Tag Archive for 'bridges'

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December! Not Again!

sitekHow many times have you said or thought this or something similar? Too many for me to state… Counting the years is not really important; each is only a milepost along the highway of life; a way of marking progress or lack of; another notch.

Actually it’s more than that. It’s a time filled with our biggest holiday; a time when we stop and look at tomorrow’s possibilities and yesterdays accomplishments and/or failures; it’s a time for celebrating and a time for planning. It’s a time that proves we humans are not very bright. Why would we create a situation of conflict that demands our time, focus and attention to do planning for tomorrow and celebrating?

As the final page of the 2013 calendar turns maybe we’d be better off focusing on the celebration and forgetting the planning. Unfortunately we can’t do that but we certainly can take the time to celebrate the good things in our lives and express appreciation and gratitude for all we have.

2014 will be a year filled with opportunities and challenges. At the beginning of the year we have CONEXPO-CON/AGG, which promises to be an interesting industry show filled with new products, new technologies and new manufacturer/suppliers. There will be several first-time Chinese equipment manufacturers entering the U.S. market that will add a new level of excitement to the show. The exhibitor list is greater than it was in 2011 and attendance is expected to set records.

At the tail end of the year will be the “Mid-term” elections and in between the expiration of the current fuel tax bill and the extended highway bill. What happens with these two pieces of legislation will probably have a great impact on our industry, commerce and the national economy. With a rapidly deteriorating transportation infrastructure it is critical that something positive be done to address this need.

What is the outlook for 2014? Looking at back on 2013 ahead to 2014, in a state of retrospective reflection, the first thought that comes to my mind is a line from an old Harry Belafonte song, Man Piaba, “It was clear as mud but it covered the ground
And the confusion made the brain go ’round.” There has been very little media coverage on these pieces of legislation it’s easy to forget that they come into play very soon. If it weren’t for the associations like AEM, ARTBA, NAPA and others, they would probably fade into oblivion.

There are all the other important issues that are of concern, like healthcare, the national debt, the debt ceiling, etc., etc., etc. but these are getting endless coverage by the mainstream media. We as citizens of this country need to become actively involved in the politics of our country. It’s time for us to stop thinking that our responsibility as a citizen ends when we have cast our votes; that this alone is the needed extent of our involvement.

In 2014 become involved in the issues and politics that will shape this country’s future and the legacy we leave our progeny. Don’t just vote, know who and what you vote for; understand the issues and let you representatives on a local state and federal level know how you expect them to represent you.

On that note, we at ACP wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…

NOTE: This editorial appears in the December 2013 issues of all 13 ACP magazines.

TRIP Report: South Dakota Faces Deteriorated Roads And Bridges, High Traffic Fatality Rate And Potentially Stifled Economic Growth Without Increased Transportation Investment. Travel On State’s Roads And Bridges Projected To Increase Further In Coming Years

TRIPSouth Dakota’s system of roads and bridges is increasingly deteriorated and crowded, with a traffic fatality rate that is higher than the national average. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could improve road and bridge conditions, boost safety, improve efficiency and support long-term economic growth in South Dakota, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, South Dakota Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout the state, nearly a quarter of locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition. And, one in four South Dakota bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. Vehicle miles of travel (VMT) on South Dakota’s roads increased 29 percent from 1990 to 2011. VMT in South Dakota is expected to increase another 25 percent by 2030.

According to the TRIP report, seven percent of South Dakota’s major locally and state-maintained roads have pavements in poor condition, and an addition 16 percent are in mediocre condition. Driving on rough roads costs the average South Dakota motorist $301 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – a total of $181 million statewide. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

The TRIP report finds that 21 percent of South Dakota’s bridges are structurally deficient, the fifth highest share in the nation. Bridges that are structurally deficient have significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports, or other major components. These bridges are often posted for lower weight or are closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks, school buses and emergency service vehicles. An additional four percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete. These bridges no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment with the approaching road. Bridges that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete are safe for travel and are monitored regularly by the organizations responsible for maintaining them.

“Roads, bridges and highways are essential for business to operate and are a basic function of government,” said David Owen, president of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “This report brings a sharp focus on the needs and will be invaluable in helping seek policies that will keep South Dakota’s infrastructure strong.”

Traffic crashes in South Dakota claimed the lives of 647 people between 2007 and 2011, an average of 129 fatalities per year. South Dakota’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.23 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 is higher than the national average of 1.10. The 2011 traffic fatality rate in on South Dakota’s non-Interstate rural roads was 1.71 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, more than double the 0.77 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel on all other roads and highways in the state.

