Monthly Archive for April, 2012

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TRIP Reports on Hawaii’s Road Conditions

Deficient Hawaii Roads Cost Each Honolulu Driver More Than $1,500 Annually, $1.1 Billion Statewide; Boost In Transportation Funding Needed To Improve Road And Bridge Conditions, Support State’s Economy And Improve Traffic Safety

Nearly two-thirds of Hawaii’s major roads are deteriorated and almost half of the state’s bridges are in need of repair or replacement, while a majority of urban roads are congested. Traveling on roads that are deteriorated, congested or that lack some desirable safety features costs the average Honolulu driver more than $1,500 annually, a total of $1.1 billion statewide. This is according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research organization.

According to the TRIP report, Providing Safe and Efficient Mobility in Hawaii: The Cost to Drivers of Deficient Roads, Highway Congestion and Traffic Crashes,” an increase in local, state and federal transportation funding will be required in order to make needed repairs to deteriorated roads and bridges and to alleviate congestion and enhance traffic safety. The TRIP report includes lists of the sections of roadway and bridges that are most deteriorated and in need of repair or replacement.

The TRIP report states that, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), a total of 47 percent of lane miles of Hawaii’s major roadways are rated in poor condition and an additional 14 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Seventeen percent of lane miles of major roadways are rated in fair condition and an additional 22 percent are rated in good condition. These include roads that are maintained by HDOT as well as individual counties. In Honolulu, 62 percent of major roads are in poor condition, the third highest share among cities with a population of 500,000 or more. Driving on roads in need of repair costs each Honolulu motorist an average of $701 each year in the form of accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. The TRIP report includes a list of the 25 sections of roadway throughout the state that are the most deteriorated and in need of repair or replacement.

In addition to deteriorated road conditions, 13 percent of the state’s bridges were structurally deficient and an additional 32 percent were functionally obsolete in 2011. HDOT estimates that the current cost to replace or rehabilitate all structurally deficient bridges in the state totals $500 million. The TRIP report identifies the 25 structurally deficient bridges in the state that are most in need of repair or replacement.“Unless Hawaii is able to secure additional transportation dollars, many needed projects will remain stranded on the drawing board because of insufficient funding,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP. “It is critical that Hawaii adequately fund its transportation system. Funding must be robust at the state and local level and Congress must move forward on immediate reauthorization of the federal surface transportation program. Thousands of jobs and the state’s economy are riding on it.”

The TRIP report also finds that 45 percent of Hawaii’s major urban roads are congested. In Honolulu, the average rush hour trip takes approximately 18 percent longer to complete than during non- rush hour. Congestion related delays cost the average peak-hour driver in the Honolulu area $620 each year in lost time and wasted fuel.

Although the state experienced a significant drop in traffic fatalities from 2006 to 2010, a total of 628 people lost their lives on the state’s roads during that time – an average of 126 fatalities each year. Hawaii’s traffic fatality rate of 1.13 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2010 is slightly higher than the national average of 1.11. In the Honolulu area, where there were 60 traffic fatalities in 2010, traffic crashes in which roadway design may have been a contributing factor cost each driver approximately $206 each year. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.

Construction officials noted that thousands more construction workers would be employed today if Congress weren’t years late in passing the highway and transit bill. “What makes these job losses even more frustrating is the fact that many of them could have been avoided,” said John Romanowski, president of the General Contractors Association of Hawaii, the statewide chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America and vice president of local asphalt firm Jas. W. Glover Ltd.

He noted that according to new data from the Associated General Contractors, the Honolulu area lost a higher percentage of construction jobs than most metro areas in the United States between January 2011 and January 2012. Specifically, the Honolulu area lost another 600 construction jobs, a 3 percent decrease, while the nation as a whole added 111,000 jobs or a 2 percent increase. “There is little doubt that far more jobs would have been created if a surface transportation bill were in place today.

Full report can be viewed at:

TRIP Reports on Michigan Road Conditions

Increased Transportation Investment Is Critical To Michigan’s Economic Recovery And To Lower Costs For State’s Residents; Each Michigan Household Could Save Nearly $2,000 Annually By 2022 If Funding Is Increased To Allow For Significant Improvements

Future levels of transportation funding in Michigan will determine the conditions, safety and congestion levels of the state’s roads and bridges, as well as the economic health of the state and the financial burden to Michigan households in the form of crashes, delays, bridge backlogs and vehicle operating costs.

