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Dodge Data & Analytics Reports: March Construction Starts Climb 5 Percent

 

Public Works Lifted by Two Large Pipeline Projects; Multifamily Housing, Offices, Airport Terminals Also Advance

New construction starts in March increased 5% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $743.7 billion, marking the third straight monthly gain, according to Dodge Data & Analytics.  The total construction growth in March was led by the nonbuilding construction sector, and particularly by public works which featured the start of two large pipeline projects – the $4.2 billion Rover natural gas pipeline in Ohio and Michigan, and the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 propane and natural gas liquids pipeline in Pennsylvania.  Residential building in March registered moderate growth, helped by a rebound for multifamily housing after a subdued February.  Nonresidential building in March held steady with its February pace, as strong activity for office buildings and airport terminals offset a steep drop for manufacturing plants.  Through the first three months of 2017, total construction starts on an unadjusted basis were $160.1 billion, down 3% from the same period a year ago (which included heightened activity for manufacturing plants and electric utilities/gas plants).  If the often volatile manufacturing plant and electric utility/gas plant categories are excluded, total construction starts during the first three months of 2017 would be up 8% relative to last year.

The March data produced a reading of 157 for the Dodge Index (2000=100), compared to 149 in February and 147 in January. After sliding to a weak 129 in December, the Dodge Index over the next three months bounced back 22%.  On a quarterly basis, the Dodge Index averaged 151 during this year’s January-March period, up 9% compared to the 139 average for the fourth quarter of 2016.  “The pattern for construction starts in early 2017, with three straight monthly gains, is the reverse of the three straight monthly declines that closed out 2016,” noted Robert A. Murray, chief economist for Dodge Data & Analytics.

“While the construction start statistics will frequently show an up-and-down pattern, whether month-to-month or quarter-to-quarter, the improved activity in this year’s first quarter provides evidence that the construction expansion is still proceeding,” Murray continued.  “This year’s first quarter has seen nonresidential building and public works rebound from the loss of momentum each experienced towards the end of 2016, helped respectively by the strong activity so far in 2017 for new airport terminal projects and new pipeline projects.  Nonresidential building in 2017 should be able to stay on its upward track, supported by further growth for such institutional project types as school construction.  As for public works, it’s also expected to show improvement over the course of 2017, although its prospects are less certain given its connection to legislative developments at the federal level.  This includes how Congress will deal with the continuing resolution for fiscal 2017 appropriations scheduled to expire at the end of April, and whether a new federal infrastructure program will get passed this year.”

Nonbuilding construction in March jumped 16% to $195.7 billion (annual rate), following its 35% hike in February.  The public works sector surged 33%, reflecting an 82% increase in March for the miscellaneous public works category that includes such diverse project types as site work, pipelines, mass transit, and outdoor sports stadiums.  The $4.2 billion Rover natural gas pipeline was included as a construction start in March, and is located mostly in Ohio and Michigan with smaller portions in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.  Also reported as a March start was the $2.5 billion Mariner East 2 Pipeline, located mostly in Pennsylvania with smaller portions in West Virginia and Ohio, which will transport propane and other natural gas liquids from the Marcellus Shale natural gas fields in southwestern Pennsylvania to a processing and distribution facility near Philadelphia.  The start of a $300 million stadium in Washington DC for the DC United soccer team also contributed to the substantial March increase for miscellaneous public works.  Highway and bridge construction in March edged up 1%, essentially holding at the improved volume achieved with its 38% jump in February.  Large highway and bridge projects entered as March construction starts were a $399 million bridge replacement in the Pensacola FL area, the $266 million Sixth Street Viaduct replacement in Los Angeles CA, and a $192 million highway expansion project in San Antonio TX.  River/harbor development in March advanced 32% from its lackluster February amount, while sewer construction was unchanged and water supply construction slipped 2%.  The electric utility/gas plant category in March retreated 54%, although it did include as construction starts a $300 million wind farm in Ohio and a $175 million solar farm in Virginia.

Residential building, at $310.8 billion (annual rate), grew 4% in March.  Multifamily housing provided the upward push, rebounding 26% after a 23% setback in February.  There were six multifamily projects valued at $100 million or more that reached groundbreaking in March, led by a $200 million apartment building in Washington DC and a $150 million apartment building in New York NY.  Through the first three months of 2017, the top five metropolitan areas in terms of the dollar amount of multifamily starts were the following – New York NY, Los Angeles CA, Washington DC, Chicago IL, and Atlanta GA.  During this period, the New York NY metropolitan area accounted for 18% of the national multifamily total, up slightly from the 17% share for full year 2016 but down from the 25% share for full year 2015.  Single family housing in March receded 3%, which followed modest improvement reported during the previous five months.  By region, single family housing in March showed this pattern – the Midwest, down 9%; the West and South Central, each down 3%; and the South Atlantic, down 2%; while the Northeast ran counter with a 3% gain.

