secondary routes) are in poor condition, a significant increase from 2008 when 32 percent of the state’s major roads were rated in poor condition. One-fifth of South Carolina’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 South Carolina is tied with West Virginia for the highest overall traffic fatality rate in the nation.

Driving on deficient roads costs each South Carolina driver as much as $1,250 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 cost of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculated the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in South Carolina’s largest urban areas: Charleston, Columbia and Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.

South Carolina 1The TRIP report finds that 46 percent of South Carolina’s major roads and highways (state-maintained Interstate, primary and secondary routes) have pavements that were rated in 2014 as being in poor condition, while an additional 38 percent were in fair condition and 16 percent were in good condition. Driving on deteriorated roads costs South Carolina motorists an additional $1.1 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Traffic congestion is worsening throughout the state, costing drivers a total of $775 million annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

“The South Carolina Department of Transportation manages the 41,000 miles of state funded roads with the third lowest motor fuel user fee in the nation. With an estimated additional $1.5 billion needed per year for the next 25 years to “get to good”, they are currently having to do the best they can with what they have,” said Eric Dickey, vice president of Davis & Floyd, Inc. and chairman of the South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads (SCFOR).

A total of 21 percent of South Carolina’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Eleven percent of South Carolina’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional ten 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.

South Carolina’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.76 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is the highest in the nation (tied with West Virginia) and significantly higher than the national average of 1.13. Traffic crashes in South Carolina claimed the lives of 4,315 people between 2008 and 2012. The fatality rate on South Carolina’s rural roads was 2.99 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012, which is 61 percent higher than the national rural road average of 1.86 fatalities per 100 million miles.

The efficiency and condition of South Carolina’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.

The Federal surface transportation program is a critical source of funding in South Carolina. From 2008 to 2012, the federal government provided $1.12 for road improvements in South Carolina for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fuel fees. In July 2014 Congress approved an eight-month extension of the federal surface transportation program, which will now run through May 31, 2015. The legislation will also transfer nearly $11 billion into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to preserve existing levels of highway and public transportation investment through the end of May 2015.

“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. “Congress can help by approving a long-term federal surface transportation program that provides adequate funding levels, based on a reliable funding source. If not, South Carolina is going to see its future federal funding threatened, resulting in fewer road and bridge repair projects, loss of jobs, and a burden on the state’s economy.”

SOUTH CAROLINA TRANSPORTATION BY THE NUMBERS:

 

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in South Carolina

 

$3 Billion

TRIP estimates that South Carolina 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 $3 Billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs, lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion and Traffic Crashes.
Charleston – $1,168

Columbia – $1,250

Greenville – $1,248

The annual costs per motorist of driving on roads that are congested, deteriorated and that lack some desirable safety features in South Carolina’s largest urban areas are: Charleston – $1,168; Columbia – $1,250; Greenville (including Spartanburg and Anderson) – $1,248.
Charleston – 37%

Columbia – 36%

Greenville – 48%

In the Charleston area, 37 percent of major urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition, Thirty-six percent of major urban roads in the Columbia area are in poor or mediocre condition and 48 percent of major urban roads in the Greenville metro area (including Spartanburg and Anderson) are in poor or mediocre condition.
863 deaths annually

4,315 deaths 2008 – 2012

From 2008 to 2012, an average of 863 people were killed annually in South Carolina traffic crashes, a total of 4,315 fatalities over the five year period.
 

Tied for 1st

 

The fatality rate on South Carolina’s routes is tied for the highest in the nation.   South Carolina’s rural fatality rate is also 61 percent higher than the national average (2.99 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. a 1.86 national average).
 

21 %

As of November, 2014, 21 percent of South Carolina bridges are in need of repair, improvement or replacement. Eleven percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and ten percent are functionally obsolete.
 

$1.12 return on $1.00

From 2008 to 2012, the federal government provided $1.12 for road improvements in South Carolina for every one dollar paid in federal motor fuel fees.
 

84 %

Eighty-four percent of goods shipped annually from sites in South Carolina travel by truck.
3,455,931 There are 3,455,931 licensed drivers in South Carolina.
 

