TRIP Reports: Deficient, Congested Roadways Cost Missouri Drivers As Much As $1,500 Annually, A Total Of $4.5 Billion Statewide. Costs Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Increased Funding

TRIPRoads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Missouri motorists a total of $4.5 billion statewide annually – as much as $1,500 per driver – 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 Missouri, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Missouri Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Missouri, 22 percent of major locally and state-maintained major roads are in poor condition. Twenty-three percent of Missouri’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year. And, more than 4,000 people were killed in crashes on the state’s roads in the last five years.

Driving on deficient roads costs Missouri driver as much as $1,500 per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the cost of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculated the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in Jefferson City, Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.

TRIP MOTwenty-two percent of Missouri’s major roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 48 percent of the state’s major roads are rated in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 30 percent are rated in good condition.

“Missouri has the seventh largest highway system in the nation, but ranks 46th in revenue spent per mile,” said MoDOT Chief Financial Officer Roberta Broeker. “That kind of underinvestment has consequences, including an impact to safety and economic growth. While we are committed to do the best we can with limited resources, we know the condition of our system will deteriorate without additional investment.”

A total of 23 percent of Missouri’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Thirteen percent of Missouri’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional 10 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.

Missouri’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is the same as the national average. Traffic crashes in Missouri claimed the lives of 4,068 people between 2009 and 2013. The state’s rural roads have a significantly higher rate of fatal vehicle crashes, with a traffic fatality rate of 1.96 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, nearly triple the 0.68 fatality on all other roads in the state.

The efficiency and condition of Missouri’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $226 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Missouri and another $234 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Missouri, mostly by truck.

The Federal surface transportation program is a critical source of funding in Missouri. From 2009 to 2013, the federal government provided $1.31 for road improvements in Missouri for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fuel fees. In July 2014 Congress approved an eight-month extension of the federal surface transportation program, which will now run through May 31, 2015. The legislation also transfers nearly $11 billion into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to preserve existing levels of highway and public transportation investment through the end of May 2015.

“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the local, state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without additional transportation funding Missouri’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.”

MISSOURI TRANSPORTATION BY THE NUMBERS:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Missouri

 

$4.5 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Missouri motorists a total of $4.5 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
$1,316

$1,327

$1,134

$1,511

 

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in Missouri’s largest urban areas in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. The average Jefferson City driver loses $1,316 annually, while the each Kansas City driver loses $1,327. Drivers in Springfield lose $1,134 annually, while the average St. Louis motorist loses $1,511 annually.
814

4,068

On average, 814 people were killed annually in Missouri traffic crashes from 2009 to 2013, a total of 4,068 fatalities over the five year period.
 

3X

The fatality rate on Missouri’s non-interstate rural roads is nearly triple that on all other roads in the state (1.96 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.68).
22%

32%

23%

19%

29%

Statewide, 22 percent of Missouri’s major roads are in poor condition. Thirty-two percent of Jefferson City’s major roads are in poor condition, while in Kanas City, 23 percent of major roads are in poor condition. Nineteen percent of major urban roads in Springfield are in poor condition and 29 percent of major roads in the St. Louis urban area are in poor condition.
$226 billion

$234 billion

Annually, $226 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Missouri and another $234 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Missouri, mostly by truck.
 

23 %

A total of 23 percent of Missouri bridges are in need of repair, improvement or replacement. Thirteen percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and 10 percent are functionally obsolete.
18 hours

27 hours

19 hours

31 hours

 

The average driver in the Jefferson City area loses 18 hours to congestion annually, while each driver in the Kansas City urban area loses 27 hours each year. The average Springfield driver loses 19 hours annually, and each St. Louis driver loses 31 hours annually as a result of traffic congestion.
 

$1.31

 

From 2009 to 2013, the federal government provided $1.31 for road improvements in Missouri for every dollar paid in Missouri 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

Missouri’s extensive system of roads, highways and bridges provides the state’s residents, visitors and businesses with a high level of mobility. This transportation system forms the backbone that supports the state’s economy. Missouri’s surface transportation system enables the state’s residents and visitors to travel to work and school, visit family and friends, and frequent tourist and recreation attractions while providing its businesses with reliable access to customers, materials, suppliers and employees.

As Missouri works 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 Missouri’s roads, highways and bridges could also provide a significant boost to the state’s economy by creating jobs in the short term and stimulating long term economic growth as a result of enhanced mobility and access.

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

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

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 Missouri.

An inadequate transportation system costs Missouri residents a total of $4.5 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • TRIP estimates that Missouri 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 $4.5 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 Jefferson City, Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis urban areas.

TRIP MO 1Population and economic growth in Missouri have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system.

  • Missouri’s population reached approximately 6.1 million residents in 2014, an 18 percent increase since 1990. Missouri had 4,280,438 licensed drivers in 2013.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Missouri increased by 37 percent from 1990 to 2013 – jumping from 50.9 billion VMT in 1990 to 69.5 billion VMT in 2013.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Missouri is projected to increase by another 20 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2013, Missouri’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 49 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in 22 percent of major roads and highways in Missouri 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 Missouri’s major roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 48 percent of the state’s major roads are rated in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 30 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 Missouri motorists a total of $1.7 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 Jefferson City, Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis:

TRIP MO 2Nearly one-quarter of locally and state-maintained bridges in Missouri 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 Missouri’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles.
  • Ten percent of Missouri’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.

Missouri’s rural traffic fatality rate is nearly three times higher than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state. Improving safety features on Missouri’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 2009 and 2013 a total of 4,068 people were killed in traffic crashes in Missouri, an average of 814 fatalities per year.
  • Missouri’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2013 is the same as the national average.
  • The fatality rate on Missouri’s rural non-Interstate roads was 1.96 fatalities per 100 vehicle miles of travel in 2013, nearly triple the 0.68 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 Missouri, 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 methodology used by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), TRIP estimates that the average Jefferson City driver loses $410 annually in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion. The average Jefferson City commuter loses 18 hours each year in traffic.
  • According to TTI, the average driver in the Kansas City urban area loses $584 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average commuter in the Kansas City urban area wastes 27 hours each year stuck in traffic.
  • Based on TTI methodology, TRIP estimates that the average Springfield driver loses $435 annually in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion. The average Springfield commuter loses 19 hours each year in traffic.
  • According to TTI, the average driver in the St. Louis urban area loses $686 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average St. Louis commuter wastes 31 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.

The efficiency of Missouri’s 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, $226 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Missouri and another $234 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Missouri, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-two percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Missouri are carried by trucks and another 16 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.

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

  • From 2009 to 2013, the federal government provided $1.31 for road improvements in Missouri for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fuel fees.
  • 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.

Sources of information for this report include the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), 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).

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