Tag Archive for 'American Road & Transportation Builders Association'

TRIP Reports: VIRGINIA MOTORISTS LOSE $9.5 BILLION PER YEAR ON ROADWAYS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME DESIRABLE SAFETY FEATURES

AS MUCH AS $2,600 PER DRIVER. LACK OF SUSTAINABLE, LONG-TERM FUNDING THREATENS VIRGINIA’S ABILITY TO IMPROVE ROAD AND BRIDGE CONDITIONS, IMPROVE TRAFFIC SAFETY, AND RELIEVE CONGESTION ON A TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM CARRYING GROWING TRAFFIC VOLUMES.

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Virginia motorists a total of $9.5 billion statewide annually – as much as $2,583 per driver in some areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. A lack of sustainable, long-term transportation funding threatens Virginia’s ability to improve road and bridge conditions, improve traffic safety, and relieve traffic congestion and could be an impediment to economic growth in the state, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit. 

The TRIP report, Virginia Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Virginia, approximately one third of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition, more than 600 locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient, and 3,875 people lost their lives on the state’s roads in traffic crashes from 2014-2018. The report also finds that travel on Virginia’s roadways has increased by 14 percent from 2000 to 2018 and six percent from 2013 to 2018, resulting in increasing traffic congestion, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce. 

Virginia drivers lose $9.5 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. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in the state’s largest urban areas, along with a statewide total, is below.

The report also finds that Virginia’s current sources of transportation revenues will not keep pace with the state’s future transportation needs. This is largely a result of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and the increasing use of electric vehicles, which, combined, are expected to reduce significantly the revenue generated by the state’s motor fuel tax revenues.  Average fuel efficiency for passenger vehicles in the U.S. has increased by 20 percent over the last decade and is expected to increase by 31 percent by 2030 and 51 percent by 2040.  And, electric vehicles, which now account for two percent of passenger vehicles in Virginia, are expected to increase to 46 percent of passenger vehicles in Virginia by 2040.  As a result of increased fuel efficiency and the adoption of electric vehicles, gasoline and diesel consumption in Virginia is expected to decrease 23 percent by 2030, and 51 percent by 2040.  This decline is expected to decrease Virginia’s state motor fuel tax receipts by 34 percent by 2030 and 62 percent by 2040. State diesel fuel tax receipts are expected to decrease 24 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.

“The lack of adequate, sustainable transportation funding in Virginia will lead to increasing deterioration on the state’s roads and bridges and even longer congestion-related delays for commuters, businesses and visitors,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Deteriorated, congested roads rob drivers of time and money while reducing the state’s competitive advantage and threatening economic growth. Making investments that will improve the condition and efficiency of Virginia’s transportation system will ensure that the state remains an attractive place to live, visit and do business.”

The TRIP report finds that 12 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in Virginia are in poor condition and another 22 percent are in mediocre condition, costing the state’s drivers an additional $2.8 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Twenty-four percent of major roads in Virginia are in fair condition and the remaining 42 percent are in good condition.

A total of 646 Virginia bridges (20 feet or longer) are rated poor/structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. More than eight thousand (8,499) of the state’s bridges are rated in fair condition and the remaining 4,786 are in good condition. 

Traffic congestion throughout the state is worsening, causing up to 102 annual hours of delay for drivers in some areas and costing as much as $2,015 per driver. Statewide, lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion costs Virginia drivers a total of $4.6 billion annually. 

Traffic crashes in Virginia claimed the lives 3,875 people between 2014 and 2018. Virginia’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.96 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2018 was lower than the national average of 1.13.  The fatality rate on Virginia’s non-interstate rural roads in 2018 was approximately three times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.05 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.63).  Traffic crashes imposed a total of $6.4 billion in economic costs in Virginia in 2018 and traffic crashes in which a lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor imposed $2.1 billion in economic costs.  

The efficiency and condition of Virginia’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.  Annually, $497 billion in goods are shipped to and from Virginia, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. 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. Approximately 112,000 full-time jobs in Virginia in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are dependent on the quality, safety and reliability of the state’s transportation infrastructure network.

VIRGINIA KEY TRANSPORTATION FACTS 

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

Driving on Virginia roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack some desirable safety features costs Virginia drivers a total of $9.5 billion each year. TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on rough roads, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes. The chart below details the cost of deficient roads statewide and for the average driver in the state’s largest urban areas. 