Signed into law in July 2012, MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), will fund surface transportation programs in South Dakota at approximately $274 million annually for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. From 2007 to 2011, the federal government provided $2.52 for road improvements in South Dakota for every one dollar paid in federal motor fuel fees. Yet, if a lack of adequate revenue into the Federal Highway Trust Fund is not addressed by Congress, funding for highway and transit improvements in South Dakota could be cut by $267 million for the federal fiscal year beginning October 1, 2014.

“Addressing South Dakota’s need for a safe, efficient and well-maintained transportation system will require a significant investment boost at the federal and state levels.  But not addressing the state’s need for an improved transportation system will result in even greater costs to the public,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP.

South Dakota Transportation By The Numbers:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility

Executive Summary

South Dakota’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. South Dakota’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 South Dakota looks to 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 South Dakota’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.

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

Signed into law in July 2012, MAP-21(Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), will fund surface transportation programs in South Dakota at approximately $274 million annually for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

While the new federal surface transportation program has improved several procedures that in the past had delayed projects, MAP-21 does not address long-term funding challenges facing the federal surface transportation program. As a result, nationwide federal funding for highways will be cut by almost 100 percent from the current investment level for the fiscal year starting on October 1, 2014 (FY 2015) unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues.  This is due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

The level of funding and the provisions of the federal surface transportation program have a significant impact on highway and bridge conditions, roadway safety, transit service, quality of life and economic development opportunities in South Dakota.

Population and economic growth place increased demands on South Dakota’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system.

  • South Dakota’s population reached 833,354 in 2012, a 20 percent increase since 1990, when the state’s population was 696,004. South Dakota has 603,258 licensed drivers.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in South Dakota increased by 29 percent from 1990 to 2011 – from 6.9 billion VMT in 1990 to 9.0 billion VMT in 2011.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in South Dakota is projected to increase by another 25 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2011, South Dakota’s gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 82 percent, when adjusted for inflation. America’s GDP for the same time period increased by 53%.

Twenty-three percent of major locally and state maintained roads and highways in South Dakota have pavement surfaces in poor or mediocre condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • Seven percent of South Dakota’s major roads and highways have pavement in poor condition and an additional 16 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Fourteen percent of South Dakota’s major roadways are rated in fair condition and the remaining 63 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.
  • The 2011 pavement data in this report for arterial roads and highways is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, based on data submitted annually by the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • Driving on rough roads costs the typical South Dakota motorist an average of $301 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – a total of $181 million statewide. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Twenty-five percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in South Dakota show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length. South Dakota has the fifth highest share of structurally deficient bridges in the nation.

  • Twenty-one percent of South Dakota’s bridges are structurally deficient – the fifth highest share in the nation. 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.
  • Four percent of South Dakota’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.

South Dakota’s traffic fatality rate on rural, non-Interstate routes is more than double that on all other roads and highways in the state. Improving safety features on South Dakota’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in traffic fatalities and serious crashes in the state. Roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • Between 2007 and 2011, 647 people were killed in traffic crashes in South Dakota, an average of 129 fatalities per year.
  • South Dakota’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.23 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 is higher than the national average of 1.10 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel.
  • The fatality rate on South Dakota’s rural non-Interstate roads was 1.71 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011, more than double the .77 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • The number of fatalities occurring on the state’s non-Interstate rural roads is disproportionately higher than the amount of vehicle travel on these roads. While 49 percent of all vehicle travel in the state takes place on South Dakota’s non-Interstate rural roads, 68 percent of the state’s fatalities occurred on non-Interstate rural roads.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. It is estimated that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • 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.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior). TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over the next 20 years.

The efficiency of South Dakota’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the state’s economy. Businesses are increasingly reliant on an efficient and reliable transportation system to move products and services. A key component in business efficiency and success is the level and ease of access to customers, markets, materials and workers.

  • Annually, $27 billion in goods are shipped from sites in South Dakota and another $28 billion in goods are shipped to sites in South Dakota, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-seven percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in South Dakota are carried by trucks and another 13 percent are carried by multiple mode deliveries, including trucks.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number one site selection factor in a 2011 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.

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

  • The MAP-21 program, approved by Congress in 2012, increased funding flexibility for states and improved project approval processes to increase the efficiency of state and local transportation agencies in providing needed transportation improvements.
  • MAP-21 does not provide sufficient long-term revenues to support the current level of federal surface transportation investment.  Nationwide federal funding for highways is expected to be cut by almost 100 percent from the current investment level for the fiscal year starting October 1, 2014 (FY 2015) unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues. This is due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.
  • If the funding shortfalls into the federal Highway Trust Fund are addressed solely by cutting spending it is estimated that federal funding for highway and transit improvements in South Dakota will be cut by $267 million for the federal fiscal year starting October 1, 2014, unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues.
  • From 2007 to 2011, the federal government provided $2.52 for road improvements in South Dakota for every one dollar paid in the state in federal motor fuel fees.
  • From 2007 to 2011, federal revenues accounted for 54 percent of state revenues used for South Dakota’s roads, highways and bridges.