Nonresidential building in March, at $237.2 billion (annual rate), was essentially unchanged from its February pace.  The institutional side of the nonresidential building market grew 3% in March, with much of the support coming from an 83% surge for the transportation terminal category.  Large airport terminals that were reported as March starts included two at Los Angeles International Airport – the $1.9 billion Delta relocation to Terminals 2 and 3 and the $961 million Midfield Satellite Concourse North (phase 1).  Also entered as a March start was the $110 million Terminal 2 modernization at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.  Through the first three months of 2017, the dollar amount of new airport terminal projects was $9.0 billion (including the $3.4 billion Central Terminal Building at New York’s LaGuardia Airport), easily topping the $3.7 billion in new airport terminal starts for full year 2016.  Healthcare facilities in March increased 13%, aided by the start of these large projects – the $265 million Methodist University Hospital in Memphis TN and the $230 million North Alabama Medical Center in Florence AL.  Also strengthening in March were religious buildings, up 9%; and public buildings (courthouses and detention centers), up 4%.  On the negative side, educational facilities in March dropped 14% after February’s 11% gain, although March did include these noteworthy projects as construction starts – a $289 million research institute building in Seattle WA, a $170 million library and classroom facility at Temple University in Philadelphia PA, and a $138 million science building renovation at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville VA.  Also retreating in March was the amusement and recreational category, which fell 29%.

The commercial side of the nonresidential building market increased 7% in March, showing improvement after a 10% drop in February.  Office construction climbed 41%, lifted by the start of five projects valued each in excess of $100 million.  These were led by the $525 million East Campus Building 2 at the U.S. Army installation at Fort Meade MD, the $289 million LG corporate headquarters in Englewood Cliffs NJ, and a $228 million office building in Seattle WA.  Commercial garages also advanced in March, rising 12%.  In contrast, March witnessed declines for hotels, down 7%; stores and shopping centers, down 8%; and warehouses, down 14%.  The manufacturing plant category in March plunged 65%, after being lifted in February by the start of a $985 million refinery modernization in Richmond CA.

The 3% decline for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis during the first three months of 2017 relative to last year was due to a varied pattern by major sector.  Nonbuilding construction dropped 17% year-to-date, with electric utilities/gas plants down 72% while public works climbed 20% (reflecting the start of several large pipeline projects in early 2017).  Residential building slipped a modest 1% year-to-date, with multifamily housing down 18% while single family housing grew 9%.  Nonresidential building registered a 7% gain year-to-date, with institutional building up 35%, commercial building down 9%, and manufacturing building down 44%.  By geography, total construction starts in the first three months of 2017 showed reduced activity relative to last year in two regions – the South Central, down 26%; and the Northeast, down 3%.  Total construction gains year-to-date were reported in the West, up 1%; the South Atlantic, up 11%; and the Midwest, up 12%.

Further perspective comes from looking at twelve-month moving totals, in this case the twelve months ending March 2017 versus the twelve months ending March 2016.  On this basis, total construction starts were up 2%.  By major sector, nonbuilding construction decreased 8%, with electric utilities/gas plants down 40% while public works increased 6%.  Residential building rose 3%, as a 4% drop for multifamily housing was outweighed by a 7% gain for single family housing.  Nonresidential building advanced 7%, with institutional building up 14%, commercial building up 7%, and manufacturing building down 26%.

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About Dodge Data & Analytics: Dodge Data & Analytics is a technology-driven construction project data, analytics and insights provider. Dodge provides trusted market intelligence that helps construction professionals grow their business, and is redefining and recreating the business tools and processes on which the industry relies. Dodge is creating an integrated platform that unifies and simplifies the design, bid and build process, bringing data on people, projects and products into a single hub for the entire industry, from building product manufacturers to contractors and specialty trades to architects and engineers. The company’s products include Dodge Global Network, Dodge PlanRoom, Dodge PipeLine, Dodge SpecShare, Dodge BuildShare, Dodge MarketShare, and the Sweets family of products. To learn more, visit www.construction.com.

TRIP Reports: Tennessee Motorists Lose $6 Billion Per Year On Roads

Tennessee Motorists Lose $6 Billion Per Year On Roads That Are Rough, Congested & Lack Some Safety Features – As Much As $2,000 Per Driver. Costs Will Rise And Conditions Will Worsen Without Increased Funding

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Tennessee motorists a total of $6 billion statewide annually – as much as $2.019 per driver in some areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local and state levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Tennessee, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Tennessee Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Tennessee, nearly a quarter of major, locally and state-maintained urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition and five percent of Tennessee’s locally and state-maintained bridges are structurally deficient. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested with travel up nine percent between 2013 and 2016, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year. And traffic fatalities in Tennessee increased by eight percent from 2015 to 2016.