A report released recently examines four possible transportation funding scenarios over the next decade, ranging from current levels and rates of investment (which are inadequate even to maintain the transportation system in its current condition) to an investment level capable of providing significant improvements in conditions and safety and significant reductions in congestion. The report, “Where Are We Going? Current and Future Pavement and Bridge Conditions, Safety, and Congestion Levels of Michigan’s Roadways and the Impact on Michigan Households, Based on Investment Levels over the Next Decade,” was issued by TRIP, a Washington, DC, based national transportation research organization.

While it will require a significant increase in transportation investment per Michigan household over the next decade to realize substantial improvements in the transportation system, these additional expenditures are more than outweighed by reduced costs associated with traffic crashes, congestion- related delays, bridge backlogs and additional vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on rough roads.

Inadequate roads, highways and bridges currently represent a financial burden to the average Michigan household of $3,014 annually in the form of traffic crashes, delays caused by traffic congestion, extra vehicle operating costs due to driving on rough roads, and in the cost to repair the state’s structurally deficient bridges. If the state continues to invest in its transportation system at the current funding levels, the TRIP report calculates that by 2022, the cost per household will rise to $3,649. However, if Michigan invests in roads and bridges at a level that would achieve a significant improvement in road and bridge conditions and performance, by 2022 the average annual household cost of inadequate roads, highways and bridges will decline to $1,745.

If the state continues to invest in its transportation system at the current funding levels, the TRIP report calculates that the annual cost for this investment from 2012 to 2022 will be an average of $303 per household. But if Michigan invests in roads and bridges at a level that would achieve a significantimprovement in road and bridge conditions and performance, the average investment per Michigan household will be $1,122 annually from 2012 to 2022.

“By working smarter, doing things differently and reorganizing the department to create unprecedented efficiencies, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has reduced spending by nearly $50 million,” said MDOT Director Kirk Steudle. “We will continue to find ways to do more with less, but that will not change the need for new spending to rebuild the state’s vital infrastructure system. The TRIP report’s findings validate those facts and cast a spotlight on an economic development imperative.”

Currently, 35 percent of Michigan’s major roads are rated in poor condition. If transportation funding remains at the current level, the share of Michigan’s major roads in poor condition will nearly double over the next decade, to 65 percent. At an investment level adequate to significantly improve the condition of major roads, the percentage in poor condition would decrease to just 14 percent by 2022.

Thirteen percent of Michigan’s bridges are currently structurally deficient and in need of repair, rehabilitation or replacement. Under current funding levels, the share of structurally deficient bridge will rise to 17 percent by 2022. But if adequate funding were made available to significantly improve bridge conditions, the share of structurally deficient bridges would be reduced to eight percent by 2022. The current cost to repair all structurally deficient bridges in Michigan is $1.4 billion. By 2022, bridges will have further deteriorated and the cost to repair them would rise to $2.2 billion. If funding were made available over the next decade to improve bridge conditions, the 2022 repair costs would decrease to $1 billion.

Highway safety can also be improved with additional transportation funding. Under current funding formulas, the number of traffic fatalities in Michigan from 2012 to 2022 is anticipated to be 7,955. If the state’s investment in roadway safety improvements was adequate to achieve significant safety improvements on these routes, it is projected that the number of traffic fatalities in Michigan from 2012 to 2022 would drop to 7,000 — 955 fewer deaths than under current funding formulas.

In 2010, 31 percent of Michigan’s major urban roads and highways experienced congestion. Based on current levels of funding available for projects that would alleviate traffic congestion in Michigan, congestion levels over the next decade are projected to remain the same. However, Michigan could nearly eliminate congestion over the next decade if the state invested at a level needed to significantly improve traffic flow.

“Michiganders have an opportunity to literally decide where their state is going based on the transportation investment decisions made over the next decade,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP. “Michigan must decide whether its future will be one of well-maintained, safe and efficient roads, highways and bridges supporting the state’s economic recovery or a state of further deteriorated roads, highways and bridges, a less than optimal level of roadway safety, and a congested transportation system that is inadequate to support the state’s economic development goals.”

Full report can be viewed at:

TRIP’s Top 40 Transportation Projects to Support Economic Growth and Quality of Life in Maryland


Executive Summary

Maryland’s transportation system has played a significant role in the state’s development, providing mobility and access for residents, visitors, businesses and industry. The state’s roads, highways, rails, ports and public transit systems remain the backbone of the Old Line State’s economy. Maryland’s transportation system also provides for a high quality of life and makes the state a desirable place to live and visit. The condition and quality of its transportation system will play a critical role in Maryland’s ability to continue to recover from the recession, capitalize on its economic advantages and meet the demands of the 21st Century.

