Tag Archive for 'Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)'

TRIP Reports: Deficient Roadways Cost Montana Drivers $794 Million Annually.

 

Mdt Forecasts Annual Funding Shortfall Of Nearly $900 Million, Halting Or Delaying Projects Needed To Improve Conditions, Enhance Economic Development Or Improve Safety

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Montana motorists a total of $794 million statewide annually – as much as $1,417 per driver in some urban areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national nonprofit transportation research organization. These high costs come at a time when the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) estimates it will face an annual funding shortfall of $874 million through 2021, causing many needed projects to be halted or delayed. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, relieve traffic congestion and support long-term economic growth in Montana.

The TRIP report, Montana Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Montana, 34 percent of major urban roads are in poor condition and nearly one-fifth of Montana’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The state’s traffic fatality rate is the third highest in the nation. Montana’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year.

The MDT estimates it will face an $874 million average annual shortfall through 2021 in the investment level needed to make further progress in improving road, highway and bridge conditions; improving traffic safety; and, completing needed modernization improvements to enhance economic development opportunities. As a result of a lack of transportation funding, MDT has delayed $144.5 million in road projects that had been scheduled to begin in 2017.

Driving on deficient roads costs Montana drivers $794 million per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Billings, Great Falls and Missoula urban areas. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.

The TRIP report finds that 34 percent of major urban roads in Montana are in poor condition, while 40 percent are rated in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 26 percent are in good condition. Driving on deteriorated roads costs Montana drivers an additional $296 million each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

We’ve been talking about our failing infrastructure and lack of funding for a long time now and have very little to show for all that hand-wringing,” said Darryl James, executive director of the Montana Infrastructure Coalition. “It’s time for a little less talk and a lot more action.”

A total of 18 percent of Montana’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Eight percent of Montana’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional ten percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete, which means they no longer meet modern design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

“The Montana Infrastructure Coalition is bringing a balanced package of bills supported by a broad spectrum of Montanans,” said Webb Brown, president and CEO of the Montana Chamber of Commerce.  “We expect some tough discussions but believe Montana’s lawmakers are ready to step to the plate and work on real solutions to these very real problems. We’re anxious to share our research and data to play a central role in that discussion.”

Traffic crashes in Montana claimed the lives of 1,024 people between 2010 and 2014. Montana’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.58 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is significantly higher than the national average of 1.08 and is the third highest in the nation. The fatality rate on Montana’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.41 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014, approximately three times higher than the 0.79 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.

“Our transportation system is truly the network that binds our communities together in Montana,” said Steve Arveschoug, executive director of the Big Sky Economic Development Authority. “Our economic security depends on smart investment in infrastructure and it begins with clean water and roads and bridges that are safe and efficient.”

Traffic congestion in Montana is worsening, costing the state’s drivers $170 million annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

The efficiency and condition of Montana’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $101 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Montana, mostly by truck. Sixty-seven percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Montana are carried by trucks and another 12 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.

“Conditions will worsen and additional projects will be delayed if greater funding is not made available at the state and local levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate investment, Montana’s roads and bridges will become increasingly deteriorated, inefficient and unsafe, hampering economic growth and quality of life.”

Executive Summary

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Montana

 

 

 

$874 million

The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) estimates it will face an $874 million average annual shortfall through 2021 in the investment level needed to make further progress in improving road, highway and bridge conditions; improving traffic safety; and, completing needed modernization improvements to enhance economic development opportunities.
 

50

This report includes information on 50 road, highway and bridge projects that currently cannot proceed due to lack of funding. These projects are needed to improve safety, support economic development opportunities and improve conditions in Montana.
$144.5 million The MDT has delayed $144.5 million in road projects that had been scheduled to begin in 2017 because of a lack of adequate funding.
 

32 percent

5th

25 percent

Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Montana increased by 32 percent from 2000 to 2015 –from 9.9 billion VMT in 2000 to 13 billion VMT in 2015. This was the fifth largest increase in VMT in the nation during that time. VMT in Montana is anticipated to increase by another 25 percent by 2030.
 