VIRGINIA ROADS PROVIDE A ROUGH RIDE

Due to inadequate state and local funding, 34 percent of major roads and highways in Virginia are in poor or mediocre condition. Driving on rough roads costs the average Virginia driver $468 annually in additional vehicle operating costs – a total of $2.8 billion statewide.  The chart below details pavement conditions on major roads in the state’s largest urban areas and statewide.

VIRGINIA BRIDGE CONDITIONS

More than 600 of Virginia’s bridges (646) are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition. Bridges that are rated poor/structurally deficient have significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. More than eight thousand (8,499) of the state’s bridges are rated in fair condition and the remaining 4,786 are in good condition. Most bridges are designed to last 50 years before major overhaul or replacement, although many newer bridges are being designed to last 75 years or longer. In Virginia, 46 percent of the state’s bridges were built in 1969 or earlier. The chart below details bridge conditions statewide and in the state’s largest urban areas.

VIRGINIA ROADS ARE INCREASINGLY CONGESTED

Congested roads choke commuting and commerce and cost Virginia drivers $4.6 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel. In the most congested urban areas, drivers lose up to $2,015 and spend as many as 102 hours per year sitting in traffic as a result of congestion. 

VIRGINIA TRAFFIC SAFETY AND FATALITIES

From 2014 to 2018, 3,875 people were killed in traffic crashes in Virginia. In 2018, Virginia had 0.96 traffic fatalities for every 100 million miles traveled, lower than the national average of 1.13.  The fatality rate on Virginia’s non-interstate rural roads in 2018 was approximately three times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.05 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.63).

Traffic crashes imposed a total of $6.4 billion in economic costs in Virginia in 2018 and traffic crashes in which a lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor imposed $2.1 billion in economic costs.  The chart below details the number of people killed in traffic crashes in the state’s largest urban areas between 2015 and 2018, and the cost of traffic crashes per driver. 

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN VIRGINIA

Virginia’s current sources of transportation revenues will not keep pace with the state’s future transportation needs. This is partially a result of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and the increasing use of electric vehicles, which have reduced the revenue generated by the state’s motor fuel taxes.  The average fuel efficiency of U.S. passenger vehicles increased from 20 miles per gallon in 2010 to 24.5 miles per gallon in 2020. Average fuel efficiency is expected to increase 31 percent by 2030 (to 32 miles per gallon) and 51 percent by 2040 (to 37 miles per gallon).  Electric vehicles, which now account for two percent of passenger vehicles in Virginia, are expected to increase to 46 percent of passenger vehicles in Virginia by 2040.

   As a result of increased fuel efficiency and the adoption of electric vehicles, gasoline and diesel consumption in Virginia is expected to decrease 23 percent between 2020 to 2030, and 51 percent by 2040.  This decline is expected to decrease Virginia’s state motor fuel tax receipts by 34 percent by 2030 and 62 percent by 2040. State diesel fuel tax receipts are expected to decrease 24 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The health and future growth of Virginia’s economy is riding on its transportation system. Each year, $497 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Virginia. The value of freight shipped to and from sites in Virginia, in inflation-adjusted dollars, is expected to increase 128 percent by 2045 and 92 percent for goods shipped by trucks, placing an increased burden on the state’s already deteriorated and congested network of roads and bridges. 

The amount of freight transported in Virginia and the rest of the U.S. is expected to increase significantly as a result of further economic growth, changing business and retail models, increasing international trade, and rapidly changing consumer expectations that place an emphasis on faster deliveries, often of smaller packages or payloads.  

According to a report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the design, construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Virginia support approximately 112,000 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $5.2 billion annually. Approximately 1.5 million full-time jobs in Virginia in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation network.

CONCLUSION

            As Virginia works to enhance its thriving, growing and dynamic state, it will be critical that it is able to provide a 21st century network of roads, highways, bridges and transit that can accommodate the mobility demands of a modern society.

            Virginia will need to modernize its surface transportation system by improving the physical condition of its transportation network and enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient, safe and reliable mobility for residents, visitors and businesses. Making needed improvements to the state’s roads, highways, bridges and transit systems would provide a boost to the economy by creating jobs in the short term and stimulating long-term economic growth as a result of enhanced mobility and access. 