To achieve sustainable economic growth, Maryland must proceed with numerous projects to improve key roads, bridges, highways and public transit systems. Enhancing critical segments of Maryland’s transportation system will boost the state’s economy in the short-term by creating jobs in construction and related fields. In the long-term these improvements will enhance economic competitiveness and improve the quality of life for the state’s residents and visitors by reducing travel delays and transportation costs, improving access and mobility, improving safety, and stimulating sustained job growth.

In this report, TRIP examines recent transportation and economic trends in Maryland and provides information on the transportation projects in the state that are most needed to support economic growth. Sources of data include the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), and the U.S. Census Bureau. All data used in the report is the latest available.

TRIP has identified and ranked the 40 transportation projects that are most needed to support Maryland’s economic growth. These projects are located throughout the state.

•            The most needed transportation improvements in Maryland include projects to build, expand or modernize roads, highways bridges and mass transit facilities These improvements would enhance economic development opportunities throughout the state by increasing mobility and freight movement, easing congestion, and making Maryland an attractive place to live, visit and do business.

•            TRIP ranked each transportation project based on a rating system that considered the following: short-term economic benefits, including job creation; the level of improvement in the condition of the transportation facility, including safety improvements; the degree of improvement in access and mobility; and the long- term improvement provided in regional or state economic performance and competitiveness.

•            Maryland’s 10 most needed transportation projects to support economic development in the state as determined by TRIP follow. Additional details on these and the other projects that make up the 40 most needed projects in Maryland for economic recovery and growth are included in the report’s Appendix.

1.Widening I-95/I-495 in Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties. This $5.8 billion project extends from the American Legion Bridge to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and would include widening, the addition of HOV/HOT lanes and bridge rehabilitation and replacements. This project would relieve congestion and improve mobility and movement in the area immediately around Washington, DC. The initial phase of this project would likely be an $800 million project from the American Legion Bridge to I-270, which would include widening, the use of reversible lanes, HOT/HOV lanes and rehabilitation or replacement of the American Legion bridge. Job creation will be spurred in the short term by these projects, while long-term benefits include improved accessibility and greater regional productivity.

2.Replacing the Governor Nice Bridge in Charles County. This $885 million project would replace the existing Governor Nice bridge, which does not meet current standards and is reaching capacity during peak travel times. By 2025, traffic on the bridge is projected to increase by 45 percent on weekdays and 33 percent on weekends. This project will create construction jobs in the short term, while reducing travel times and fuel costs and promoting regional economic development in the long-term.

3.Widening and bridge rehabilitation and replacement on I-695 in Baltimore.

This $1.2 billion project would continue the efforts to widen I-695 and replace or rehabilitate deficient bridges. Completion of this project would alleviate congestion in the Baltimore area on the primary route for moving people and goods through the region and beyond. It would also reduce travel time and gasoline costs for Maryland citizens and visitors. The initial phase of this project would likely be the $85 million rehabilitation or replacement of three bridges.

4. Construction of the Purple Line from Bethesda to New Carrolton. This $1.9 billion project includes a two-track light rail line with dedicated running way, 21 stations and two maintenance facilities. The Purple Line is estimated to serve 60,000 riders per day in 2030. It will also provide faster, more reliable transit in congested corridors and connect directly to existing rail and bus service.

5.Widening and Interchanges on MD 5 in Prince George’s County. This $1.1 billion project would widen and add interchanges to 10.5 miles of MD 5 between US 301 and I-95/I-495. It will relieve congestion and improve operations along the MD 5 corridor while improving east-west movement in Prince George’s County. The project will create jobs in the short-term and will accommodate increased traffic volumes stemming from anticipated development along the MD 5 corridor in the long-term.

6.Widening MD 295 from four lanes to six. This $220 million project would widen more than three miles of MD 295 from MD 100 to I-195 in Baltimore. It would also provide a new interchange at Hanover Road with widening and relocation of Hanover Road from MD 295 to MD 170. Congestion will be eased and access would be improved to the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, one of the state’s economic engines.

7.Red Line Light Rail Transitway from Woodlawn to Bayview Medical Center.

This $2.2 billion project would add 14 miles of two-track light rail line with dedicated running way, 19 stations and a maintenance facility. The new line is projected to serve 57,000 riders per day in 2030, provide faster, more reliable transit in congested corridors, and connect directly to existing rail and bus services. It will provide key connectivity in this east/west corridor and to existing Metro, light rail and MARC transit services.

8.Widening US 29 Northbound. This $104 million project would widen the northbound section of US 29 from Seneca Drive to MD 175 from two lanes to three. This project will improve safety and reduce congestion on a major commuting route through Columbia between Washington and Baltimore. The southbound section is currently three lanes.