$794 million

Driving on deficient roads costs Montana motorists a total of $794 million annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
$1,113 – Billings

$1,417– Great Falls

$1,152 – Missoula

 

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. Driving on deficient roads costs the average Billings urban area driver $1,113 annually, while the average driver in the Great Falls area loses $1,417 and the average driver in the Missoula area loses $1,152.
1.58

3rd

Montana’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.58 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014 was the third highest in the U.S. and much higher than the national average of 1.08.
34% – Montana

30% – Billings

52% – Great Falls

26% – Missoula

Thirty-four percent of Montana’s major urban roads are in poor condition. In the Billings, Great Falls and Missoula urban areas, 30 percent, 52 percent and 26 percent of major roads are in poor condition, respectively.
$101 Billion Annually, $101 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Montana, mostly by truck.
 

18%

A total of 18 percent of Montana bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. Eight percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and ten percent are functionally obsolete.

Nine years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Montana’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Montana, 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 Treasure 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 natural resource extraction, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, the quality of Montana’s transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic growth and quality of life.

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


Sources of information for this report include the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), 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).

To review the complete report visit:  www.tripnet.org

TRIP Reports: PUBLIC AFFAIRS EXECUTIVE TO CHAIR NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH NONPROFIT IN 2017

A Washington, DC, public affairs executive has been elected 2017 chairman of the Board of Directors of TRIP, a private, national transportation research nonprofit based in Washington, D.C.
Nick Yaksich, senior vice president for government and industry relations for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), leads the Washington, DC, office of AEM and joined the TRIP Board of Directors in 1999, serving on its executive committee since 2001. AEM is a trade group of more than 900 construction, agricultural, mining, and forestry equipment manufacturers and related business services. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and has offices in Washington, DC; Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China.
“AEM has supported TRIP’s efforts since TRIP was formed in 1971,” Mr. Yaksich said. “I am honored to serve as the next chairman of TRIP, an organization that has done tremendous work increasing public awareness of the need to invest in America’s surface transportation infrastructure for almost five decades.”
In addition to his service to TRIP, Mr. Yaksich is a member of the executive committee of Americans for Transportation Mobility and is a past chairman of The Road Gang, Washington’s Transportation Fraternity.
TRIP elected the following individuals as officers for 2017: President: Tom Brown, President, Sierra Pacific West, Encinitas, Calif.; Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer: Jeffrey DiStefano, Vice President & COO, Harrison & Burrowes Bridge Constructors, Inc., Glenmont, N.Y.; and, Vice President: Kenneth K. Wert, President, Haskell Lemon Construction Co., Oklahoma City, Okla.
TRIP also elected the following individuals to its Board of Directors: Donn Diederich, Executive Vice President, Industrial Builders, Inc., Fargo, N.D.; Will Griffin, Account Executive, American Global LLC, Miami, Fla.; Ashley Jackson, Director of Government Affairs, NAPA, Lanham, Md.; and, Michele Stanley, Director of Government Affairs, NSSGA, Alexandria, Va.

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

Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

* Git-‘r-done; well, someday, maybe. A Federal Highway Environmental Impact Statement notice caught my eye last week for an Interstate project in New Hampshire, for which FHWA plans a “Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS).” That’ll light a spark! After all, project planning started in 1985, just 31 years ago. A “notice of intent” was published in 1998. A draft EIS in 2007. A public hearing was held in 2007. “Project development was subsequently delayed for several years,” reads the notice. The Governor reactivated the project in 2015. This new EIS should be done in September 2017. Whaddya think: construction starts October 1, 2017…?

* DOT holds a workshop next week on application of high-power batteries in maritime transportation. The workshop will be used to enhance Agency and industry stakeholders’ understanding of the state of technology, potential design requirements for electric powered and hybrid electric vessels, and areas for future research, development and demonstration projects. The agenda will cover alternative energy technologies for propulsion and auxiliary systems, with a view toward greater efficiency, lower costs and reduced air emissions.

* California’s largest utilities release plans next month to start heavy duty transportation electrification (TE). The Public Utilities Commission then needs to approve or disapprove the plans. Last summer the PUC released a 45 page guidance for the utilities. Here’s a bit of an understatement: “The electric utilities will need to think outside of the box on how they can provide electricity to fuel vehicles, integrate and maximize the use of renewable energy, and accelerate the adoption of TE in order to achieve the multiple objectives outlined by SB 350, namely: reduce dependence on petroleum, meet air quality standards, lower GHG emissions, and achieve the goals set forth in the Charge Ahead California Initiative in the Health and Safety Code.” Think anybody’s staying late at the office, maybe working Christmas day *😀?