46%

32%

Forty-six percent of South Carolina’s major roads and highways (state-maintained Interstate, primary and secondary routes) were rated in poor condition in 2014, a significant increase since 2008 when 32 percent of the state’s major roads and highways were in poor condition.

Executive Summary

 

South Carolina’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 Palmetto State’s economy. South Carolina’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 part of its efforts to retain business, maintain its level of economic competitiveness and achieve further economic growth, South Carolina 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 Carolina’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.

South Carolina must improve its system of roads, highways and bridges to foster economic growth and keep businesses in the state. In addition to economic growth, transportation improvements are needed to ensure safe, reliable mobility and quality of life for all South Carolinians. Meeting South Carolina’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require a significant boost in local, state and federal funding.

Congress will need to pass new legislation prior to the May 31 extension expiration to ensure prompt federal reimbursements to states for road, highway, bridge and transit repairs and improvements.

An inadequate transportation system costs South Carolina residents a total of $3 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • TRIP estimates that South Carolina 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 $3 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion and traffic crashes.
  • TRIP has calculated the annual cost to South Carolina residents of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features both statewide and in the state’s largest urban area. The following chart shows the cost breakdown for these areas.

South Carolina 2

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

  • South Carolina’s population reached 4.7 million in 2012, a 35 percent increase since 1990. South Carolina had 3,455,931 licensed drivers in 2012.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in South Carolina increased by 43 percent from 1990 to 2012 – jumping from 34.4 billion VMT in 1990 to 49 billion VMT in 2012.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in South Carolina is projected to increase by another 25 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2012, South Carolina’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 53 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

Nearly half of major roads and highways in South Carolina have pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorists in the form of additional vehicle operating costs. The share of the state’s major roads in poor condition has increased significantly since 2008.

  • Forty-six percent of South Carolina’s major roads and highways (state-maintained Interstate, primary and secondary routes) have pavements that were rated in 2014 as being in poor condition, while an additional 38 percent were in fair condition and 16 percent were in good condition.
  • In 2008, 32 percent of South Carolina’s major roads and highways (state-maintained Interstate, primary and secondary routes) had pavements in poor condition, while an additional 49 percent were in fair condition and 19 percent were in good condition.
  • In the Charleston urban area, 37 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are rated in poor or mediocre condition. Twenty-three percent of Charleston’s major urban roads are rated in fair condition and 40 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Thirty-six percent of major urban roads in the Columbia urban area are rated in poor or mediocre condition. Twenty-two percent of Columbia’s major urban roads are rated in fair condition and 42 percent are rated in good condition.
  • In the Greenville urban area (which includes Spartanburg and Anderson) 48 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are rated in poor or mediocre condition.   Nineteen percent of Greenville’s major urban roads are rated in fair condition and 33 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. Roads rated in mediocre condition may show signs of significant wear and may also have some visible pavement distress. Most pavements in mediocre condition can be repaired by resurfacing, but some may need more extensive reconstruction to return them to good condition.
  • Driving on rough roads costs South Carolina motorists a total of $1.1 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Driving on rough roads costs the average Charleston motorist $294 annually in extra vehicle operating costs, while the average driver in the Columbia urban area loses $362 each year as a result of driving on deteriorated roads. The average Greenville area motorist spends an extra $405 annually due to driving on rough roads.

As of November 2014, 21 percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in South Carolina 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.

  • Eleven percent of South Carolina’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.
  • Ten percent of South Carolina’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 Charleston urban area, 10 percent of bridges are structurally deficient and 29 percent are functionally obsolete. Fourteen percent of bridges in the Columbia area are structurally deficient, while 10 percent are functionally obsolete. In the Greenville area (which includes Spartanburg and Anderson), eight percent of bridges are structurally deficient and 14 percent are functionally obsolete.

Significant levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in South Carolina, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce.