Driving on deficient Tennessee roads costs the state’s drivers $6 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 the lack of adequate roadway safety features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville urban areas. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.

 

The TRIP report finds that 11 percent of Tennessee’s major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while 13 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Thirteen percent of major urban roads are in fair condition and the remaining 63 percent are rated in good condition. Driving on deteriorated roads costs Tennessee drivers $1.3 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

“The very foundation of traffic safety is our roadways. Our roads and bridges must be adequate in capacity and must be maintained properly,” said Stephanie Milani, Tennessee public affairs director, AAA—The Auto Club Group. “AAA supports a well-funded transportation system with a comprehensive approach to safety, and so do the drivers on our roads. In fact, approximately two-thirds of adult drivers believe the federal government should invest more to improve roadways, according to a recent survey by AAA. The numbers from TRIP are staggering and show the urgency for a comprehensive transportation funding plan.”

Traffic congestion in the state’s major urban areas is worsening, causing as many as 45 annual hours of delay for the average motorist and costing each driver up to $1,168 annually in lost time and wasted fuel. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer.

Five percent of Tennessee’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components.

Traffic crashes in Tennessee claimed the lives of 4,965 people between 2012 and 2016, an average of 993 fatalities per year. The number of fatalities increased eight percent from 2015 to 2016, from 958 to 1,036. Tennessee’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.25 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is higher than the national average of 1.13.

The efficiency and condition of Tennessee’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $619 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Tennessee, mostly by truck. Seventy-six percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Tennessee are carried by trucks and another 14 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.

“The condition of Tennessee’s transportation system will worsen in the future without additional funding, leading to even higher costs for drivers,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “In order to promote economic growth, foster quality of life and get drivers safety and efficiently to their destination, Tennessee will

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Tennessee

 

$6 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Tennessee motorists a total of $6 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
Chattanooga- $1,471

Knoxville – $1,376

Memphis – $2,019

Nashville – $1,667

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. Drivers in the state’s largest urban areas incur annual costs as a result of driving on deficient roads as follows: Chattanooga, $1,471; Knoxville, $1,376; Memphis, $2,019; and, Nashville, $1,667.
4,965

993

8%

A total of 4,965 people were killed in Tennessee traffic crashes from 2012 to 2016, an average of 993 fatalities annually. Traffic fatalities increased eight percent from 2015 to 2016, from 958 to 1,036.
 

9%

20%

Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Tennessee increased by nine percent from 2013 to 2016 –from 71.1 billion VMT to 77.7 billion VMT.   By 2030, vehicle travel in Tennessee is projected to increase by another 20 percent.
2.5X The fatality rate on Tennessee’s rural roads is more than two and a half times greater than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state (2.35 fatalities per 100 million VMT vs. 0.91).
 

1/4

Approximately one-quarter of Tennessee’s major urban roads are in either poor or mediocre condition, with 11 percent rated in poor condition and 13 percent rated in mediocre condition.
$619 Billion Annually, $619 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Tennessee, mostly by truck.
 

$5.7 Billion

$1.9 Billion

Traffic crashes in Tennessee imposed a total of $5.7 billion in economic costs in 2015. TRIP estimates that traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $1.9 billion in economic costs in 2015.
Chattanooga- 28 hours

Knoxville – 35 hours

Memphis – 43 hours

Nashville – 45 hours

Mounting congestion robs drivers of time and fuel. Annual time wasted in congestion for drivers in the state’s largest urban areas is as follows: Chattanooga, 28 hours; Knoxville, 35 hours; Memphis, 43 hours; and, Nashville, 45 hours.
 

$1.00 = $5.20

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs, and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Executive Summary

Nine years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Tennessee’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Tennessee, which is greatly impacted by the reliability and condition of the state’s transportation system, has a significant impact on quality of life in the Volunteer State.

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

With an economy based largely on manufacturing, agriculture, natural resource extraction and tourism, the quality of Tennessee’s transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic growth and quality of life.

In this report, TRIP looks at the top transportation numbers in Tennessee as the state addresses modernizing and maintaining its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit.

COST TO TENNESSEE MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs Tennessee motorists a total of $6 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • Driving on rough roads costs Tennessee motorists a total of $1.3 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Traffic crashes in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor cost Tennessee motorists a total of $1.9 billion each year in the form of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance and other financial costs.
  • Traffic congestion costs Tennessee motorists a total of $2.8 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.
  • The chart below details the average cost per driver in the state’s largest urban areas and statewide.