Tom Ewing

Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

* EPA is proposing enhancements to its Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) program and other related fuel regulations to support market growth of ethanol and other renewable fuels. The changes seek to “provide the opportunity for increasing the production and use of renewable fuels by allowing the market to operate in the most efficient and economical way to introduce greater volumes of renewable fuels under the program.” There’s a public hearing on this on December 6, 2016, in Chicago. A copy of the proposed rule is available from the Agency’s web site. Easy reading – just 374 pages!

* Sobering: FHWA reports that American vehicles consumed 71.8 billion gallons of gasoline in the first half of 2016, an increase of 3 percent over the same period a year earlier. That is the highest amount on record and the sixth consecutive increase in national gasoline consumption for the first six months of any year on record. The South Gulf – eight states from Texas to West Virginia – had a 4.1 percent increase, the largest percentage increase of any region in the country. California led the nation in gasoline consumption with 7.65 billion gallons, followed by Texas at 7.1 billion gallons and Florida at 4.57 billion gallons. If interested, check EIA’s data to view how transport contributes to each each state’s CO2 emissions.

* By contrast – is that the right comparative? – the American Public Transportation Association reported on Friday that US voters approved 34 of 49 local and statewide public transit measures for a current Election Day passage rate (unofficial) of 69 percent. One measure remains to be called. The current success rates for transit measures throughout 2016 is 71 percent. Throughout the country this year, in 23 states and communities of all sizes, voters considered nearly $200 billion in local investment for public transportation at the ballot box.

Tom Ewing
tfewing1@yahoo.com

New Report Identifies U.S. Urban Areas With Roughest Roads And Highest Costs To Drivers – As Much As $1,025 Annually

Trip LogoNew Report Identifies U.S. Urban Areas With Roughest Roads And Highest Costs To Drivers – As Much As $1,025 Annually. As Travel Growth Returns To Pre-Recession Rates, Road Conditions Expected To Decline Further Without Additional Funding At Local, State & Federal Levels.

Driving on deteriorated urban roads costs motorists as much as $1,025 annually, according to a new report that evaluates pavement conditions in the nation’s large (500,000+ population) and mid-sized (200,000-500,000 population) urban areas and calculates the additional costs passed on to motorists as a result of driving on rough roads. 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 recently (11.5.2016) released 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, travel trends and economic development. Pavement condition and vehicle operating costs for urban areas with populations of 200,000 or greater can be found in the report and appendices. The charts below detail large and mid-sized urban areas with the highest share of pavements on major locally and state-maintained roads and highways in poor condition and the highest vehicle operating costs (VOC).

tripIn 2014 nearly one-third (32 percent) of the nation’s major urban roads– Interstates, freeways and other arterial routes – had pavements that were in substandard condition and provided an unacceptably rough ride to motorists, costing the average driver $523 annually. The nationwide annual cost of driving on deteriorated roads totals $112 billion.

“This important TRIP report highlights the need for federal leadership to address the nation’s infrastructure deficit.  With both presidential candidates highlighting the importance of rebuilding America’s infrastructure, the time is now to address this critical issue,” stated U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director of Transportation Infrastructure Ed Mortimer.

Road conditions could get even worse in the future as the rate of vehicle travel continues to increase and local and state government find themselves unable to adequately fund road repairs.

With vehicle travel growth rates returning to pre-recession levels and large truck travel anticipated to grow significantly, mounting wear and tear on the nation’s urban roads and highways is expected to increase the cost of needed highway repairs. Vehicle travel in the U.S. increased by 15 percent from 2000 to 2015. U.S. vehicle travel during the first eight months of 2016 increased 3.1 percent from the same period in 2015. Travel by large commercial trucks in the U.S. increased by 26 percent from 2000 to 2014 and is anticipated to increase by approximately 72 percent from 2015 to 2030, putting greater stress on the nation’s roadways.

