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TRIP Reports Despite Recent Improvements, Deficient, Congested Costs Will Rise And Conditions Will Worsen Without Increased Funding

TRIPDespite Recent Improvements, Deficient, Congested Roadways Cost Average OKC Driver $2,242 Annually, A Total Of $4.9 Billion Statewide. , While Increased Investment Would Create Jobs & Spur Economic Growth

Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Oklahoma motorists a total of $4.9 billion statewide annually – $2,242 per driver in the Oklahoma City 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, create jobs and support long-term economic growth in Oklahoma, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Oklahoma Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Oklahoma, 28 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition and another 42 percent are in mediocre or fair condition. Despite recent improvements, nearly a quarter of Oklahoma’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 an average of 684 people were killed annually in crashes on Oklahoma’s roads from 2010 to 2014.

Driving on deficient roads costs each Oklahoma City area driver $2,242 per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculated the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa urban areas. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below:

OK 1The 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. And for every $1 million spent on urban highway or intermodal expansion, an average of 7.2 local, long-term jobs were created and an additional 4.4 jobs were created outside the local area.

“As an economic development professional, I can tell you from firsthand experience that transportation infrastructure is one of the most important factors when a company is determining whether to locate in a community,” said Roy Williams, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber President and CEO. “Transportation infrastructure truly is the veins and arteries of a healthy community’s economic success and quality of life.”

The TRIP report finds that 81 percent of major roads in the Oklahoma City urban area are in poor or mediocre condition, costing the average motorist an additional $917 each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Traffic congestion in the Oklahoma City urban area is worsening, causing 49 hours of delay a year for the average motorist and costing each driver $1,110 annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

A total of 23 percent of Oklahoma’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Sixteen percent of Oklahoma’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional seven 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 Oklahoma City urban area, ten percent of bridges are structurally deficient and 16 percent are functionally obsolete. Increased state funding has allowed the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) to reduce the number of structurally deficient state-maintained bridges from an all-time high of 1,168 bridges in 2004 to 339 at the end of 2015. If funding remains stable, ODOT is on track to have one percent or fewer of all state-maintained bridges rated structurally deficient by the end of the decade.

Traffic crashes in Oklahoma claimed the lives of 3,419 people between 2010 and 2014. Oklahoma’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.40 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel significantly higher than the national average of 1.08 and is the eleventh highest in the nation. The state’s rural roads have a traffic fatality rate that is nearly three-and-a-half times higher than the rate on all other roads in the state (2.67 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel versus 0.77).

“The progress made by ODOT in recent years will slip away if greater funding is not made available at the local, state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Additional transportation investment will improve the condition and efficiency of Oklahoma’s transportation system while stimulating economic growth, creating jobs and leaving a lasting asset for future generations.”

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Oklahoma

 

 

$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.
 

7.2

4.4

For every $1 million spent on urban highway or intermodal expansion, a comprehensive national report found than an average of 7.2 local, long-term jobs were created at nearby locations and an additional 4.4 jobs were created outside the local area, including businesses that supplied local businesses or benefited from the increased regional economic activity.
 

$4.9 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Oklahoma motorists a total of $4.9 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
 

OKC: $2,242

Tulsa: $2,170

 

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in Oklahoma’s largest urban areas in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. The average Oklahoma City area driver loses $2,242 annually, while each Tulsa area driver loses $2,170.
49 hours-OKC

44 hours-Tulsa

 

The average driver in the Oklahoma City area loses 49 hours to congestion annually, while each driver in the Tulsa urban area loses 44 hours annually.
28% Statewide

45% Oklahoma City

45%Tulsa

 

Statewide, 28 percent of Oklahoma’s major state and locally-maintained roads are in poor condition. Forty-five percent of major roads in the Oklahoma City urban area are in poor condition and 45 percent of major roads in the Tulsa urban area are in poor condition.
 

16%

5th

 

Sixteen percent Oklahoma bridges were rated in 2015 as structurally deficient and in need of repair, which is the fifth highest share nationally.   In 2005, Oklahoma had the highest share of deficient bridges nationally with 30 percent of its bridges rated structurally deficient.
 

3.5 X

The fatality rate on Oklahoma’s non-interstate rural roads is nearly three and a half times higher than that on all other roads in the state (2.67 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.77)
 

$190 Million

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has experienced more than $190 million in budget reductions since 2010.

 

OK_TRIP_Infographics_April_2016

 

Executive Summary

As Oklahoma faces a challenging economic environment in 2016, largely due to the significant drop in global energy prices, the level of economic growth in the Sooner state will be greatly impacted by the reliability and condition of its transportation system.