POPULATION, TRAVEL AND ECONOMIC TRENDS IN TENNESSEE

The rate of population and economic growth in Tennessee have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system.

  • Tennessee’s population reached approximately 6.7 million residents in 2016, a 17 increase since 2000. Tennessee had approximately 4.6 million licensed drivers in 2015.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Tennessee increased by 18 percent from 2000 to 2016 –from 65.7 billion VMT in 2000 to 77.7 billion VMT in 2016.
  • Vehicle travel in Tennessee has increased nine percent in the last three years (2013-2016).
  • From 2000 to 2015, Tennessee’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 25 percent, when adjusted for inflation. U.S. GDP increased 27 percent during this time.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Tennessee is projected to increase by another 20 percent.

TENNESSEE ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in nearly one quarter of major urban roads and highways in Tennessee having pavement surfaces in poor or mediocre condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorists in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • The pavement data in this report, which is for all arterial and collector roads and highways, is provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), based on data submitted annually by the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways.
  • Pavement data for Interstate highways and other principal arterials is collected for all system mileage, whereas pavement data for minor arterial and all collector roads and highways is based on sampling portions of roadways as prescribed by FHWA to insure that the data collected is adequate to provide an accurate assessment of pavement conditions on these roads and highways.
  • Eleven percent of Tennessee’s major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while 13 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Thirteen percent of major urban roads are in fair condition and the remaining 63 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Overall, eight percent of Tennessee’s major locally and state-maintained roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while 14 percent are in mediocre condition. Sixteen percent of the state’s major roads are rated in fair condition and the remaining 61 percent are rated in good condition.
  • The chart below details the share of pavement in poor, mediocre, fair and good condition in the state’s largest urban areas.

  • Roads rated in mediocre to poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, these roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • Driving on rough roads costs Tennessee motorists a total of $1.3 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

TENNESSEE BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Five percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in Tennessee show significant deterioration. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

  • Five percent of Tennessee’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles.
  • The chart below details the share of structurally deficient bridges in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville.

 

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN TENNESSEE

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

  • A total of 4,965 people were killed in Tennessee traffic crashes from 2012 to 2016, an average of 993 fatalities per year. The number of traffic fatalities in the state increased eight percent from 2015 to 2016, from 958 to 1,036.
  • Tennessee’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.25 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2015 was higher than the national average of 1.13.
  • The fatality rate on Tennessee’s non-interstate rural roads in 2015 was more than two and a half times greater than on all other roads in the state (2.35 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.91).
  • The chart below details the average number of people killed in traffic crashes from 2013 to 2015 in the state’s largest urban areas, as well as the cost per motorist of traffic crashes.

  • Traffic crashes in Tennessee imposed a total of $5.7 billion in economic costs in 2015. TRIP estimates that traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $1.9 billion in economic costs in 2015.
  • According to a 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, the economic costs of traffic crashes includes work and household productivity losses, property damage, medical costs, rehabilitation costs, legal and court costs, congestion costs and emergency services.
  • Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over 20 years.

 TENNESSEE TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Tennessee, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer.

  • Based on Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) estimates, the value of lost time and wasted fuel in Tennessee is approximately $2.8 billion per year.
  • The chart below details the number of hours lost to congestion by the average driver in the state’s largest urban areas, as well as the annual cost of traffic congestion per driver in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.

  • Increasing levels of congestion add significant costs to consumers, transportation companies, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers and can reduce the attractiveness of a location to a company when considering expansion or where to locate a new facility. Congestion costs can also increase overall operating costs for trucking and shipping companies, leading to revenue losses, lower pay for drivers and employees, and higher consumer costs. 

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN TENNESSEE

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

  • According to the 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report, a significant boost in investment in the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs.
  • AASHTO’s report found that based on an annual one percent increase in VMT annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase 36 percent, from $88 billion to $120 billion, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs,. Investment in the nation’s public transit system needs to increase from $17 billion to $43 billion.
  • The Bottom Line Report found that if the national rate of vehicle travel increased by 1.4 percent per year, the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent to $144 billion. If vehicle travel grows by 1.6 percent annually the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 77 percent to $156 billion.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN TENNESSEE

The efficiency of Tennessee’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses rely on an efficient and dependable transportation system to move products and services. A key component in business efficiency and success is the level and ease of access to customers, markets, materials and workers.