9.Interchange construction at MD 97 at MD 28 in Montgomery County. This $142 million project would construct an interchange at MD 97 and MD 28 in Montgomery County to relieve congestion and provide needed bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The project will support access to and from the Intercounty Connector and regional corridors of I-95 and I-270.

10.Interchange construction at MD 210 and Kerby Hill Road/Livingston Road. This $126 million project would convert the intersection of MD 210 and Kerby Hill Road/ Livingston Road into a grade-separtated interchange. Completion of the project would improve safety and operations along the corridor during peak hours and help improve north-to-south movement in southern Prince George’s County. The project will create jobs in the short term and will accommodate anticipated growth and development along the MD 210 corridor.

Transportation projects that improve the efficiency, condition or safety of a highway or transit route provide significant economic benefits by reducing transportation delays and costs associated with a deficient transportation system. Some benefits of transportation improvements include the following.

•            Improved business competitiveness due to reduced production and distribution costs as a result of increased travel speeds and fewer mobility barriers.

•            Improvements in household welfare resulting from better access to higher-paying jobs, a wider selection of competitively priced consumer goods, additional housing and healthcare options, and improved mobility for residents without access to private vehicles.

•            Gains in local, regional and state economies due to improved regional economic competitiveness, which stimulates population and job growth.

•            Increased leisure/tourism and business travel resulting from the enhanced condition and reliability of a region’s transportation system.

•            A reduction in economic losses from vehicle crashes, traffic congestion and vehicle maintenance costs associated with driving on deficient roads.

•            The creation of both short-term and long-term jobs.

•            Transportation projects that expand roadway or transit capacity produce significant economic benefits by reducing congestion and improving access, thus speeding the flow of people and goods while reducing fuel consumption.

•            Transportation projects that maintain and preserve existing transportation infrastructure also provide significant economic benefits by improving travel speeds, capacity, load-carry abilities and safety, and reducing operating costs for people and businesses. Such projects also extend the service life of a road, bridge or transit vehicle or facility, which saves money by either postponing or eliminating the need for more expensive future repairs.

•            Site Selection magazine’s 2010 survey of corporate real estate executives found that transportation infrastructure was the third most important selection factor in site location decisions, behind only work force skills and state and local taxes.

•            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.

While Maryland’s diverse economy has been impacted by the recession, the state’s transportation system will need to accommodate projected future growth.

•            From 1990 to 2010, Maryland’s population increased by 21 percent, from approximately 4.8 million to approximately 5.8 million. Maryland’s population is expected to increase to 6.7 million by 2030.

•            From 1990 to 2010, annual vehicle-miles-of-travel (VMT) in the state increased by 38 percent, from approximately 40.5 billion VMT to 56.1 billion VMT. Based on travel and population trends, TRIP estimates that vehicle travel in Maryland will increase another 30 percent by 2030, reaching approximately 73 billion VMT.

•            Maryland’s unemployment rate nearly doubled from 3.3 percent in February 2008 to 6.5 percent in February 2012. The national unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in February 2012.

•            In 2012, Maryland is projected to have a 3.6 percent rate of economic growth, measured in real GSP, which is factored for price changes. This rate of growth is higher than the forecast 3.4 percent increase in national real GSP in 2012.

•            Maryland has benefited from a diverse economy, which includes significant employment in the following sectors: transportation, government services, food production (including fishing and agriculture), manufacturing and biotechnology.

Maryland’s economy is served by an extensive surface transportation system that has some deficiencies and experiences severe congestion in key areas. Roads carry the majority of freight shipped in the state.

•            Maryland’s system of 31,461 miles of roads and 5,195 bridges, maintained by local, state and federal governments, carry 55.3 billion vehicle miles of travel annually.

•            Forty-four percent of Maryland’s major roads are deficient, with 26 percent rated in poor condition and an additional 18 percent rated mediocre in 2008. An additional 15 percent of the state’s major roads were rated in fair condition and 41 percent were rated in good condition.

•            Seven percent of Maryland’s bridges were rated structurally deficient in 2011. 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, school buses and emergency services vehicles.

•            In 2011, 18 percent of Maryland’s bridges were rated as functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

•            Every year, approximately $131 billion in goods are shipped annually from sites in Maryland and another $205 billion in goods are shipped annually to sites in Maryland, mostly by truck.

•            Eighty-one percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Maryland are carried by trucks and another 13 percent are carried by parcel, U.S. Postal Service or courier services, which use trucks for part of the deliveries.