“With state and local governments struggling to fund needed road repairs and with federal surface transportation funding falling short of the amount needed to make needed improvements, road conditions are projected to get even worse,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate investment at the local, state and federal levels, our nation’s crumbling pavements will be more than just a nuisance for drivers – they’ll be a roadblock to economic growth and quality of life.”
Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides And Strategies To Make Our Roads Smoother

Executive Summary

Keeping the wheel steady on America’s roads and highways has become increasingly challenging as drivers encounter potholes and pavement deterioration. Nearly one-third 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 70 percent of the approximately 3.1 trillion miles driven annually in America.

Road conditions could deteriorate even further in the future as the rate of vehicle travel continues to increase and local and state government find they are unable to adequately fund road repairs.

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) 2014 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:

Nearly one-third of the nation’s major urban roads are rated in substandard or poor condition, providing motorists and truckers with a rough ride and increasing the cost of operating a vehicle.

  • The pavement data in this report, which is for all urban arterial and collector roads and highways, is provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), based on data submitted annually by state departments of transportation 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.
  • Nearly one-third (32 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 39 percent of the nation’s major urban roads and highways have pavements that are in mediocre or fair condition, and 28 percent are in good condition.
  • Including major rural roads, 20 percent of the nation’s major roads are in poor condition, 39 percent are in mediocre or fair condition, and 40 percent are in good condition.
  • The following chart shows the 25 urban regions* with a population of 500,000 or greater with the highest share of major roads and highways with pavements that are in poor condition and provide a rough ride.

 

trip2* An urban area includes the major city in a region and its neighboring or surrounding suburban areas.

  • The 25 urban regions* with a population between 200,000 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 shown in the following chart.

trip3* 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 200,000 and 500,000 can be found in Appendix B.
  • The average motorist in the U.S. is losing $523 annually — $112 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 following chart shows the 25 urban regions* with at least 500,000 people where motorists pay the most annually in additional vehicle maintenance because of roads in poor, mediocre and fair condition.

trip4* An urban area includes the major city in a region and its neighboring or surrounding suburban areas.

  • The 25 urban regions* with a population between 200,000 and 500,000 where motorists pay the most annually in additional vehicle maintenance because of roads in poor, mediocre and fair condition are shown in the following chart.

trip5* 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 200,000 and 500,000 can be found in Appendix D.

With vehicle travel growth returning to pre-recession rates and large truck travel anticipated to grow significantly, the result will be an increase in traffic and wear and tear on the nation’s urban roads and highways. The additional travel will increase the amount of road, highway and bridge investment needed to improve conditions and to meet the nation’s transportation needs.

  • Vehicle travel in the U.S. increased by 15 percent from 2000 to 2015. U.S. vehicle travel during the first eight months of 2016 increased 3.1 percent from the same period in 2015.
  • Travel by large commercial trucks in the U.S. increased by 26 percent from 2000 to 2014. Large trucks place significant stress on roads and highways.
  • The level of heavy truck travel nationally is anticipated to increase by approximately 72 percent from 2015 to 2030, putting greater stress on the nation’s roadways.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that the U.S. currently has a $740 billion backlog in improvements needed to restore the nation’s roads, highways and bridges to the level of condition and performance needed to meet the nation’s transportation demands.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that the nation’s road, highway and bridge backlog included $392 billion in needed road and highway repairs to return them to a state of good repair; $112 billion needed in bridge rehabilitation and $237 billion in needed highway capacity expansions to relieve traffic congestion and support economic development.

The federal government is a critical source of funding for road and highway repairs. 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. 

  • 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.

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 rehabilitation and preservation projects provide significant economic benefits by improving travel speeds, capacity 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 postponing the need for more expensive future repairs.
  • 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 using higher-quality paving materials that keep roads structurally sound and smooth for longer periods, and by employing a pavement preservation approach that optimizes the timing of repairs to pavement surfaces.

  • There are five life cycle stages of a roadway pavement: design, construction, initial deterioration, visible deterioration and pavement disintegration and failure.
  • A 2010 Federal Highway Administration report found that an over-reliance 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 properly implemented pavement preservation 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 asphalt pavements that have a perpetual pavement design.

Adequate funding allows transportation agencies to reconstruct roadways that are structurally worn out and adopt the following recommendations for ensuring 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.
  • Use 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 ensure 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 (TTI), the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).