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 agriculture, natural resource extraction, manufacturing, technology, aviation and government services the quality of Oklahoma’s transportation system plays a vital role in economic growth and quality of life in the state.

While the state has been able to make progress in improving the condition of its transportation system in the past decade, recent funding cuts threaten to jeopardize that progress and potentially stall future improvements. In this report, TRIP looks at the top transportation numbers in Oklahoma as the state addresses its need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit systems.

In December 2015, the president signed into law a long-term federal surface transportation program that includes modest funding increases that will allow 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 OKLAHOMA MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs Oklahoma motorists a total of $4.9 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • TRIP estimates that Oklahoma 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 $4.9 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear), the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.
  • TRIP has calculated the average cost to drivers in the state’s largest urban areas as a result of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features. The chart below details the costs to drivers in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa urban areas.

OK 2POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN OKLAHOMA

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

  • Oklahoma’s population reached approximately 3.9 million residents in 2015, a 13 percent increase since 2000.
  • Oklahoma had 2.45 million licensed drivers in 2014.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Oklahoma increased by 10 percent from 2000 to 2014 –from 43.4 billion VMT in 2000 to 47.7 billion VMT in 2014.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Oklahoma is projected to increase by another 20 percent.
  • From 2000 to 2014, Oklahoma’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 38 percent, when adjusted for inflation. U.S. GDP increased 24 percent during this time.

OKLAHOMA ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in more than one quarter of major roads and highways in Oklahoma having pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • Statewide, 28 percent of Oklahoma’s major locally and state-maintained roads and highways are in poor condition, while 42 percent are in mediocre or fair condition, and 30 percent are 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 chart below details pavement conditions on major urban roads in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa urban areas:

OK 3

  • Driving on rough roads costs Oklahoma motorists a total of $1.8 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. The average driver in Oklahoma City loses $917 annually, while the average Tulsa driver loses $928 each year as a result of driving on deteriorated roads. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

OKLAHOMA BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Nearly a quarter – 23 percent — of locally and state-maintained bridges in Oklahoma 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.

  • Sixteen percent of Oklahoma’s bridges are structurally deficient, the fifth highest share nationally. 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.
  • In 2005, Oklahoma had the highest share of deficient bridges nationally with 30 percent of its bridges rated structurally deficient.
  • Seven percent of Oklahoma’s bridges are functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
  • The chart below details the condition of state and locally maintained bridges in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa urban areas and statewide.

OK 4

  • Increased state funding has allowed ODOT to reduce the number of structurally deficient state-maintained bridges from an all-time high of 1,168 bridges in 2004 to 339 at the end of 2015. If funding remains stable, ODOT is on track to have one percent or fewer of all state-maintained bridges rated structurally deficient by the end of the decade.

 

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN OKLAHOMA

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

  • Between 2010 and 2014 a total of 3,419 people were killed in traffic crashes in Oklahoma, an average of 684 fatalities per year.
  • Oklahoma’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.40 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014 is significantly higher than the national average of 1.08. Oklahoma’s overall traffic fatality rate is the eleventh highest in the nation.
  • The fatality rate on Oklahoma’s non-interstate rural roads is nearly three and a half times higher than that on all other roads in the state (2.67 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.77).
  • The chart below details the average number of fatalities from 2012 to 2014 in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas, as well as the average cost per driver as a result of traffic crashes.

OK 5

  • 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.

OKLAHOMA TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Oklahoma, 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 Oklahoma is approximately $2.1 billion per year.
  • According to TTI, the average driver in the Oklahoma City urban area loses $1,110 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average Oklahoma City commuter wastes 49 hours each year stuck in traffic.
  • According to TTI, the average driver in the Tulsa urban area loses $984 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average Tulsa commuter wastes 44 hours each year 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.

STATE & FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN OKLAHOMA

Investment in Oklahoma’s roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments. While ODOT’s revenue has increased in recent years, allowing for significant improvements to the transportation system, the state now faces potential cuts to transportation investment due to decreased state revenues. The recently approved five-year federal surface transportation program includes modest funding increases and provides states with greater funding certainty, but falls far short of providing the level of funding needed to meet the nation’s highway and transit needs. The federal bill does not include a long-term and sustainable revenue source.