Numerous projects to improve the condition and expand the capacity of Virginia’s roads, highways, bridges and transit systems will not be able to proceed without a substantial boost in local, state or federal transportation funding.  If Virginia is unable to complete needed transportation projects it will hamper the state’s ability to improve the condition and efficiency of its transportation system or enhance economic development opportunities and quality of life.  

For the full report visit tripnet.org

Founded in 1971, TRIP ® of Washington, DC, is a nonprofit organization that researches, evaluates and distributes economic and technical data on surface transportation issues.  TRIP is sponsored by insurance companies, equipment manufacturers, distributors and suppliers; businesses involved in highway and transit engineering and construction; labor unions; and organizations concerned with efficient and safe surface transportation.

Busy Week at ARTBA — Check It Out

ARTBA & Other Groups Urge Senate Vote on Highway Bill

October 18, 2019 

By John Schneidawind, vice president of public affairs, ARTBA

ARTBA and a cross section of nearly 40 national organizations representing business and organized labor are urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bring S. 2302, the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), to a floor vote by the end of the year.

The Senate’s Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee July 29 unanimously passed the ATIA, but “it is up to the rest of the Senate to take the next steps,” the groups wrote in an Oct. 17 letter to McConnell. (see below)

Those steps include consideration by the Senate’s Commerce, Banking and Finance committees. The Finance Committee is tasked with developing a way to pay spending called for by the legislation, which represents the first surface transportation program reauthorization bill in nearly 15 years that would significantly increase federal investment in highway safety and mobility improvements.

In urging McConnell to bring the bill to the Senate floor for consideration, the letter notes that “history has demonstrated that delaying action on such measures until their deadline leads to two outcomes: short-term extensions; and the disruption of state highway improvement plans.”

The letter praises McConnell for moving the last highway program reauthorization through the Senate after the EPW Committee passed it in June 2015, which “with your personal support, spurred action from other Senate Committees and the House of Representatives. This culminated in the enactment of the “Fixing America’s Transportation (FAST) Act six months later.”

The House of Representatives has yet to take any action to introduce similar highway program reauthorization legislation.

Summer Transportation Construction Work Hits Record $45.6 Billion

October 17, 2019

By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

Transportation contractors were busy this summer, with the value of work up across all modes in June, July, and August compared to the same three-month period in 2018.

Contractors performed a record $45.6 billion in transportation and transportation-related construction work, up 12 percent compared to the $40.8 billion put in place June through August 2018, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Highway and street pavement work has shown continued strength, with $21.7 billion in work between June and August 2019, compared to $19.6 billion in market activity through the same time period in 2018,” said ARTBA Chief Economist, Dr. Alison Black. “Work is also up for bridge, airport, transit, rail and port/waterway construction.”

ARTBA contractor members can have their say about what was going on by taking a few minutes to answer our third quarter industry conditions survey. The deadline is Oct. 28.

State and local government highway and bridge contract awards continue to show strength in some of the nation’s largest markets, Black said, including California, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas, and Virginia. Year to date, market activity is up 10 percent across all transportation modes.

Dr. Black will take a deeper dive into market conditions and federal, state, and local funding trends at ARTBA’s four upcoming regional meetings. Learn more and register here.

ATIA Group Letter to Senate Leader McConnell

October 17, 2019 

The Honorable Mitch McConnell 

Majority Leader 

U.S. Senate 

Washington, D.C. 20510 

 Dear Leader McConnell: 

The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee’s America’s Transportation 

Infrastructure Act (ATIA), S. 2302, provides a rare opportunity to benefit all states and continue the nation’s longest economic expansion in history. While the EPW Committee has unanimously approved a critical federal infrastructure initiative, it is up to the rest of the Senate to take the next steps. 

We applaud EPW Committee Chairman Barrasso, Ranking Member Carper and all committee 

members for proactively moving forward with a reauthorization of the federal highway program more than a year before it expires. History has demonstrated that delaying action on such measures until their deadline leads to two outcomes: short-term extensions; and disruption of state highway improvement plans. 

The ATIA is not only timely, but it would also deliver meaningful enhancement to the nation’s 

highway and bridge infrastructure network. It would provide historic investment levels, deliver 

beneficial projects faster by cutting red tape, tap private sector capital and innovations, prioritize safety, and improve the quality of life for rural and urban communities. The ATIA is an important foundation to begin addressing the critical need to modernize America’s infrastructure. 