  • According to the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the average driver in the Charleston urban area loses $647 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average commuter in the Charleston urban area loses 30 hours each year stuck in traffic.
  • TTI estimates that the average Columbia-area driver loses $663 annually in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion. The average Columbia commuter loses 30 hours to traffic congestion every year.
  • According to TTI calculations, the average Greenville-area motorists loses $590 each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion. The average Greenville area driver loses 27 hours annually in traffic congestion.

South Carolina shares the highest overall traffic fatality rate in the nation with West Virginia. South Carolina’s traffic fatality rate on rural routes is the second highest in the nation behind Florida. Improving safety features on South Carolina’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. Roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • Between 2008 and 2012 a total of 4,315 people were killed in traffic crashes in South Carolina, an average of 863 fatalities per year.
  • South Carolina’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.76 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012 is the highest rate in the nation (along with West Virginia) and is significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.
  • The fatality rate on South Carolina’s rural roads was 2.99 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012, which is 61 percent higher than the national rural road average of 1.86 fatalities per 100 million miles.
  • The cost of serious traffic crashes in South Carolina in 2012, in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor, was approximately $1.1 billion.
  • The chart below details the average number of fatalities in each of South Carolina’s largest urban areas from 2010 to 2012 as well as the annual cost of traffic crashes to the average motorist in each area.

Soputh Carollina 3Roadway 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 South Carolina’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of 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. South Carolina is heavily reliant on federal dollars to fund its transportation system.

  • Annually, $156 billion in goods are shipped from sites in South Carolina and another $168 billion in goods are shipped to sites in South Carolina, mostly by truck.
  • Eighty-four percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in South Carolina are carried by trucks and another ten 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 one site selection factor in a 2011 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.

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

Sources of information for this report include the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U.S. Census Bureau, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Bomag Americas Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony In South Carolina

BOMAG Americas, Inc. representatives along with South Carolina State and local officials held a groundbreaking ceremony today in Ridgeway, S.C. on the future site of the manufacturer’s new North American headquarters. The new 127,600 ft2 facility will house 107,100 ft2 of spare parts warehousing and machine assembly area along with 20,500 ft2 of office space. “We congratulate BOMAG on their announcement of an $18.2 million investment and the creation of 121 new jobs,” says South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Mike Briggs – President and CEO Central South Carolina Alliance Milton Pope – Fairfield County Administrator Philip Land – Regional Director for Senator Lindsey Graham’s Office Carolyn Robinson – Fairfield County Councilperson Gov. Nikki Haley – Governor, South Carolina Walter Link – President, BOMAG Americas Rob Mueckler – VP Sales & Marketing, BOMAG Americas Dwayne Perry – Fairfield County Councilperson Dave Dennison –Marketing Manager, BOMAG Americas Mary Lynn Kinley – Fairfield County Councilperson David Brown – Fairfield County Councilperson

Mike Briggs – President and CEO Central South Carolina Alliance
Milton Pope – Fairfield County Administrator
Philip Land – Regional Director for Senator Lindsey Graham’s Office
Carolyn Robinson – Fairfield County Councilperson
Gov. Nikki Haley – Governor, South Carolina
Walter Link – President, BOMAG Americas
Rob Mueckler – VP Sales & Marketing, BOMAG Americas
Dwayne Perry – Fairfield County Councilperson
Dave Dennison –Marketing Manager, BOMAG Americas
Mary Lynn Kinley – Fairfield County Councilperson
David Brown – Fairfield County Councilperson

“We believe this area offers our company several strategic benefits, such as: close to port of entry, proximity to an air hub for spare parts fulfillment and a climate conducive to offering year-round sales and service training for our customers,” says Walter Link, president of BOMAG Americas, Inc. Rob Mueckler, vice president of sales for BOMAG, adds, “The primary objective of this new facility is to strengthen the services of our North American organization with the purpose of being closer to and better serving our customers.”