  • Annually, $619 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Tennessee, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-six percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Tennessee are carried by trucks and another 14 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2015 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

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

 

Highway Construction Workforce Development Looks Promising for 2017

TRIP Reports: Despite Recent Transportation Funding Increase, Michigan Road And Bridge Conditions Continue, $3.3 Billion In Needed Transportation Improvements

TRIP Reports on Michigan Roads & Bridges

Despite Recent Transportation Funding Increase, Michigan Road And Bridge Conditions Continue To Deteriorate And Traffic Fatalities And Traffic Congestion Are Increasing. A Total Of $3.3 Billion In Needed Transportation Improvement Projects Still Lack Funding

Increased transportation funding provided by Michigan’s legislature in 2015 will allow the state to move forward with numerous projects to repair and improve portions of its transportation system; however, the funding is not sufficient to prevent further deterioration of the state’s roads and bridges or to move forward with $3.3 billion in needed projects, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Modernizing Michigan’s Transportation System: Progress and Challenges in Providing Safe, Efficient and Well-maintained Roads, Highways and Bridges,” finds that even with the additional transportation funding- which is not guaranteed beginning in 2019 – state pavement and bridge conditions will decline. Traffic fatalities in Michigan increased significantly in the last two years and the state has experienced the eleventh highest rate of increase in vehicle miles of travel since 2013.

As a result of the funding increase passed in 2015, state funding for local roads and bridges, state roads and bridges and transit will increase from $2.2 billion in 2015 to nearly $3.4 billion in 2023. The legislation will provide a total of $4.2 billion in additional funding through 2023, of which $2.3 billion from the General Fund is not guaranteed and will be distributed at the discretion of the legislature beginning in 2019.

And, despite the recent infusion of funding, Michigan’s state-maintained roads and bridges are expected to continue to deteriorate. The condition of state-maintained roads is projected to deteriorate significantly over the next five years, with the share of lane miles in poor condition increasing from 20 percent in 2016 to 46 percent by 2020. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) estimates that, based on available funding, the number of state-maintained bridges rated in poor condition will increase by 50 percent between 2016 and 2023.

“This report stresses the critical need of the region to improve its transportation infrastructure,” said Brad Williams, vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “As one of our 2017 legislative priorities, the Detroit Regional Chamber is committed to supporting the efforts by federal officials to increase investment in all forms of infrastructure.”

Vehicle travel in Michigan has increased by 10 percent between 2013 and 2016 – the 11th highest rate of travel growth among states during this period. Michigan has also experienced a significant increase in traffic fatalities over the last two years, increasing 20 percent between 2014 and 2016. In 2016 traffic fatalities surpassed 1,000 for the first time since 2007. There were 876 traffic fatalities on Michigan’s roads in 2014, 963 in 2015 and 1,047 in 2016.

“To continue our economic growth, the industries that drive Michigan need a well-maintained and dependable infrastructure network,” said Josh Lunger, director of government affairs for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. “This report shows the significance of the 2015 transportation funding package, and how critical it is that the Legislature make these commitments a top priority.”

The following statewide projects are either underway or will be underway or completed by 2020, partly due to increased transportation revenue in the state. The report also lists projects in Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids.

“This report highlights the critical need to invest more in our transportation infrastructure,” said Tim Daman, president and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC). “Better roads save drivers money and enhance our economic competitiveness. Thriving cities have infrastructure in place to support business and economic growth. That’s why improving our transportation infrastructure is a top priority for the LRCC.”

The chart below details projects outside the state’s largest urban areas that will not move forward prior to 2020 due to a lack of transportation funding. The report also includes projects in Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids.

   “Michigan’s legislature took an important step in 2015 towards improving the condition of the transportation system and setting the state back on the road to economic recovery,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP. “While that was a good start, numerous needed improvements remain unfunded. Adequate investment in Michigan’s transportation system is a critical component in the state’s economic comeback.”

Executive Summary

Nine years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Michigan is beginning to recover, with its population and economy starting to grow again and vehicle travel increasing in response to the growth. But, the rate of recovery could be slowed if Michigan is not able to provide a modern, well-maintained transportation system. The rate of economic growth, which will be greatly impacted by the reliability and condition of the state’s transportation system, continues to have a significant impact on quality of life in the Great Lakes State.

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

With an economy based largely on agriculture, manufacturing, technology, natural resource extraction, and tourism, the quality of Michigan’s transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic growth and quality of life.

In late 2015, Michigan’s governor signed into law a road funding package that relies on a combination of increased user fees, registration fees and general funds. While this increased funding will allow the state and local governments to move forward with numerous projects to repair and improve portions of the state’s transportation system, the funding is not sufficient to adequately address the significant deterioration of the system, or to allow the state to provide many of the transportation improvements that are needed to support economic growth.

Achieving the state’s goals for a modern, well-maintained and safe transportation system will require “staying the course” with Michigan’s current transportation program and doubling down on this effort by obtaining additional increases in transportation investment.