The full report can be viewed at:

An appendix listing the 40 projects can be viewed at:

Sources of data for this report include the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. All data used in the report is the latest available

ICUEE 2013 Chair Named -
Mark Core of Vermeer Heads Planning Committee For “The Demo Expo”

Mark Core, vice president marketing and lifecycle management for Vermeer Corporation, Pella, Iowa, has been named chair of the 2013 ICUEE exposition, to be held October 1-3, 2013 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. Core leads the show’s managing committee, which represents a cross section of industry volunteer company executives to ensure the exposition meets the needs of all market segments.

ICUEE – the International Construction and Utility Equipment Exposition – is held biennially and is geared to the utility/construction industry, with a primary focus on the electric, phone/cable, sewer/water, gas, general construction, landscaping and public works sectors. ICUEE 2013 is expected to cover more than one million net square feet of outdoor and indoor exhibit space and is known as The Demo Expo for its hands-on working equipment demonstrations.

Core joined Vermeer in 1996 as manager of external training/dealer development and currently serves as vice president marketing and lifecycle management. He was named an executive-team member and vice president of the ag product group in 2002, and in 2004 his role expanded to include overseeing management of global parts distribution, parts marketing, external training and market research.

ICUEE 2013 Vice Chair and Management Committee Also Named

Serving as vice chair of the ICUEE 2013 Management Committee is Tim Doucette, Marketing & Public Relations Manager for Liebherr Construction Equipment Company, Newport News, Virginia.

Joining Mark Core and Tim Doucette on the show management committee are:

  • David Althaus, Manager Events and Promotion, John Deere Construction & Forestry, Moline, Illinois
  • Neil Borenstein, Senior Marketing Manager, Toro Company, Bloomington, Minnesota
  • Christian Brahler, President & Chief Executive Officer, TT Technologies Inc., Aurora, Illinois
  • David Burch, Manager Shows & Exhibits, GM Fleet and Commercial, Detroit, Michigan
  • David Gasmovic, President & Chief Executive Officer, McLaughlin Manufacturing Company, Greenville, South Carolina
  • Karen Guinn, Events & Demonstration Assistant Manager, JCB Inc., Pooler, Georgia
  • John Kestler, Director Exhibits & Events, Cummins Inc., Columbus, Indiana
  • Shan Kirtley, Director Sales & Marketing, The Charles Machine Works, Perry, Oklahoma
  • Sherry Moschner, Fleet Manager, AmerenUE, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Anne Paluso, Marketing Communications Manager Construction Equipment North America, CNH, Racine, Wisconsin
  • Megan Tanel, Vice President Exhibitions & Events, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Terry VanConant, Marketing Manager, Terex Telelect Inc., Watertown, South Dakota
  • Mark Wegel, Corporate Communications Manager, Altec Industries Inc., Birmingham, Alabama

For information on exhibiting or attending ICUEE, go online to or email

Andrew Gillman From The Road For The Road Connection

Hello Everyone!

It has been a very exciting couple of weeks for all of us here at The Road Connection. We have just wrapped up a leg of our tour, and are taking a short break before hitting the road again. We covered a lot of ground in the month of March, (Salt Lake City, Charlotte, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Newport News, Nashville, Topeka), and are looking forward to our upcoming events at Road Machinery and Supplies in Savage, Minnesota, Astec Mobile Screens in Sterling, Illinois, and the Michigan Aggregates Association meeting in Kalamazoo.

Looking back on the past month, a lot has happened in Washington regarding the current legislation surrounding a long-term highway bill. Congress and the President passed a short-term, 90-day extension to maintain current funding levels, the ninth of its kind since SAFETEA-LU expired in 2009. This is a short-term, “band-aid” approach and doesn’t give contractors the confidence to hire more workers, purchase necessary machinery, or in other words boost the U.S. economy and fix our crumbling roads and bridges. This extension maintains the status quo, and unfortunately, the current status quo is at a solid D-minus.

In the next 90 days, The Road Connection will be continuing to carry the message that “Roads Matter” to folks all across the country pushing for the passage of a fully-funded, long-term highway bill. We are taking the message to Congress that “Extensions are not Solutions,” and really pressuring our lawmakers to work together and invest in our infrastructure.  We sincerely appreciate all of your support in spreading the message to your colleagues, friends, and family.

Thank you all for your support in spreading this very important message that affects us all. Really quickly, I just want to point out a few updates that might interest you:

– Attached: Astec Mobile Screens open house Press Release

– Updated videos on our YouTube channel – including Rally for Roads speeches (URL below)

– New “facts” page on our website (URL below)

– Updated photos on Flickr and Facebook (URLs below)

Thank you again for all your help.  As always, if there are any questions I can answer, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Best Regards,

Andrew Gillman