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U. S. Census Bureau, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). All data used in the report are the most recent available. 

TRIP Report: Maine’s Top 50 Transportation Challenges and Improvements Needed to Address Them

TRIPNew Report Identifies Maine’s Top 50 Transportation Challenges And Needed Fixes, Including Deteriorated And Congested Roadways, Deficient Bridges And Needed Safety Improvements

Deficient roads, highways and bridges in Maine are posing mounting challenges to the state’s residents, visitors and businesses and addressing these challenges will require numerous projects to reconstruct highways, repair and replace bridges improve safety features and improve access on the state’s transportation system.  This is according to a new report released recently by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research organization.

The report, Maine’s Top 50 Transportation Challenges and the Improvements Needed to Address Them,” identifies and ranks the state’s top 50 transportation challenges. Those transportation challenges include 12 sections of major roads or highways that need significant repairs or reconstruction; 19 major bridges in the state that have significant deficiencies and need to be rebuilt or reconstructed; an expansion of a marine terminal; and 18 sections of the state’s transportation system that need improvements to address multiple challenges by improving safety, increasing access or improving road or bridge conditions.  The report also offers solutions for fixing each of the transportation challenges.

thThe top transportation challenges in the state, as identified by the TRIP report, are as follows. Additional details for all 50 transportation challenges can be found in the report’s Appendix.

Executive Summary

            Maine’s extensive system of roads, highways and bridges provides the state’s residents, visitors and businesses with a high level of mobility. As the backbone of the Pine Tree State’s economy, Maine’s surface transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic well-being, and is an integral part of what makes Maine an attractive place to live, work, visit and do business.

However, increasing roadway and bridge deterioration, traffic safety concerns, and growing congestion threaten to stifle economic growth and negatively impact the quality of life of the state’s 1.3 million residents. Due to insufficient transportation funding at the federal, state and local level, Maine faces numerous challenges in providing a road, highway and bridge network that is smooth, well-maintained, as safe as possible, and that affords a level of mobility capable of supporting the state’s economic goals

As Maine looks to build and maintain a thriving and diverse economy, it will need to modernize its transportation system by improving the physical condition of its roads, highways and bridges, and enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient, safe and reliable mobility to the state’s residents, visitors and businesses.  Making needed improvements to Maine’s roads, highways and bridges will provide a significant boost to the state’s economy by stimulating short and long-term economic growth.

Numerous segments of Maine’s transportation system have significant deterioration, are congested or crowded, lack some desirable safety features, and do not have adequate capacity to provide reliable mobility, creating challenges for Maine’s residents, visitors, businesses and state and local governments.  This report looks at the condition and use of Maine’s system of roads, highways and bridges and provides information on the state’s top 50 transportation challenges and the improvements needed to address these challenges.

Deficient roads, highways and bridges, and crowded or congested routes in Maine are posing mounting challenges to the state’s residents, visitors and businesses in the form of lost time, increased vehicle operating costs and the financial burden of making needed transportation improvements. 

  • Maine’s top 50 transportation challenges as ranked by TRIP include: Twelve sections of major roads or highways that need significant repairs or reconstruction, 19 major bridges in the state that have significant deficiencies and need to be rebuilt or reconstructed; one improvement to a maritime facility, and 18 sections of the state’s transportation system that need improvements to address multiple challenges by improving safety, increasing access or improving road or bridge conditions.
  • TRIP ranked Maine’s top transportation challenges by giving each segment or facility an overall score, based on a scale that included points for the following categories: current volume of daily travel or ridership; the challenge posed to the public based on the significance of the problem or deficiency; the importance of the route or facility to regional, interstate or international travel patterns; the importance of the route or facility to the regional economy; and, the cost to repair the deficiency.
  • The following list details the top 10 transportation challenges in Maine. Further details about each challenge, as well as the full list of 50 challenges, can be found in the Appendix.

1.    Needed Reconstruction of a portion of Route 3 in Bar Harbor. Addressing this challenge will require reconstructing 4.8 miles of Route 3 in Bar Harbor from approximately one half-mile west of Sand Point Road to Route 233. Estimated cost is $14 million. Route 3, the Acadia All-American Road, is perhaps the most significant highway in Maine for the tourism industry, providing access to Acadia National Park and over 1,000 beds for lodging. It carries approximately 10,317 vehicles per day. The current design and construction of the road lead to constant cracking at the margins. Safety will be greatly improved with better road geometrics, improved access and improved facilities for pedestrian and bicycle. This completes Route 3 improvement projects from the head of the island near Trenton to Bar Harbor.

2.    Needed Replacement of Union Street Bridge in Bangor. Addressing this challenge will require replacing the Union Street Bridge over I-95 in Bangor. Estimated cost is $8.7 million. This is a critical bridge over I-95 on Union Street (Route 222), providing access to Bangor International Airport and the University of Maine at Bangor.