POPULATION, ECONOMIC AND TRAVEL TRENDS IN MICHIGAN

Michigan’s economy is beginning to recover following the Great Recession, with population, employment levels and vehicle travel approaching or surpassing pre-recession levels. The level of access and mobility will be a key factor in rebooting and growing the state’s struggling economy.

  • Michigan’s population is again growing and nearing pre-recession levels after beginning to fall in 2005 and dropping each year until 2011. The state’s population has increased each year from 2011 to 2016 and is currently at 9.9 million residents.
  • Michigan has approximately 7.1 million licensed drivers.
  • After falling significantly during the recession, vehicle miles of travel (VMT) have surpassed pre-recession levels and continue to increase.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, vehicle miles of travel in Michigan increased by 10 percent – the 11th highest rate of increase nationally.
  • Michigan’s unemployment rate has returned to pre-recession levels. After beginning to rise in 2005 and peaking at 14.9 percent in mid-2009, the state’s unemployment is currently 4.9 percent.

ROAD CONDITIONS IN MICHIGAN

A lack of adequate funding has left one-fifth of Michigan’s state-maintained roads and highways with pavement surfaces in poor condition. Despite recent action by Michigan lawmakers to increase transportation funding, the condition of state-maintained roads is projected to deteriorate significantly over the next five years.

  • The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) estimates that 20 percent of state-maintained roads are in poor condition in 2016.
  • Despite the increased funding made available by Michigan lawmakers, the condition of state-maintained roads is projected to deteriorate significantly over the next five years. While the additional funding has been helpful and has prevented a more precipitous decline in conditions, it is not sufficient to improve the condition of the state’s roads and highways or even maintain their current condition.
  • The number of lane miles of state-maintained roads in poor condition is projected to increase significantly in the next five years, with the share of lane miles in poor condition increasing from 20 percent in 2016 to 46 percent by 2020.

BRIDGE CONDITIONS IN MICHIGAN

Approximately one-in-nine locally and state-maintained bridges in Michigan that are 20 feet or more in length show significant deterioration and are in need of repair.  The share of state bridges that are deficient is expected to increase at current funding levels.

  • Eleven percent of Michigan’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles.
  • MDOT estimates that, based on available funding, the number of state-maintained bridges rated in poor condition will increase by approximately 50 percent from 236 bridges to 354 bridges between 2016 and 2023.

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN MICHIGAN

Traffic fatalities in Michigan have increased significantly for the last two years, surpassing 1,000 deaths in 2016, the first time since 2007.

  • The number of traffic fatalities in Michigan increased 20 percent from 2014 to 2016. In Michigan, there were 876 traffic fatalities in 2014, 963 in 2015 and 1,047 in 2016.
  • 2016 was the first year since 2007 that traffic fatalities in Michigan exceeded 1,000.
  • The fatality rate on Michigan’s non-interstate rural roads in 2015 was more than three-and-a-half times than on all other roads in the state (2.19 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.59).
  • Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians and intersections; 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 20 years.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING AND NEEDED TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS Additional transportation funding provided by the state legislature in 2016 will allow MDOT to complete numerous needed projects throughout the state. While the additional dollars have been helpful, many needed projects still remain on the drawing board due to a lack of available funding.

  • In late 2015, Michigan’s governor signed into law a road funding package that relies on a combination of increased user fees, such as gas taxes and registration fees and allocations from the General Fund.
  • As a result of the funding increase, state funding for local roads and bridges, state roads and bridges and transit will increase from $2.2 billion in 2015 to nearly $3.4 billion in 2023. The chart below details the amount (in millions) of state funding for local roads and bridges, state roads and bridges and transit.
  • The 2015 transportation legislation will provide a total of $4.2 billion in additional funding through 2023, of which $2.3 billion from the state’s General Fund is not guaranteed and will be distributed beginning in 2019 at the discretion of the legislature.
  • Additional transportation funding provided by the 2015 legislation will allow Michigan to move forward with numerous projects that otherwise may have remained unfunded. The list below details a sampling of projects in Michigan’s major urban areas as well as throughout the state that are either underway or will be underway or completed no later than 2020, partly due to increased revenue.
  • Despite additional transportation funding provided by the 2015 legislation, numerous needed transportation projects in Michigan remain unfunded. The list below details projects in Michigan’s major urban areas as well as throughout the state that lack adequate funding to proceed prior to 2020.
  • The value of these needed transportation projects in Michigan that lack adequate funding to proceed is $3.3 billion, including $2 billion in the Detroit area, $483 million in the Lansing area and $234 million in the Grand Rapids area.

FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN MICHIGAN

Investment in Michigan’s roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments. Signed into law in December 2015, the five-year federal surface transportation program includes modest funding increases and provides states with greater funding certainty, but falls far short of providing the level of funding needed to meet the nation’s highway and transit needs. The bill does not include a long-term and sustainable revenue source.