  • Due to decreased state revenues, appropriations to ODOT and other state agencies have been cut by seven percent during the current fiscal year (FY2016). These reductions will cut $30.8 million from ODOT’s budget for future construction projects in the Eight-year Plan.
  • While the most recent cuts do not impact ongoing construction projects, future projects may be postponed, which will require additional maintenance to affected highways and bridges to keep them in service until funding is available for rehabilitation or reconstruction.
  • Prior to the latest budget cut due to reduced state general revenue, ODOT had experienced $190 million in budget reductions since FY 2010.
  • The Oklahoma legislature established the ROADS (Rebuilding Oklahoma Access and Driver Safety) fund in 2005, which provided a state allocation of tax revenue to ODOT, in addition to fuel tax revenue. State highway funding was previously based on motor fuel tax revenue, which had remained stagnant for decades.
  • The creation of the ROADS fund in 2005 quickened the pace of improvements to Oklahoma’s transportation system. ODOT’s first Eight-year Construction Work Plan in 2003 contained less than $2 billion in improvements and addressed only 220 bridges. The current FFY 2016-2023 Eight-year Plan includes nearly $6.5 billion in improvements, including projects to address 913 bridges – more than four times as many bridges.
  • The combination of ROADS funds and fuel tax revenue are expected to total about $775 million annually by 2018 – more than three times the funding levels of 2005.
  • Despite the progress made in recent years, Oklahoma still has approximately $11 billion in backlogged bridge and roadway projects.
  • 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 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that if the national rate of vehicle travel increased by 1.4 percent per year, the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent to $144 billion. If vehicle travel grows by 1.6 percent annually the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 77 percent to $156 billion.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN OKLAHOMA

The efficiency of Oklahoma’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, $117 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Oklahoma and another $135 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Oklahoma, mostly by truck.
  • Eighty percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Oklahoma are carried by trucks and another seven percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • Businesses have responded to improved communications and greater competition by moving from a push-style distribution system, which relies on low-cost movement of bulk commodities and large-scale warehousing, to a pull-style distribution system, which relies on smaller, more strategic and time-sensitive movement of goods.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2013 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

According to a 2012 national report, improved access as a result of capacity expansions provides numerous regional economic benefits. Those benefits include higher employment rates, higher land value, additional tax revenue, increased intensity of economic activity, increased land prices and additional construction as a result of the intensified use.

  • The projects analyzed in the report were completed no later than 2005 and included a wide variety of urban and rural projects, including the expansion or addition of major highways, beltways, connectors, bypasses, bridges, interchanges, industrial access roads, intermodal freight terminals and intermodal passenger terminals.
  • The expanded capacity provided by the projects resulted in improved access, which resulted in reduced travel-related costs, faster and more reliable travel, greater travel speeds, improved reliability, and increased travel volume.
  • The report found that improved transportation access benefits a region by: enhancing the desirability of an area for living, working or recreating, thus increasing its land value; increasing building construction in a region due to increased desirability for homes and businesses; increasing employment as a result of increased private and commercial land use; and increasing tax revenue as a result of increased property taxes, increased employment and increased consumption, which increases sales tax collection.
  • The report found that benefits of a transportation capacity expansion unfolded over several years and that the extent of the benefits were impacted by other factors including: the presence of complimentary infrastructure such as water, sewer and telecommunications; local land use policy; the local economic and business climate; and whether the expanded capacity was integrated with other public investment and development efforts.
  • For every $1 million spent on urban highway or intermodal expansion, the report estimated that an average of 7.2 local, long-term jobs were created at nearby locations as a result of improved access. An additional 4.4 jobs were created outside the local area, including businesses that supplied local businesses or otherwise benefited from the increased regional economic activity.
  • For every $1 million spent on rural highway or intermodal expansion, the report estimated that an average of 2.9 local, long-term jobs were created at nearby locations as a result of improved access. An additional 1.6 jobs were created outside the local area, including businesses that supplied local businesses or otherwise benefited from the increased regional economic activity.
  • The report found that highway and intermodal capacity projects in urban areas created a greater number of long-term jobs than in rural areas, largely due to the more robust economic environment and greater density in urban communities.

Sources of information for this report include the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), 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).