3.    Needed Reconstruction of a portion of Route 302 in Portland area. Addressing this challenge will require reconstructing Route 302 from Stack Em Inn Road and extending west 5.19 miles. Estimated cost is $7.4 million. Route 302 is the major highway from Portland to Fryeburg, Maine and Conway, New Hampshire. It is a major route for commerce, supplying raw products and finished goods to market, as well as a significant commuter route for the labor force in the Greater Portland labor market. This route also serves the tourist rich areas of Fryeburg, Maine and Conway, New Hampshire. There are no practicable alternative routes without adding substantial time and cost.

4.    Needed Replacement of Pine Point Crossing Bridge in Scarborough. Addressing this challenge will require replacing the Pine Point Crossing Bridge over the Pan Am Railroad. Estimated cost is $3.3 million. This bridge, located on Pine Point Road (Route 9), provides primary access to the Coastal Beaches surrounding the Cumberland-York County boundary. The bridge carries an important highway supporting tourism economy. Loss of the bridge will have negative economic impact especially to businesses along this section of Route 9. There are no practicable alternative routes without adding substantial time and cost.

5.    Needed Replacement of Bar Mills Bridge from Buxton to Hollis. Addressing this challenge will require replacing the deteriorated Bar Mills Bridge over the Saco River at the Buxton – Hollis town line. Estimated cost is $8.3 million. The replacement of this bridge will improve safety and access and provide a more direct connection from Buxton to Hollis.

6.    Needed Capacity Expansion of the International Marine Terminal (IMT).  Addressing this challenge will require property acquisition to increase the capacity of the terminal, providing direct rail access to the terminal, and other infrastructure improvements. Estimated cost is $9 million. The International Marine Terminal (IMT) in Portland was selected by the Icelandic Steamship Company, Eimskip, to serve as their North American logistical hub, and only port of call in the US.  They have been carrying freight to and from Portland since March 2013.  Maine businesses will benefit from competitive access to important markets in Eastern Canada, Scandinavia and Northern Europe.

7.    Needed Replacement of Durham Bridge between Durham and Lisbon. Addressing this challenge will require replacing the Durham Bridge (Route 9) over the Androscoggin River. Estimated cost is $6.8 million. This is an essential bridge over the Androscoggin River. Route 9 provides a major commuter route through high-population regions, from southern and western Kennebec through the rural areas of Cumberland County west of I-295. Route 9 is important as a commuter route for work force from rural areas to the service centers communities along its length from Gardiner to Portland. There are no practicable alternative routes without adding substantial time and cost.

8.    Needed Reconstruction of a portion of River Road in Westbrook and Windham. Addressing this challenge will require reconstructing three miles of River Road from Westbrook town line to 0.17 miles south of the intersection of Chute and Depot Road. Estimated cost is $4.8 million. River Road, an important commuter route, holds significant regional importance as a “bypass” alternative to congestion on Route 302 between Portland and Windham. It is an important route for goods and services that support regional businesses. Alternative routes are available, but with increased travel times and cost.

9.    Needed Reconstruction of a portion of Route 2 in Old Town and Milford. Addressing this challenge will require reconstructing 0.75 miles of Route 2 from Bradley Road to 0.29 miles north of Ferry Road. Estimated cost is $3.5 million. Route 2 provides a major non-interstate link from Houlton to Bangor and is a critical link from the forests of the region to the lumber and paper mills of the area, including those in Old Town, Bucksport and Lincoln.

10. Needed Construction of the Approach to the International Bridge at Fort Kent. Addressing this challenge will require constructing the approach associated with replacing the International Bridge on Route 1 in Aroostook. Estimated cost is $5.2 million. Route One connects the border crossings at Ft Kent, Madawaska, and Van Buren. This corridor, which carries approximately 8,100 vehicles per day, is the principal highway link to Route 11, Route 161, and to I-95 in Smyrna and Houlton. It is the transportation backbone of the natural resource based economy, serving as the gateway to the vast undeveloped forest of the “Maine Woods” and supplying raw products to paper and lumber mills throughout northern Maine. Route One also serves as a critical corridor for the logging, agricultural, winter sport and tourism industries. It also provides improved access to Canadian seaports.

Growth in population and vehicle travel has far outstripped the current capacity of Maine’s transportation system. The state’s population and economy will continue to grow in the future, bringing mounting challenges for the existing network of roads and bridges.

  • From 1990 to 2012, Maine’s population increased by eight percent, from approximately 1.2 million to approximately 1.3 million.
  • From 1990 to 2011, annual vehicle-miles-of-travel (VMT) in the state increased by 20 percent, from approximately 11.9 billion VMT to 14.2 billion VMT. Based on travel and population trends, TRIP estimates that vehicle travel in Maine will increase another 15 percent by 2030.
  • Every year, $30.9 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Maine and another $41.1 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Maine, mostly by trucks. Eighty-one percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Maine 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 their deliveries.