  • Signed into law in December 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), provides modest increases in federal highway and transit spending, allows states greater long-term funding certainty and streamlines the federal project approval process. But the FAST Act does not provide adequate funding to meet the nation’s need for highway and transit improvements and does not include a long-term and sustainable funding source.
  • The five-year, $305 billion FAST Act will provide approximately a 15 percent boost in national highway funding and an 18 percent boost in national transit funding over the duration of the program, which expires in 2020.
  • In addition to federal motor fuel tax revenues, the FAST Act will also be funded by $70 billion in U.S. general funds, which will rely on offsets from several unrelated federal programs including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Federal Reserve and U.S. Customs.
  • According to the 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report, a significant boost in investment in the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs.
  • AASHTO’s report found that based on an annual one percent increase in VMT annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase 36 percent, from $88 billion to $120 billion, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs, based on an annual one percent rate of vehicle travel growth. Investment in the nation’s public transit system needs to increase from $17 billion to $43 billion.
  • The Bottom Line Report found that if the national rate of vehicle travel increased by 1.4 percent per year, the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent to $144 billion. If vehicle travel grows by 1.6 percent annually the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 77 percent to $156 billion.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN MICHIGAN

The efficiency of Michigan’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses rely on an efficient and dependable transportation system to move products and services. A key component in business efficiency and success is the level and ease of access to customers, markets, materials and workers.

  • Annually, $860 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Michigan, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Michigan are carried by trucks.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2015 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U. S. Census Bureau, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO),the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). All data used in the report are the most recent available.

 

 

 

TRIP Report: LOUISIANA’S DEFICIENT ROADS COST DRIVERS $6.5 BILLION EACH YEAR – AS MUCH AS $2,466 PER DRIVER.

Louisiana Transportation By The Numbers:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Louisiana

 

$6.5 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Louisiana motorists a total of $6.5 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
Baton Rouge: $2,466

Lafayette: $2,024

New Orleans: $2,171

Shreveport: $1,894

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in Louisiana’s largest urban areas in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. The average Baton Rouge area driver loses $2,466 annually, while each Lafayette area driver loses $2,024. Each New Orleans area driver loses $2,171 annually and the average Shreveport area driver loses $1,894.
3,563

713

On average, 713 people were killed annually in Louisiana traffic crashes from 2011 to 2015, a total of 3,563 fatalities over the five year period.
2X The fatality rate on Louisiana’s non-interstate rural roads is more than double that on all other roads in the state (2.46 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 1.16).
26% Statewide

39% Baton Rouge

41% Lafayette

39%New Orleans

38% Shreveport

Statewide, 26 percent of Louisiana’s major roads are in poor condition. Thirty-nine percent of major roads in the Baton Rouge urban area are in poor condition and in the Lafayette urban area, 41 percent of major roads are in poor condition. Thirty-nine percent of major roads in the New Orleans urban are in poor condition and 38 percent of major roads in the Shreveport urban area are in poor condition.
$734 Billion Annually, $734 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Louisiana, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges.
 

13%

Thirteen percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration to the major components of the bridge.
Baton Rouge: 47 hours

Lafayette: 26 hours

New Orleans: 45 hours

Shreveport: 27 hours

The average driver in the Baton Rouge urban area loses 47 hours to congestion annually, while each driver in the Lafayette urban area loses 26 hours annually. Drivers in the New Orleans area lose 45 hours to congestion each year, while Shreveport area drivers lose 27 hours annually.
 

21%

 

Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Louisiana increased by 21 percent from 2000 to 2016 –from 40.8 billion VMT in 2000 to 49.5 billion VMT in 2016.
 

 

$1.00 = $5.20

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs, and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Executive Summary

Nine years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Louisiana’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Louisiana, which is greatly impacted by the reliability and condition of the state’s transportation system, has a significant impact on quality of life in the Pelican State.

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

With an economy based largely on agriculture, natural resource extraction, manufacturing, and tourism, the quality of Louisiana’s transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic growth and quality of life.

In this report, TRIP looks at the key transportation numbers in Louisiana as the state addresses its need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit systems.

COST TO LOUISIANA MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs Louisiana motorists a total of $6.5 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • Driving on rough roads costs Louisiana motorists a total of $2 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Traffic crashes in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor costs Louisiana motorists a total of $2.1 billion each year in the form of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance and other financial costs.
  • Traffic congestion costs Louisiana motorists a total of $2.4 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.
  • TRIP has calculated the average cost to drivers in the state’s largest urban areas as a result of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features. The chart below details the costs to drivers in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans and Shreveport urban areas.