 TRIP 

Mississippi Local Technical Assistance Program March 28, 2016

MS LTAP TRAINING March 28th
The location for this training is MDOT Administration Building, 6th Floor Conference Room, 401 N West Street, Jackson, MS.
The class is from 8:30 to 4:30. Sign up below!

pq236-75039155-b4bc-4f13-b135-5ff85e0d9fb6-v2

Get back to the basics:

ASPHALT PAVEMENT RECYCLING

Recycling is defined as “the reuse, usually after some processing, of a material that already has served its first-intended purpose”. Relative to asphalt pavement recycling, there are several methods available. Therefore, each project being considered for re- cycling must be carefully evaluated to determine the method most appropriate. The factors should include:

1. Existing pavement condition (PCI)
2. Existing pavement material types and thickness
3. Recycled pavement structural requirements
4. Availability of recycling additives.
Come join us to learn the latest techniques in the industry.
SIGN UP HERE
IPMA Academy 1635 Old Highway 41 Suite 112-248 Kennesaw, Georgia 30152 United States (404) 316-9792 Copyright 2015. All rights reserved

 

TRIP Report:Deficient, Congested Roadways Cost Mississippi Drivers $2.25 Billion Annually – As Much As $1,879 Per Driver. Costs Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Increased Funding

 Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Mississippi motorists a total of $2.25 billion statewide annually – as much as $1,879 in some areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Mississippi, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Mississippi Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Mississippi, 22 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition and another 42 percent are in mediocre or fair condition. Twenty percent of Mississippi’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 an average of 615 people were killed annually in crashes on Mississippi’s roads from 2010 to 2014.

Driving on deficient roads costs Mississippi motorists $2.25 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculated the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Hattiesburg and Jackson urban areas. A breakdown of the

Miss 1“The TRIP report once again demonstrates the importance of investing in Mississippi’s transportation infrastructure,” said Scott Waller, executive vice president and COO of the Mississippi Economic Council. “It provides additional details regarding the enormous costs Mississippians already face, and the consequences of failing to act. More importantly, it amplifies the safety issues that exist as a result of poor road and bridge conditions and the importance of protecting our citizens.”

Traffic congestion in Mississippi is worsening, costing the state’s drivers $529 million annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

A total of 20 percent of Mississippi’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Thirteen percent of Mississippi’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional seven 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.

Traffic crashes in Mississippi claimed the lives of 3,073 people between 2010 and 2014. Mississippi’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.54 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is significantly higher than the national average of 1.08. Mississippi’s overall traffic fatality rate is the fourth highest in the nation. The state’s rural roads have a traffic fatality rate that is nearly four and a half times higher than the rate on all other roads in the state (2.58 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel versus 0.58). TRIP estimates that roadway features may be a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.

Mississippi faces a significant shortfall in funds needed to maintain and improve its transportation system. The state currently faces a backlog of $6.6 billion dollars in funds needed to address needed repairs and improvements to Mississippi’s transportation system. A recent report by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) found that Mississippi will need $375 million annually in new revenue to address immediate transportation needs. Of the $375 million, $300 million is needed for improvements to the state-maintained system, and $75 million is needed to address the local system. The MEC report found that an additional $375 million in annual transportation investment would generate nearly 4,000 new direct and indirect jobs in the construction industry, additional state and local tax revenue of $15 million annually, and an overall annual economic benefit of more than $440 million.

The efficiency and condition of Mississippi’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $91 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Mississippi and another $104 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Mississippi, mostly by truck.

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

MISSISSIPPI TRANSPORTATION BY THE NUMBERS:MS_TRIP_Infographics_March_2016

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility
Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Mississippi

 

$2.25 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Mississippi motorists a total of $2.25 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
$1,061

$1,080

$1,879

 

 

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in Mississippi’s major urban areas in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. The average Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula area driver loses $1,061 annually, while each Hattiesburg area driver loses $1,080, and the average Jackson area motorist loses $1,879 annually.
 

 

$640

If the condition, efficiency and safety of Mississippi’s transportation system are not improved, the annual cost to the average Mississippi driver will increase by $640 in the form of additional costs due to increased wear and tear on vehicles, traffic crashes and delays due to traffic congestion.
 

4.5 X

The fatality rate on Mississippi’s non-interstate rural roads is nearly four an a half times that on all other roads in the state (2.58 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.58).
22%

19%

28%

44%

Statewide, 22 percent of Mississippi’s major roads are in poor condition. Nineteen percent of major roads in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula urban area are in poor condition, while in the Hattiesburg urban area, 28 percent of major roads are in poor condition. Forty-four percent of major urban roads in Jackson are in poor condition.
$91 billion

$104 billion

Annually, $91 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Mississippi and another $104 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Mississippi, mostly by truck.
 

20 %

A total of 20 percent of Mississippi bridges are in need of repair, improvement or replacement. Thirteen percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and seven percent are functionally obsolete.
19 hours

13 hours

38 hours

 

The average driver in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula area loses 19 hours to congestion annually, while each driver in the Hattiesburg urban area loses 13 hours each year. The average Jackson area driver loses 38 hours annually as a result of traffic congestion.
 