Maine’s extensive transportation system has some road and bridge deficiencies, lacks some desirable safety features and experiences severe congestion in key areas, resulting in significant costs to the state’s motorists.  Improvements to the condition and efficiency of the state’s transportation system will enhance quality of life, roadway safety and economic development.

  • Maine’s population and economy will continue to grow in the future, bringing mounting challenges for the existing network of roads and bridges. The state will need to expand key roads, highways and bridges to increase mobility and ease traffic congestion, make needed road and bridge repairs, and improve roadway safety.
  • Maine’s system of 22,874 miles of roads and 2,408 bridges carries 14.2 billion vehicle miles of travel annually.
  • In 2011, nine percent of Maine’s major roads were in poor condition and an additional 24 percent were in mediocre condition.
  •             The pavement data in this report is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, based on data submitted annually by the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • Fifteen percent of Maine’s bridges are rated 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, school buses and emergency services vehicles.
  • Eighteen percent of Maine’s bridges are rated as functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards or are inadequate to accommodate current traffic levels, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
  • Maine’s urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, hampering commuting and commerce while reducing economic opportunities and quality of life in the state. Unless Maine’s transportation system is improved and enhanced, congestion will worsen dramatically in the coming years.
  • Roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of traffic fatalities. There were 136 traffic fatalities in 2011 in Maine. A total of 794 people died on Maine’s highways from 2007 through 2011.
  • 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.
  • Maine’s traffic fatality rate of 0.95 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 was lower than the national average of 1.10.
  • 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.

Transportation projects that improve the efficiency, condition or safety of a highway 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 bridge 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.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number one site selection factor in a 2011 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • 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.

Sources of data for this report include the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), 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, the Maine Transportation Institute (TTI), and the U.S. Census Bureau.  All data used in the report is the latest available.

 

TRIP Report: Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother

Nation’s urban roads are increasingly deteriorated, costing drivers as much as $800 each year. Road conditions expected to decline further if federal and state lawmakers fail to act. Federal funding for region’s highways set to be slashed in October 2014 unless congress approves additional revenues.

Rank

Urban Area

VOC

Rank

Urban Area

Poor

1

LA–Long Beach–Santa Ana, CA

 $832

1

LA–Long Beach–Santa Ana, CA

64%

2

Tulsa, OK

 $784

2

San Francisco—Oakland, CA

60%

3

San Francisco—Oakland, CA

 $782

3

San Jose, CA

56%

4

Oklahoma City, OK

 $782

4

San Diego, CA

55%

5

San Diego, CA

 $758

5

Tucson,  AZ

53%

6

San Jose, CA

 $737

6

New York, NY — Newark, NJ

51%

7

Tucson, AZ

 $723

7

Bridgeport—Stamford, CT

51%

8

Milwaukee, WI

 $700

8

Milwaukee, WI

48%

9

New Orleans, LA

 $687

9

New Orleans, LA

47%

10

New York, NY –Newark, NJ

 $673

10

Oklahoma City, OK

47%

11

Bridgeport—Stamford, CT

 $669

11

Tulsa, OK

46%

12

Sacramento, CA

 $658

12

Seattle, WA

45%

13

Riverside–San Bernardino, CA

 $638

13

Honolulu, HI

43%

14

Seattle, WA

 $625

14

Sacramento, CA

43%

15

Concord, CA

 $623

15

Concord, CA

42%

16

Denver—Aurora, CO

 $615

16

New Haven, CT

42%

17

Dallas–Fort Worth –Arlington, TX

 $615

17

Riverside–San Bernardino, CA

39%

18

Birmingham, AL

 $601

18

Springfield, MA

39%

19

Honolulu, HI

 $598

19

Boston, MA

39%

20

Colorado Springs, CO

 $589

20

Hartford, CT

38%

 

The TRIP report contains pavement condition data and driver costs for U.S. urban areas with a population of 250,000 or greater.

 

More than one-quarter (27 percent) of the nation’s major urban roads– Interstates, freeways and other arterial routes – have pavements that are in substandard condition and provide an unacceptably rough ride to motorists, costing the average urban driver $377 annually, a total of $80 billion nationwide.  In some areas, driving on deteriorated roadways costs the average driver more than $800 each year. Driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation and increasing needed maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear.

These findings were released today by TRIP, a national transportation research group based in Washington, D.C. The report, Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother,” examines urban pavement conditions, transportation funding and economic development. Additional pavement condition and vehicle operating costs for urban areas with populations of 250,000 or greater can be found in the full report and appendices. The chart below details the 20 large cities (500,000+ population) with the highest percentage of pavements in poor condition and the highest vehicle operating cost.