Mike Briggs – President and CEO Central SC Alliance Philip Land – Regional Director for Senator Lindsey Graham’s Office Walter Link – President, BOMAG Americas Gov. Nikki Haley – Governor, South Carolina Dwayne Perry – Fairfield County Councilperson

Mike Briggs – President and CEO Central SC Alliance
Philip Land – Regional Director for Senator Lindsey Graham’s Office
Walter Link – President, BOMAG Americas
Gov. Nikki Haley – Governor, South Carolina
Dwayne Perry – Fairfield County Councilperson

A global organization, BOMAG manufactures and markets a broad range of light and heavy compaction, asphalt paving, and soil stabilization and asphalt reclamation equipment. Last year’s acquisition of Cedarapids commercial and mainline pavers and material transfer equipment as well as CMI Reclaimer/Stabilizers expanded its equipment offering to road building contractors. Today, BOMAG offers customers a full range of asphalt rehabilitation and paving equipment, ranging from half-lane milling machines, reclaimer/stabilizers and material transfer equipment to asphalt pavers and highway-class tandem vibratory and pneumatic rollers.

BOMAG looks to begin construction of the new facility in March with an anticipated completion date sometime in October 2014, when the manufacturer will begin the move from its current Kewanee, Ill. headquarters. The new facility’s 107,100 ft2 warehousing area includes dedicated equipment assembly space, where workers will customize the company’s compaction and road building equipment with special features designed specifically for the North American market.

Rob Mueckler – VP Sales & Marketing, BOMAG Americas Gov. Nikki Haley – Governor, South Carolina Walter Link – President, BOMAG AmericasDave Dennison – Marketing Manager, BOMAG Americas

Rob Mueckler – VP Sales & Marketing, BOMAG Americas
Gov. Nikki Haley – Governor, South Carolina
Walter Link – President, BOMAG AmericasDave, Dennison – Marketing Manager, BOMAG Americas

“Our Kewanee facility has served BOMAG well for decades with an exceptional workforce dedicated to the success of the company,” adds Link. “This new Ridgeway facility is strategically located and positions BOMAG to meet our customer’s needs today and well into the future. We are excited for this next chapter of BOMAG’s successful history in North America.”

“Fairfield County is pleased to welcome BOMAG Americas as the anchor tenant in our new industrial park, Fairfield Commerce Center,” says David L. Ferguson, chairman of the Fairfield County Council. “The decision of this world-class company to locate in Fairfield County is further evidence that our strategic location on the I-77 corridor, skilled workforce and business friendly environment provide the key components businesses need to be successful.”

TRIP Report: West Virginia Transportation By The Numbers:Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility

 

TRIPTen Key Transportation Numbers in West Virginia

 

 

$333

$400

$383

 

Driving on rough roads costs the average West Virginia motorist $333 annually in extra vehicle operating costs– a total of $400 million statewide annually. The average Charleston-area motorist loses $383 each year as a result of driving on rough roads . Additional vehicle operating costs result from driving on rough roads and include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
 

#2

West Virginia’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.78 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 was the second highest nationally (behind only Montana at 1.79) and was 62 percent higher than the national average of 1.10.

 

35 %

A total of 35 percent of West Virginia bridges are in need of repair, improvement or replacement. Thirteen percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and 22 percent are functionally obsolete.

$425 million

If a lack of adequate revenue into the Federal Highway Trust Fund is not addressed by Congress, funding for highway and transit improvements in West Virginia will be cut by $425 million for the federal fiscal year beginning October 1, 2014.

 

2X

The fatality rate on West Virginia’s non-interstate rural roads is more than double the rate on all other roads in the state (2.54 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 1.19).

36%

 

42%

Thirty-six percent of West Virginia’s major roads are in either poor or mediocre condition.  Forty-two percent of Charleston-area major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

364

1,820

On average, 364 people were killed annually in West Virginia traffic crashes from 2007 to 2011, a total of 1,820 fatalities over the five year period.

$2.26

 

34%

 

 

From 2007 to 2011, the federal government provided $2.26 for road improvements in West Virginia for every $1.00 paid in federal motor fuel fees.   From 2007 to 2011, federal revenues accounted for 34 percent of state spending on West Virginia’s roads, highways and bridges.

23 %

20 %

Vehicle miles of travel in West Virginia increased 23 percent from 1990 to 2011 and are expected to increase another 20 percent by 2030.