$6.6 Billion

 

The state currently faces a backlog of $6.6 billion in funds need to address needed repairs and improvements to Mississippi’s roads, bridges and highways.
 

 

$375 Million

According to a recent Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) report, the state needs $375 million annually in new revenue to address immediate transportation needs. Of the $375 million, $300 million is needed for improvements to the state-maintained transportation system, and $75 million is needed to address the local system.

 

Seven years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Mississippi’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Mississippi, 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 Magnolia State.

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

With an economy based largely on agriculture, manufacturing, education, tourism, energy and military installations, the quality of Mississippi’s transportation system will play a vital role in the state’s level of economic growth and in the quality of life in Mississippi.

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

In 1987, Mississippi’s elected officials and business leaders set in motion the plans for a four-lane highway system that would connect Mississippians to all corners of the state and give Mississippi an economic edge. But, nearly three decades after those improvements were begun, Mississippi faces another critical juncture in enhancing its transportation system to improve quality of life for residents and support economic growth and improved access for businesses. A new report by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) found that the state faces a backlog of $6.6 billion dollars in funds needed to address needed repairs and improvements to Mississippi’s transportation system. Without an additional $375 million annually in state and local transportation investment, the MEC found that quality of life will deteriorate and Mississippi will miss out on opportunities for economic development and growth.

In December 2015, Congress passed, and the president signed into law, a long-term federal surface transportation program that includes modest funding increases and allows state and local governments to plan and finance projects with greater certainty through 2020. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) provides approximately $305 billion for surface transportation with highway and transit funding slated to increase by approximately 15 and 18 percent, respectively, over the five-year duration of the program. While the modest funding increase and certainty provided by the FAST Act are a step in the right direction, the funding falls far short of the level 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 MISSISSIPPI MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs Mississippi residents a total of $2.25 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • TRIP estimates that Mississippi 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 $2.25 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear), the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.
  • TRIP has calculated the average cost to drivers in the state’s largest urban areas as a result of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features. The chart below details the costs to drivers in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Hattiesburg and Jackson urban areas as well as the statewide total.

Miss 2

  • A recent report by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) found that if the condition, efficiency and safety of Mississippi’s transportation system are not improved, the annual cost to the average Mississippi driver will increase by $640 in the form of additional costs due to increased wear and tear on vehicles, traffic crashes and delays due to traffic congestion.

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN MISSISSIPPI

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

  • Mississippi’s population reached approximately three million residents in 2015, a five percent increase since 2000. Mississippi had approximately two million licensed drivers in 2013.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Mississippi increased by 11 percent from 2000 to 2014 – from 35.5 billion VMT in 2000 to 39.5 billion VMT in 2014.
  • Vehicle miles of travel in Mississippi for the first ten months of 2015 were 3.3 percent higher than the first ten months of 2014. During the first ten months of 2015, U.S. vehicle miles of travel were 3.4 percent higher than the first ten months of 2014.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Mississippi is projected to increase by another 30 percent.
  • From 2000 to 2014, Mississippi’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 13 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

MISSISSIPPI ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in 22 percent of major roads and highways in Mississippi having pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • Twenty-two percent of Mississippi’s major roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 42 percent of the state’s major roads are rated in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 36 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Roads rated in poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, poor roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • Driving on rough roads costs Mississippi 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.
  • The chart below details pavement conditions in the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, Hattiesburg and Jackson urban areas.

Miss 3

MISSISSIPPI BRIDGE CONDITIONS

One-fifth of locally and state-maintained bridges in Mississippi 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 Mississippi’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.
  • Seven percent of Mississippi’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.
  • Currently, approximately 4,000 state and local bridges are in need of repair or replacement. Of those bridges, 2,400 are posted for carrying only lower-weight vehicles, creating detours for school buses and emergency responders and interrupting the flow of commerce.
  • The chart below details the share of bridges in the state’s major urban areas that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

Miss 4

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN MISSISSIPPI

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

  • Between 2010 and 2014 a total of 3,073 people were killed in traffic crashes in Mississippi, an average of 615 fatalities per year.
  • Mississippi’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.54 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014 is significantly higher than the national average of 1.08 and the fourth highest fatality rate in the nation.
  • The fatality rate on Mississippi’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.58 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014, nearly four and a half times higher than the 0.58 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.

MISSISSIPPI TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Mississippi, 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.

  • According to the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the average Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula urban area driver loses $411 annually in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion. The average Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula urban area commuter loses 19 hours each year in traffic.
  • According to TTI, the average Hattiesburg urban area driver loses $298 annually in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion. The average Hattiesburg urban area commuter loses 13 hours each year in traffic.
  • According to TTI, the average driver in the Jackson urban area loses $878 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average Jackson urban area commuter wastes 38 hours each year 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 to consider expansion or even 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.