 

The chart below details the 20 mid-sized urban areas (250,000 to 500,000 in population) with the highest percentage of pavements in poor condition and the highest vehicle operating cost.

Rank Urban Area VOC Rank Urban Area Poor
1 Antioch, CA $793 1 Antioch, CA 64%
2 Reno, NV $771 2 Reno, NV 55%
3 Jackson, MS $741 3 Santa Rosa, CA 51%
4 Hemet, CA $738 4 Trenton, NJ 48%
5 Santa Rosa, CA $709 5 Hemet, CA 48%
6 Temecula-Murrieta, CA $664 6 Spokane, WA 45%
7 Trenton, NJ $636 7 Jackson, MS 45%
8 Spokane, WA $619 8 Temecula-Murrieta 43%
9 Madison, WI $615 9 Worcester, MA 41%
10 Corpus Christi, TX $614 10 Stockton, CA 40%
11 Worcester, MA $600 11 Corpus Christi, TX 40%
12 Des Moines, IA $591 12 Des Moines, IA 38%
13 Stockton, CA $584 13 Madison, WI 37%
14 Baton Rouge, LA $581 14 South Bend, IN 34%
15 Modesto, CA $560 15 Davenport, IA 34%
16 Shreveport, LA $549 16 Baton Rouge, LA 32%
17 Davenport, IA $548 17 Scranton, PA 32%
18 Scranton, PA $539 18 Fort Wayne, IN 32%
19 Oxnard, CA $534 19 Modesto, CA 31%
20 Fort Wayne, IN $530 20 Anchorage, AK 29%

 

Pavement conditions are likely to worsen under current funding by all levels of government. Through 2032, the U.S. faces a $156 billion shortfall in the amount needed to maintain roadways in their current condition, a $374 billion shortfall to make modest improvements in pavement conditions and a $670 billion shortfall to make significant improvements to roadway conditions.

A 2010 U.S. Department of Transportation report found that the nation would need to increase annual funding for road and highway improvements by 21 percent to keep them in their current condition, by 51 percent to make a modest improvement in overall conditions and by 91 percent to make significant improvement to their condition.

“States depend on investment from the Highway Trust Fund to help preserve and maintain the roads and bridges that carry our families and our economy. We cannot continue to ignore the very real crisis facing our national transportation system without a long-term, sustainable funding source for the Highway Trust Fund,” said Bud Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

Federal dollars are a key source of transportation funding in many states.   But the lack of adequate funding beyond the expiration of the MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act) federal surface transportation legislation on September 30, 2014, threatens the future condition and performance of the nation’s roads and highways. In the fall of 2014, nationwide federal funding for highways is expected to be cut back by almost 100 percent from the current $40 billion investment level unless additional revenues are provided to the federal Highway Trust Fund. This is due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

Making improvements to the transportation system can have a significant economic impact. 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.

“With state and local governments struggling to fund needed road repairs and with federal surface transportation funding set to be slashed next year, road conditions are projected to get even worse,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director.  “Congress could reduce the extra costs borne by motorists driving on rough roads by approving funding that will support a federal transportation program that improves road conditions on the nation’s major roads and highways.”

Executive Summary

These days, potholes and pavement deterioration make it a challenge to keep the wheel steady on America’s roads and highways. More than a quarter of the nation’s major urban roadways – highways and major streets that are the main routes for commuters and commerce – are in poor condition.  These critical links in the nation’s transportation system carry 78 percent of the approximately 2 trillion miles driven annually in urban America.

With state and local governments unable to adequately fund road repairs and with the current federal surface transportation program set to expire on September 30, 2014, road conditions could get even worse in the future.

In this report, TRIP examines the condition of the nation’s major urban roads, including pavement condition data for America’s most populous urban areas, recent trends in travel, the latest developments in repairing roads and building them to last longer, and the funding levels needed to adequately address America’s deteriorated roadways.

For the purposes of this report, an urban area includes the major city in a region and its neighboring or surrounding suburban areas.  Pavement condition data are the latest available and are derived from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) 2011 annual survey of state transportation officials on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways, based on a uniform pavement rating index.  The pavement rating index measures the level of smoothness of pavement surfaces, supplying information on the ride quality provided by road and highway surfaces.  The major findings of the TRIP report are:

More than a quarter of the nation’s major urban roads are rated in substandard or poor condition, providing motorists with a rough ride and increasing the cost of operating a vehicle. 