The ATIA earned unanimous endorsement of EPW Committee members and supportive comments from President Trump. This unique show of broad, bipartisan cooperation speaks not only to the merits of the legislation, but also to its prospects for passage. The EPW Committee approved a highway program reauthorization in June 2015 that, with your personal support, spurred action from other Senate committees and the House of Representatives. This culminated in the enactment of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act six months later. 

We urge you to ensure the progress made on the ATIA continues by committing to schedule a 

reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs for floor consideration this year. 

Such a pledge would be an unequivocal signal to the other relevant Senate committees to begin developing their respective components of the final bill. 

Sincerely,

American Road & Transportation Builders Association 

Associated General Contractors of America 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce 

American Society of Civil Engineers 

Associated Equipment Manufacturers 

The National Industrial Transportation League 

American Public Works Association 

Transportation Intermediaries Association 

National Association of Chemical Distributors 

North America’s Building Trades Unions 

International Union of Operating Engineers 

Laborers International Union of North America 

American Public Transportation Association 

Equipment Dealers Association 

Associated Equipment Distributors 

National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc. 

American Highway Users Alliance 

National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association 

American Council of Engineering Companies 

American Concrete Pipe Association 

Coalition for America’s Gateway & Trade Corridors 

Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance 

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association 

National Steel Bridge Alliance 

Portland Cement Association 

Industrial Minerals Association – North America 

American Concrete Pavement Association 

Construction & Demolition Recycling Association 

American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) 

International Warehouse Logistics Association 

National Parking Association 

Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA) 

National Association of Trailer Manufacturers 

Food Marketing Institute 

CCIM Institute 

Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association 

Associated Wire Rope Fabricators 

Building Owners and Managers Association 

Cc: All U.S. Senators 

ARTBA Reports: FY 2020 Spending Bills Move Toward November Passage

By Dean Franks, senior vice president, congressional relations, ARTBA

The House and Senate are moving forward with important spending legislation to avoid a government shutdown.

The House, by a 301-123 vote, Sept. 19 passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) – a temporary spending bill that would extend FY 2019 funding levels for all appropriations bills until Nov. 21. The stopgap spending measure now moves to the Senate, which is expected to pass it for President Donald Trump’s signature before the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.

This process was expected. In early August, after enacting a two-year budget deal that set a path for future bipartisan agreements on most spending decisions, congressional leaders in both parties acknowledged that a funding patch like the CR passed this week would still be necessary..

On the other side of the capitol, the Senate Appropriations Committee Sept. 19 passed its version of an FY 2020 transportation spending bill, including full-funding for Highway Trust Fund (HTF)-supported programs at FAST Act-authorized levels.

Guided by the August budget agreement, Senate appropriators continued the recent precedent of adding supplementary highway, transit, and airport funding beyond authorized levels. The chart below shows the last two years of federal spending on these programs and compares the details of the Senate bill to the June 25 House-passed legislation.

The Senate may consider their version of the bill as soon as the week of Sept. 23. Once the Senate passes its legislation, lawmakers from both parties and both chambers will meet to work through the few differences that exist between the bills.  Final passage of the FY 2020 legislation and the president’s signature are expected before the CR expires Nov. 21.

ARTBA will continue working to ensure the final bill contains as much additional investment as possible in highway, public transportation and airport construction programs.

NEW TRIP REPORT IDENTIFIES NEW YORK STATE BRIDGES MOST IN NEED OF REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT

APPROXIMATELY 11.6 MILLION VEHICLES PER DAY CROSS STATE’S POOR/ STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT BRIDGES; TEN PERCENT OF NEW YORK’S BRIDGES ARE RATED POOR/STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT AND 53 PERCENT ARE RATED FAIR.

Ten percent of bridges in New York State are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition, according to a new report released recently by TRIP, a Washington, DC-based national transportation research nonprofit. This includes bridges 20 feet or longer. A bridge is rated poor/structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components

The TRIP report, Preserving New York’s Bridges: The Condition and Funding Needs of New York’s Aging Bridge System,” finds that 1,757 of New York’s 17,521 bridges are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition –ten percent. New York bridges that are poor/structurally deficient carry 11,590,945 vehicles per day.  Poor/structurally deficient bridges may be posted for lower weight limits or closed if their condition warrants such action. Deteriorated bridges can have a significant impact on daily life. Restrictions on vehicle weight may cause many vehicles – especially emergency vehicles, commercial trucks, school buses, and farm equipment – to use alternate routes to avoid weight-restricted bridges. Redirected trips also lengthen travel time, waste fuel and reduce the efficiency of the local economy.