MISSISSIPPI’S TRANSPORTATION FUNDING SHORTFALL

A new report by the MEC found the state faces a critical juncture in the need to enhance its transportation system to improve quality of life for residents and support growth and ease of access for businesses. However, the state faces a significant shortfall in needed transportation funds to make critical improvements to its roads and bridges.

  • The state currently faces a backlog of $6.6 billion dollars in funds needed to address needed repairs and improvements to Mississippi’s transportation system.
  • The MEC report found that Mississippi will need $375 million annually in new revenue to address immediate transportation needs. Of the $375 million, $300 million is needed for improvements to the state-maintained system, and $75 million is needed to address the local system.
  • The MEC report found that an additional $375 million in annual transportation investment would generate nearly 4,000 new direct and indirect jobs in the construction industry, additional state and local tax revenue of $15 million annually, and an overall annual economic benefit of more than $440 million.
  • Improving the conditions of Mississippi’s transportation system could save the average driver $534 annually over the next ten years in the cost of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack some safety features.
  • Without an additional investment in Mississippi’s transportation system, the state is projected to lose 10,161 jobs annually in all sectors over the next ten years. However, with adequate transportation investment, Mississippi would add 7,673 jobs annually across all sectors.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN MISSISSIPPI

The efficiency of Mississippi’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, $91 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Mississippi and another $104 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Mississippi, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-seven percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Mississippi are carried by trucks and another four percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • Businesses have responded to improved communications and greater competition by moving from a push-style distribution system, which relies on low-cost movement of bulk commodities and large-scale warehousing, to a pull-style distribution system, which relies on smaller, more strategic and time-sensitive movement of goods.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2013 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN MISSISSIPPI

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

  • From 2009 to 2013, the federal government provided $1.24 for road improvements in Mississippi for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fuel fees.
  • According to the 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report, a significant boost in investment in the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public 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. Investment in the nation’s public transit system needs to increase from $17 billion to $43 billion.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that if the national rate of vehicle travel increased by 1.4 percent per year, the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent to $144 billion. If vehicle travel grows by 1.6 percent annually the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 77 percent to $156 billion.

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

 

 

ABC Reports: Nonresidential Construction Hiring Surges

CEU2“The U.S. economy added an average of 289,000 jobs per month during the final three months of 2014, indicating that momentum is surging as we transition into 2015.”—ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu.

Construction employment december 2014The U.S. construction industry added 48,000 jobs in December, including 22,800 jobs in nonresidential construction, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) preliminary estimate released Jan. 9. November’s estimate was unchanged in this release, remaining at 20,000 net new construction jobs, but nonresidential construction’s November jobs figure was upwardly revised to 7,100 jobs.

“The U.S. economy added an average of 289,000 jobs per month during the final three months of 2014, indicating that momentum is surging as we transition into 2015,” said Associated Builders and Contractors Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “This represents good news for the construction industry in 2015 and perhaps beyond, particularly with respect to office construction, retail construction, and other segments that benefit directly from accelerating job growth and decreasing unemployment. Overall, the economy has built steady momentum since the end of last winter adding an average of 246,000 jobs per month in 2014, an increase of more than 50,000 jobs added per month compared to 2013.”

According to the BLS household survey, the national unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in December. This represents the lowest level of unemployment since June 2008. The declining unemployment rate is most likely a result of a labor force that shrank by 273,000 persons in December, after expanding in the previous two months. The labor force participation rate fell by .02 percent and now sits at 62.7 percent.

“One of the most interesting aspects of the report is that construction unemployment ended the year at 8.3 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis,” said Basu. “While construction firm executives have been worried for years about the specter of construction skills shortages, the BLS data indicate there are plenty of people looking for jobs in construction. It is likely that many of these prospective workers lack the skills necessary to fill the openings construction firms are seeking to fill or live in areas where construction employment growth is much slower. Normally, high construction unemployment would imply slow rates of wage and compensation increases; however, ABC believes this is not the case. Because of the presence of skills mismatches, wage gains are likely to be sizeable in 2015 even in the presence of lofty rates of construction unemployment.”