POPULATION, TRAVEL AND ECONOMIC TRENDS IN LOUISIANA

The rate of population and travel growth in Louisiana have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the state’s transportation system.

  • Louisiana’s population reached approximately 4.7 million residents in 2016, a five percent increase since 2000.
  • Louisiana had 3.4 million licensed drivers in 2015.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Louisiana increased by 21 percent from 2000 to 2016 –from 40.8 billion VMT in 2000 to 49.5 billion VMT in 2015.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Louisiana is projected to increase by another 20 percent.
  • From 2000 to 2015, Louisiana’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 16 percent, when adjusted for inflation. U.S. GDP increased 27 percent during this time.

LOUISIANA ROAD CONDITIONS

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

  • The pavement data in this report, which is for all arterial and collector roads and highways, is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, based on data submitted annually by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • Pavement data for Interstate highways and other principal arterials is collected for all system mileage, whereas pavement data for minor arterial and all collector roads and highways is based on sampling portions of roadways as prescribed by FHWA to insure that the data collected is adequate to provide an accurate assessment of pavement conditions on these roads and highways.
  • Statewide, 26 percent of Louisiana’s major locally and state-maintained roads and highways are in poor condition, while 22 percent are in mediocre condition. Fifteen percent of major roads are in fair condition and the remaining 37 percent are in good condition.
  • Thirty-nine percent of Louisiana’s major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while 25 percent are in mediocre condition. Fourteen percent of major roads are in fair condition and the remaining 23 percent are in good condition.
  • Eighteen percent of Louisiana’s major locally and state-maintained rural roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while 20 percent are in mediocre condition. Sixteen percent of major roads are in fair condition and the remaining 46 percent are in good condition.
  • Roads rated in poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, poor roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • The chart below details pavement conditions on major urban roads in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans and Shreveport urban areas.

  • Driving on rough roads costs Louisiana motorists a total of $2 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. The average driver in the Baton Rouge urban area loses $696 annually, while the average Lafayette urban area driver loses $706 each year as a result of driving on deteriorated roads. Driving on deteriorated roads costs the average New Orleans urban area driver $672 annually, while the average driver in the Shreveport urban area loses $698 annually. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

LOUISIANA BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Thirteen percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in Louisiana show significant deterioration and are in need of repairs or replacement. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

  • Thirteen percent of Louisiana’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles.
  • The chart below details the number and share of structurally deficient bridges statewide and in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans and Shreveport urban areas.

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN LOUISIANA

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

  • Between 2011 and 2015 a total of 3,563 people were killed in traffic crashes in Louisiana, an average of 713 fatalities per year.
  • Louisiana’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.51 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2015 is the seventh highest in the nation and significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.
  • The fatality rate on Louisiana’s non-interstate rural roads is more than double that on all other roads in the state (2.46 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 1.16).
  • The chart below details the average number of fatalities from 2012 to 2014 in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans and Shreveport urban areas and the average cost per driver as a result of traffic crashes.

  • Traffic crashes in Louisiana imposed a total of $6.3 billion in economic costs in 2015. TRIP estimates that traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $2.1 billion in economic costs in 2015.
  • Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over 20 years.

LOUISIANA TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Louisiana, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer.

  • Based on Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) estimates, the value of lost time and wasted fuel in Louisiana is approximately $2.4 billion per year.
  • The chart below, based on TTI estimates, details the hours lost to congestion annually by the average motorist in each urban area and the cost per driver in lost time and wasted fuel.

  • Increasing levels of congestion add significant costs to consumers, transportation companies, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers and can reduce the attractiveness of a location to a company when considering expansion or where to locate a new facility. Congestion costs can also increase overall operating costs for trucking and shipping companies, leading to revenue losses, lower pay for drivers and employees, and higher consumer costs.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN LOUISIANA

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

  • According to the 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report, a significant boost in investment in the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs.
  • AASHTO’s report found that based on an annual one percent increase in VMT annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase 36 percent, from $88 billion to $120 billion, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs. Investment in the nation’s public transit system needs to increase from $17 billion to $43 billion.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that if the national rate of vehicle travel increased by 1.4 percent per year, the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent to $144 billion. If vehicle travel grows by 1.6 percent annually the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report would need to increase by 77 percent to $156 billion.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN LOUISIANA

The efficiency of Louisiana’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses rely on an efficient and dependable transportation system to move products and services. A key component in business efficiency and success is the level and ease of access to customers, markets, materials and workers.

  • Annually, $734 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Louisiana, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges.
  • Businesses have responded to improved communications and greater competition by moving from a push-style distribution system, which relies on low-cost movement of bulk commodities and large-scale warehousing, to a pull-style distribution system, which relies on smaller, more strategic and time-sensitive movement of goods.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2015 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

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