  • More than one-quarter (27 percent) of the nation’s major urban roads – Interstates, freeways and other arterial routes – have pavements that are in substandard condition and provide an unacceptably rough ride to motorists.
  • An additional 27 percent of the nation’s major urban roads and highways have pavements that are in mediocre condition, 15 percent are in fair condition and 31 percent are in good condition.
  • Including major rural roads, 14 percent of the nation’s major roads are in poor condition, 19 percent are in mediocre condition, 17 percent are in fair condition and 50 percent are in good condition.
  • The twenty urban regions with a population of 500,000 or greater with the greatest share of major roads and highways with pavements that are in poor condition and provide a rough ride are:

California’s Roads and Bridges:* An urban area includes the major city in a region and its neighboring or surrounding suburban areas.

• The twenty urban regions with a population between 250,000 and  500,000 with the greatest share of major roads and highways with pavements that are in poor condition and provide a rough ride are: California’s Roads and Bridges:

  • An urban area includes the major city in a region and its neighboring or surrounding suburban areas.
  • A listing of road conditions for each urban area with a population of 500,000 or more can be found in Appendix A. Pavement condition data for urban areas with a population between 250,000 and 500,000 can be found in Appendix B.
  • The average motorist in the U.S. is losing $377 annually –$80 billion nationally –in additional vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on roads in need of repair.  Driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation, increasing the frequency of needed maintenance and requiring additional fuel consumption.
  • The twenty urban regions with at least 500,000 people, where motorists pay the most annually in additional vehicle maintenance because of roads in poor condition are:

California’s Roads and Bridges:* An urban area includes the major city in a region and its neighboring or surrounding suburban areas.

  • • The twenty urban regions with a population between 250,000 and 500,000  where motorists pay the most annually in additional vehicle maintenance because of roads in poor condition are:

California’s Roads and Bridges:* An urban area includes the major city in a region and its neighboring or surrounding suburban areas.

• A listing of additional vehicle operating costs due to driving on roads in substandard condition for urban areas with populations over 500,000 can be found in Appendix C. Additional vehicle operating costs for urban areas with a population between 250,000 and 500,000 can be found in Appendix D.

Significant increases in travel in the years ahead will put additional stress on roads and make it even more costly to improve and maintain them.

  • Overall vehicle travel increased by 37 percent from 1990 to 2011.  Travel by large commercial trucks grew at an even faster rate, increasing by 49 percent from 1990 to 2011.  Large trucks place significant stress on road surfaces.
  • Vehicle travel is expected to increase approximately 25 percent by 2030, and the level of heavy truck travel nationally is anticipated to increase by approximately 64 percent by 2030, putting greater stress on our nation’s roadways.

Pavement conditions are likely to worsen under current funding by all levels of government. Through 2032, the U.S. faces a $156 billion shortfall in the cost to maintain roadways in their current condition, a $374 billion shortfall to make modest improvements in pavement conditions and a $670 billion shortfall in the cost to make significant improvements to roadway conditions.

  • A 2010 U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) study prepared for Congress found that road and highway pavement conditions are likely to worsen at current funding levels, largely because numerous roadways currently or soon will require significant rehabilitation or reconstruction to extend their service life.
  • All levels of government (local, state and federal) are currently spending $36.5 billion annually on the rehabilitation and preservation of the physical condition of roads and highways (excluding bridge repairs).
  • The DOT study estimates that the annual investment needed to maintain roads and highways (excluding bridges) in their current condition is $44.3 billion annually -a 21 percent increase from current levels of annual funding.
  • The DOT study estimates that the annual investment needed to make a modest improvement in the condition of roads and highways (excluding bridges) is $55.2 billion annually -a 51 percent increase in annual funding.
  • Needed annual investment to significantly improve the condition of roads and highways (excluding bridges) is $70 billion annually -a 91 percent increase in annual funding.

The federal government is a critical source of funding for road and highway repairs.  But the lack of adequate funding beyond the expiration of the current federal surface transportation program, MAP-21(Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), which expires on September 30, 2014, threatens the future condition of the nation’s roads and highways.

  • Signed into law in July 2012, MAP-21 will provide approximately $38 billion annually for road, highway and bridge improvements annually in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.
  • The MAP-21 program, approved by Congress in 2012, greatly increased funding flexibility for states and streamlined project approval processes to improve the efficiency of state and local transportation agencies in providing needed transportation improvements.
  • MAP-21 does not provide sufficient long-term revenues to support the current level of federal surface transportation investment. Nationwide federal funding for highways is expected to be cut back by almost 100 percent from the current investment level for the fiscal year starting on October 1, 2014 (FY 2015) unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues.  This is due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

Projects to improve the condition of the nation’s roads and bridges could boost the nation’s economic growth by providing significant short-and long-term economic benefits.

  • Highway preservation projects provide significant economic benefits by improving travel speeds, capacity, load-carrying abilities and safety, and by reducing operating costs for people and businesses.  Roadway repairs also extend the service life of a road, highway or bridge, which saves money by either postponing or eliminating the need for more expensive future repairs.
  • 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.