Construction employment for the month and the past year breaks down as follows:

  • Nonresidential building construction employment expanded by 10,000 for the month and is up by 23,400 jobs, or 3.4 percent, since December 2013.
  • Residential building construction employment expanded by 800 jobs in December and is up by 44,500 jobs, or 7 percent, on an annual basis.
  • Nonresidential specialty trade contractors added 12,800 jobs for the month and employment in that category is up by 76,900 jobs, or 3.7 percent, from the same time one year ago.
  • Residential specialty trade contractors gained 12,700 jobs in December and have added 87,600 jobs, or 5.6 percent, since December 2013.
  • The heavy and civil engineering construction segment gained 11,600 jobs in December and job totals are up by 57,900, or 6.6 percent, on a year-over-year basis.

To view the previous employment report, click here.

TRIP Reports: Deficient Roadways Cost Arkansas Motorists Approximately $2 Billion Annually. Costs Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Funding Boost

TRIPRoads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Arkansas motorists a total of $2 billion statewide annually 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 Arkansas, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, “Arkansas Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that, throughout Arkansas, nearly a third of major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways and nearly a quarter of major rural roads and highways are in poor condition. Nearly a quarter of Arkansas’ 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, Arkansas’ traffic fatality rate is the fifth highest nationally and the state’s rural non-interstate traffic fatality rate is more than three times the fatality rate on all other roads in the state.

Driving on deficient roads costs the state’s motorists approximately $2 billion 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. A breakdown of the costs statewide and per motorist in Little Rock area is below.

Arkansas 1The TRIP report finds that 32 percent of major locally and state-maintained urban roads in Arkansas are rated in poor condition and 42 percent are rated in mediocre condition or fair condition and the remaining 26 percent are rated good.   The report finds that 23 percent of major locally and state-maintained rural roads in Arkansas are rated in poor condition, 46 percent are rated in mediocre condition or fair condition and the remaining 31percent are rated good.

A total of 23 percent of Arkansas’ bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Seven percent of Arkansas’ bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional 16 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.

Deficient roads cost-segments-Arkansas-Little Rock“Safe and well-maintained highways are critical to Arkansas’ economic development,” said Commissioner Robert Moore, of the Arkansas Highway Commission. “Poor roads and highways cost Arkansans money and, in some cases, lives. While, on the other hand, adequate funding to improve Arkansas highways creates private-sector jobs, improves our business climate, attracts new business and industry, and keep motorists safe.”

Traffic crashes in Arkansas claimed the lives of 2,849 people between 2008 and 2012. Arkansas’ overall traffic fatality rate of 1.65 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012 is the fifth highest in the nation and significantly higher than the national traffic fatality rate of 1.13. Arkansas’ non-Interstate rural roads have a fatality rate in 2012 of 2.71 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, more than three times the fatality rate of 0.87 on all other roads and highways in the state.

The efficiency of Arkansas’ transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s 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 surface transportation program is a critical source of funding in Arkansas. From 2008 to 2012, the federal government provided $1.42 for road improvements in Arkansas for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fees. In July, 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 worsen if greater funding is not made available at the 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, Arkansas 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.”

ARKANSAS TRANSPORTATION BY THE NUMBERS:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Arkansas

$2 Billion

 

$1,674

 

Driving on deficient roads costs Arkansas residents $2 billion annually statewide. These costs include additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. In the Little Rock urban area, the average driver loses $1,674 annually as a result of driving on deficient roads.
#5 Arkansas’ traffic fatality rate of 1.65 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is the fifth highest in the nation.
5702,849 On average, 570 people were killed annually in Arkansas traffic crashes from 2008 to 2012, a total of 2,849 fatalities over the five year period.
3X The fatality rate on Arkansas’ non-interstate rural roads is more than three that on all other roads in the state (2.71 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.87).
32%23% Thirty-two percent of Arkansas’ major locally and state-maintained urban roads and 23 percent of the state’s major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition.
23 % A total of 23 percent of Arkansas bridges are in need of repair, improvement or replacement. Seven percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and 16 percent are functionally obsolete.
26 hours The average driver in the Little Rock urban area loses 26 hours each year as a result of traffic congestion.
$102 billion

$112 billion

Annually, $102 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Arkansas and another $112 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Arkansas, mostly by truck.
$1.42

 

From 2008 to 2012, the federal government provided $1.42 for road improvements in Arkansas for every dollar paid in federal motor fuel fees.
 

$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 Summary

Arkansas’ 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. Arkansas’ 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.

Deficient roads cost-segments-Arkansas-StatewideAs Arkansas looks to retain its businesses, maintain 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 Arkansas’ 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 6.0 percent and with the state’s population continuing to grow, Arkansas 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 Arkansans. Meeting Arkansas’ need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require significant 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.

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 Arkansas.