Fifty-three percent (9,364 of 17,521) of locally and state-maintained bridges in New York have been rated in fair condition.  A fair rating indicates that a bridge’s structural elements are sound, but minor deterioration has occurred to the bridge’s deck, substructure or superstructure. The remaining 37 percent (6,400 of 17,521) of the state’s bridges are rated in good condition.

“Maintaining safe and stable infrastructure is critically important to all New Yorkers. Every day, millions of people travel through our state on what are often poor and structurally deficient roads and bridges,” said Senator Tim Kennedy, chairman of the New York State Senate Committee on Transportation. “Now more than ever we need to ensure that we’re dedicating resources to local infrastructure that is desperately in need of repair and maintenance. Taxpayer dollars must be put to work to improve our local community. I will continue to work with local stakeholders and continue to fight for additional funding to improve our roads and bridges.”

The list below details the five most heavily traveled poorly/structurally deficient bridges in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Buffalo, Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, and Utica areas. ADT is average daily traffic. A list of the 25 most heavily traveled poor/structurally deficient bridges in each area can be found in the body of the report. The report’s Appendix also includes the individual ratings for the superstructure, substructure, and deck of each bridge.

“On behalf of our more than 900 Town Highway Superintendents we’d like to thank TRIP for its excellent work highlighting the need for increased funding to stabilize the condition of our state and local bridges,” said Town of Denmark Highway Superintendent Patrick Mahar, president of the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways. “We commend Governor Cuomo and our state legislators for investing over $450 million in local bridges through the Bridge-NY program. But significant increases are needed in this and other local infrastructure programs to ensure New Yorkers don’t have to continue to drive over deficient bridges.”

The list below details the five poor/structurally deficient bridges in the state’s largest urban areas (carrying a minimum of 500 vehicles per day) with the lowest average rating for the condition of the deck, substructure, and superstructure. Each major component of a bridge is rated on a scale of zero to nine, with a score of four or below indicating poor condition.  A bridge receiving a rating of four or below for its deck, substructure or superstructure is rated as poor/structurally deficient. A list of the 25 bridges in each area with the lowest average rating for the major components of the bridge can be found in the body of the report. The report’s Appendix also includes the individual ratings for the superstructure, substructure, and deck of each bridge.

“The TRIP Report underscores what highway superintendents throughout the state understand the condition of many of our local bridges. Poor bridge condition ratings negatively impact functionality, time of travel, safety, the local economy and the overall experience of the traveling public,” said Dennis S. Davis, president of the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association. “With many aging bridges more than 70 years old, not to mention tens of thousands of culverts also requiring immediate reconstruction or replacement, we face a situation in desperate need of increased public investment and a concerted effort on the part of all levels of government to address the funding demands of our aging and ailing transportation systems.”

“New York’s bridges are a critical component of the state’s transportation system, providing connections for personal mobility, economic growth, and quality of life,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without increased and reliable transportation funding, numerous projects to improve and preserve aging bridges in the Capital Region and statewide will not move forward, hampering New York’s ability to efficiently and safely move people and goods.”

Preserving New York’s Bridges

THE CONDITION AND FUNDING NEEDS OF

NEW YORK’S AGING BRIDGE SYSTEM

Executive Summary

New York’s bridges are a critical element of the state’s transportation system, supporting commerce, economic vitality, and personal mobility. To retain businesses, accommodate population and economic growth, and preserve economic competitiveness, New York will need to maintain and modernize its bridges by repairing or replacing deficient bridges and providing needed maintenance on other bridges.  Making needed improvements to New York’s bridges will require increased and reliable funding from local, state and federal governments, which will 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 preserved and enhanced mobility and access.

 

NEW YORK BRIDGES ARE INCREASINGLY DETERIORATED

Ten percent (1,757 of 17,521) of New York’s locally and state-maintained bridges are rated as poor/structurally deficient, the 12thhighest rate in the nation.  A bridge is rated in poor/structurally deficient condition if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Bridges that are poor/structurally deficient may be posted for lower weight limits or closed if their condition warrants such action. Fifty-three percent of New York’s locally and state-maintained bridges have been rated in fair condition. A fair rating indicates that a bridge’s structural elements are sound but minor deterioration has occurred to the bridge’s deck, substructure or superstructure. The remaining 37 percent of the state’s bridges are rated in good condition.