 

$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 Summa

West Virginia’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. West Virginia’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 West Virginia looks to retain its businesses, continue its level of economic competitiveness and 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 West Virginia’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.

With a current unemployment rate of 6.1 percent and with the state’s population continuing to grow, West Virginia must improve its system of roads, highways and bridges to foster economic growth and keep businesses in the state. In addition to economic growth, transportation improvements are needed to ensure safe, reliable mobility and quality of life for all West Virginians.  Meeting West Virginia’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), the current federal surface transportation program, will fund surface transportation programs in West Virginia at approximately $424 million annually for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

While the new federal surface transportation program has streamlined 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 is expected to 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 West Virginia.

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

  • West Virginia’s population reached nearly 1.9 million in 2012, a three percent increase since 1990. West Virginia had 1,198,837 licensed drivers in 2011.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in West Virginia increased  23 percent from 1990 to 2011 – jumping from 15.4 billion VMT in 1990 to 19 billion VMT in 2011.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in West Virginia is projected to increase by another 20 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2011, West Virginia’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 37 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

One-third of major locally and state-maintained roads and highways in West Virginia have pavement surfaces in poor or mediocre condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs. 

  • Twelve percent of West Virginia’s major roads and highways have pavements in poor condition while an additional 24 percent of the state’s major roads are rated in mediocre condition.  Eighteen percent are rated in fair condition and the remaining 46 percent are rated in good condition.
  • The pavement data in this report for all arterial roads and highways is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, based on data submitted annually by the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways.
  • In the Charleston urban area, 15 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are rated in poor condition and 28 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Twenty-six percent of major roads in the Charleston area are rated in fair condition and 31 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. Roads rated in mediocre condition may show signs of significant wear and may also have some visible pavement distress. Most pavements in mediocre condition can be repaired by resurfacing, but some may need more extensive reconstruction to return them to good condition.
  • Driving on rough roads costs West Virginia motorists a total of $400 million annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Driving on rough roads costs the average West Virginian motorists $333 annually and the average Charleston-area driver $383 in extra vehicle operating costs.

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

  • Thirteen percent of West Virginia’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-two percent of West Virginia’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.

West Virginia’s traffic fatality rate is the second highest in the nation.  Improving safety features on West Virginia’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. Roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes. 

  • West Virginia’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.78 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 was the second highest nationally, behind only Montana at 1.79. West Virginia’s traffic fatality rate was 62 percent higher than the national average of 1.10.
  • Between 2007 and 2011 a total of 1,820 people were killed in traffic crashes in West Virginia, an average of 364 fatalities per year.
  • The fatality rate on West Virginia’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.54 fatalities per 100 vehicle miles of travel in 2011, more than double the 1.19 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 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 West Virginia’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of 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, $49.8 billion in goods are shipped from sites in West Virginia and another $54.1 billion in goods are shipped to sites in West Virginia, mostly by truck.
  • Sixty-five percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in West Virginia are carried by trucks and another 11 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.
  • 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.
  • A 2007 analysis by the Federal Highway Administration found that every $1 billion invested in highway construction would support approximately 27,800 jobs, including approximately 9,500 in the construction sector, approximately 4,300 jobs in industries supporting the construction sector, and approximately 14,000 other jobs induced in non-construction related sectors of the economy.
  • 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.

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

  • MAP-21, approved by Congress in July 2012, greatly increased funding flexibility for states and streamlined project approval processes to improve the efficiency of state and local transportation agencies in providing needed transportation improvements in the state.
  • 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 a lack of adequate revenue into the Federal Highway Trust Fund is not addressed by Congress, funding for highway and transit improvements in West Virginia will be cut by $425 million for the federal fiscal year beginning October 1, 2014.
  • From 2007 to 2011, the federal government provided $2.26 for road improvements in West Virginia for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fuel fees.
  • From 2007 to 2011, federal revenues accounted for 34 percent of state spending on West Virginia’s roads, highways and bridges.

Sources of information for this report include the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 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 is the latest available

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

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