Transportation agencies can reduce pavement life cycle costs by adopting a pavement preservation approach that emphasizes making early initial repairs to pavement surfaces while they are still in good condition and using higher-quality paving materials, reducing the cost of keeping roads smooth by delaying the need for costly reconstruction.

  • There are five life-cycle stages of a paved surface:  design, construction, initial deterioration, visible deterioration and pavement disintegration and failure.
  • A 2010 Federal Highway Administration report found that an over­reliance on short-term pavement repairs will fail to provide the long-term structural integrity needed in a roadway surface to guarantee the future performance of a paved road or highway.
  • The 2010 Federal Highway Administration report warned that transportation agencies that focus only on current pavement surface conditions will eventually face a highway network with an overwhelming backlog of pavement rehabilitation and replacement needs.
  • A preventive maintenance approach to keeping pavements in good condition has been found to reduce overall pavement life cycle costs by approximately one-third over a 25-year period.
  • Initial pavement preservation can only be done on road surfaces that are structurally sound.  Roads that have significant deterioration must be maintained with surface repairs until sufficient funds are available to reconstruct the road, at which time a pavement preservation strategy can be adopted.
  • The use of thicker pavements and more durable designs and materials for a particular roadway are being used to increase the life span of road and highway surfaces and delay the need for significant repairs.  These new pavements include high performance concrete pavements and perpetual hot mix asphalt pavements.

Adequate funding would allow transportation agencies to adopt the following recommendations for insuring a smooth ride.

  • Implement and adequately fund a pavement preservation program that performs initial maintenance on road surfaces while they are still in good condition, postponing the need for significant rehabilitation.
  • Consider using pavement materials and designs that will provide a longer-lasting surface when critical routes are constructed or reconstructed.
  • Resurface roads in a timely fashion using pavement materials that are designed to be the most durable, given local climate and the level and mix of traffic on the road.
  • Invest adequately to insure that 75 percent of local road surfaces are in good condition.

All data used in the report are the latest available. Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), the AAA, the Texas Transportation Institute, the Transportation Research Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

CASE CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT BRINGS DIRE STATES ROAD TOUR TO COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE TO SPUR ACTION ON AGING INFRASTRUCTURE

Award-winning author Dan McNichol headlines tour to raise awareness and identify solutions for America’s crumbling infrastructure.

Dan McNichol and the '49 Hudson News ReleaseCASE Construction Equipment has partnered with award-winning author and infrastructure expert Dan McNichol to tour the United States and bring awareness to the challenges facing the nation’s aging infrastructure. The tour — titled Dire States: The Drive to Revive America’s Ailing Infrastructure — will make stops at CASE dealers throughout the U.S. and bring together citizens, government officials and construction professionals to build a community dedicated to advancing infrastructure-related projects. The primary focus in bringing these groups together is to identify new and innovative ways to spur the growth and development of American infrastructure, and to showcase projects and communities that are already succeeding at it.

The tour will be documented heavily on the Web at DireStates.com, CASECE.com and through related social media channels.

“The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gives our nation’s infrastructure a grade of D+ and estimates a needed investment of $3.6 trillion by 2020,” says McNichol. “America’s infrastructure is in trouble, and it’s not something we can gloss over when we see it on the nightly news. We’re going to barnstorm this country in an old and beat-down 1949 Hudson that is the perfect metaphor for our current infrastructure: it’s as old, rusty and energy defunct as our vital systems. Depending on this old car to get you to work everyday is as foolish as depending on our current systems for everything we need to function as a society.”

“Dan brings a sharp and informed voice to the discussion on America’s infrastructure,” says Jim Hasler, vice president, CASE Construction Equipment — North America. “Infrastructure plays a vital role in our quality of life, getting from one place to another safely and advancing the economic stability of the entire country. We are a nation that is still standing on the edge of a fragile recovery, and finding ways to move these projects forward will help create jobs and spur economic development and prosperity.”

The tour kicks off with a series of events in Massachusetts, will include stops at CASE dealers throughout the country, and will culminate with an event in March, 2014 at ConExpo in Las Vegas — one of the world’s largest construction industry trade events. McNichol is expected to bring the tour to more than 20 CASE dealerships throughout the U.S.

“Sitting and waiting for the problem to get better isn’t going to work,” says McNichol. “Through this tour we will bring to light the hidden incremental cost of continuing to Band-Aid our infrastructure. We will build a community of professionals and thought leaders to redefine the expectations of what our infrastructure can be and establish new paths forward. Our country has stood behind infrastructure in the past through widespread project development and it has always led to economic growth. This, almost more than any other issue facing us today, is what we should be focusing on domestically.”

For more information on the tour and an updated list of dates and events, visit www.DireStates.com. Learn more about Dan McNichol at www.DanMcNichol.com. For additional information about CASE Construction Equipment, visit www.casece.com.