The chart below details the number and share of poor/structurally deficient, fair and good bridges statewide and in New York’s largest urban areas.

Every day, approximately 11.6 million vehicles cross poor/structurally deficient New York bridges. The chart below details the number of vehicles in each urban area and statewide that cross a poor/structurally deficient bridge each day.

NEW YORK’S MOST DEFICIENT BRIDGES

The list below details the five most heavily traveled poor/structurally deficient bridges in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Buffalo, Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, Syracuse, and Utica areas. ADT is average daily traffic. A list of the 25 most heavily traveled poor/structurally deficient bridges in each area can be found in the body of the report.

The list below details the five poor/structurally deficient bridges in the state’s largest urban areas (carrying a minimum of 500 vehicles per day) with the lowest average rating for the condition of the deck, substructure, and superstructure. Each major component of a bridge is rated on a scale of zero to nine, with a score of four or below indicating poor condition.  A bridge receiving a rating of four or below for its deck, substructure or superstructure is rated as poor/structurally deficient. A list of the 25 bridges in each area with the lowest average rating for the major components of the bridge can be found in the body of the report. The report’s Appendix also includes the individual ratings for the superstructure, substructure, and deck of each bridge.

NEW YORK’S BRIDGES ARE AGING

A significant number of New York’s bridges have surpassed or are approaching 50 years old, which is typically the intended design life for bridges built during this era. The average age of all New York’s bridges is 50 years, while the average age of the state’s bridges that are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition is 70 years.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING AND PRESERVING NEW YORK’S AGING BRIDGES

Maintaining aging bridges becomes more costly as they reach the limits of their design life, challenging state and local transportation agencies to take an asset management approach to bridge preservation that emphasizes enhanced maintenance techniques that keep infrastructure in good condition as long as possible, delaying the need for costly reconstruction or replacement.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that it would cost $3.6 billion to replace or rehabilitate all poor/structurally deficient bridges in New York.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The health and future growth of New York’s economy is riding on its transportation system. Each year, $1.3 trillion in goods are shipped to and from sites in New York, mostly by truck. Increases in passenger and freight movement will place further burdens on the state’s already deteriorated and congested network of roads and bridges. The value of freight shipped from and to sites in New York, when adjusted for inflation, is expected to increase by 154 percent from 2016 to 2045, and by 108 percent for goods shipped by trucks.

A report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association found that the design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in New York supports approximately 319,000 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $9.8 billion annually. Approximately 3.5 million full-time jobs in New York in key industries like tourism, manufacturing, retail sales, agriculture are completely dependent on the state’s transportation infrastructure network.

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Bridge Inventory (NBI), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Repeal of 2015 Wetlands Proposal Will Help Restore Transportation Project Certainty, ARTBA Says

The Trump administration’s repeal of a 2015 proposed rule will help restore clarity to federal wetlands regulations and reduce delays to important transportation projects, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says.

“The regulatory ping-pong on roadside ditches has created vast uncertainty for years with little environmental benefit,” says ARTBA President & CEO Dave Bauer. “Regulators should understand that delay and uncertainty only serve to increase transportation project costs. The Trump administration repeal is a common-sense approach to harmonize wetlands protection and the delivery of needed transportation improvements.”

At issue is how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) define “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) that are subject to federal authority. Under the Obama administration era rule, roadside ditches could have been subject to unnecessary federal oversight, delaying transportation improvements and thereby increasing project costs and jeopardizing highway safety.

In previous regulatory comments and in legislative testimony, ARTBA has noted that ditches serve the necessary function of collecting water that would otherwise have nowhere to go but on roadways, noting that “[a] ditch’s primary purpose is safety and they only have water present during and after rainfall. In contrast, traditional wetlands are not typically man-made nor do they fulfill a specific safety function.”

The Trump administration continues work to finalize a replacement WOTUS regulatory framework that would not improperly extend federal jurisdiction over roadside ditches.  ARTBA supports this effort.

Established in 1902 and with more than 8,000 public and private sector members, Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA advocates for strong investment in transportation infrastructure to meet the public and business community demand for safe and efficient travel.