An inadequate transportation system costs Arkansas residents a total of $2 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • TRIP estimates that Arkansas 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 $2 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear), the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.
  • TRIP has calculated that the average Little Rock driver loses $1,674 annually as a result of driving on roads that have deterioration, are congested or lack some desirable safety features.

Arkansas 2

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

  • Arkansas’ population reached approximately 2.9 million in 2012, a 25 percent increase since 1990. Arkansas had 2,199,164 licensed drivers in 2012.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Arkansas increased by 60 percent from 1990 to 2012 – jumping from 21 billion VMT in 1990 to 33.5 billion VMT in 2012.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Arkansas is projected to increase by another 30 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2012, Arkansas’ gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 64 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

A lack of adequate local, state and federal funding has resulted in nearly a third of major urban roads and highways and nearly a quarter of major rural roads and highways in Arkansas having pavement surfaces in poor condition. These deteriorated conditions provide a rough ride and cost motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • Thirty-two percent of Arkansas’ major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 42 percent of the state’s major urban roads are rated in mediocre or fair condition. Twenty-six percent are rated in in good condition.
  • Twenty-three percent of Arkansas’ major locally and state-maintained rural roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 46 percent of the state’s major urban roads are rated in mediocre or fair condition. Thirty-one percent are rated in in good condition.
  • More than three-quarters of major urban roads in the Little Rock area are deteriorated. Fifty-three percent of major urban roads in Little Rock are in poor condition and an additional 26 percent are in mediocre condition. Twelve percent of major roads in Little Rock are in fair condition and the remaining nine percent are in good condition.
  • Driving on rough roads costs Arkansas 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.
  • Roads rated in poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, poor roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • Driving on rough roads costs each Little Rock area motorist $902 annually per in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Twenty-three percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in Arkansas 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.

  • Seven percent of Arkansas’ 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.
  • Sixteen percent of Arkansas’ 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.

Arkansas’ traffic fatality rate is the fifth highest in the nation. Improving safety features on Arkansas’ roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. It is estimated that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • Between 2008 and 2012 a total of 2,849 people were killed in traffic crashes in Arkansas, an average of 570 fatalities per year.
  • Arkansas’ overall traffic fatality rate of 1.65 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012 is the fifth highest in the nation. The national traffic fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel was 1.13 in 2012.
  • The fatality rate on Arkansas’ rural non-Interstate roads was 2.71 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012, more than three times the 0.87 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.

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Arkansas, 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.

  • According to the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the average driver in the Little Rock urban area loses $545 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion.
  • The average commuter in the Little Rock urban area wastes 26 hours each year stuck in traffic.
  • The increasing levels of congestion add significant costs to consumers, transportation companies, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. The increased levels of congestion can reduce the attractiveness of a location to a company to consider expansion or even 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 employees, and higher consumer costs.

The efficiency of Arkansas’ transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses are increasingly reliant 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, $102 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Arkansas and another $112 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Arkansas, mostly by truck.
  • Eighty-three percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Arkansas 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.
  • 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.

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

  • If Congress decides to provide additional revenues into the federal Highway Trust Fund in tandem with authorizing a new federal surface transportation program, a number of technically feasible revenue options have been identified by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
  • Numerous projects have been completed throughout Arkansas since 2005 that relied heavily on federal funding, including the widening of portions of I-40 and I-540 and the replacement of a US Highway 82 bridge over the Mississippi River in Chicot County. Appendix A details projects completed since 2005 as a result of significant federal transportation funding.
  • From 2008 to 2012, the federal government provided $1.42 for road improvements in Arkansas for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fuel fees.
  • Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) has already suspended $60 million in planned construction projects due to the uncertainty of the future status of the Highway Trust Fund. Suspended projects include the replacement of the Highway 70 (Roosevelt Road) bridge and the Remount Road Bridge in Pulaski County, widening of five miles of Highway 167 in Independence County, and widening 1.5 miles of Highway 63 in Lawrence County. Further project suspensions and delays are anticipated until Congress resolves the looming insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund.
  • Many needed projects in Arkansas will require significant federal transportation funds to proceed, including the Springdale Northern Bypass, construction of a new three-lane arterial to provide a north-south corridor in northwest Arkansas, and the reconstruction of 8.5 miles of I-440 in the Little Rock area. A full list of projects can be found in Appendix B.
  • A significant boost in investment on the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs, concluded a new report from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase from $88 billion to $120 billion and from $17 billion to $43 billion in the nation’s public transit systems, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report also found that the current backlog in needed road, highway and bridge improvements is $740 billion.

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