Tag Archive for 'Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)'

TRIP Reports:Driving on deficient roads costs Alabama motorists a total of $4.2 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

ALABAMA TRANSPORTATION

BY THE NUMBERS:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and

Efficient Mobility

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Alabama

 

 

$4.2 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Alabama motorists a total of $4.2 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
 

Birmingham: $1,663

Huntsville: $1,325

Mobile: $1,437

Montgomery: $1,296

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in Alabama’s largest urban areas in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. Driving on deficient roads costs the average Birmingham area driver $1,663 annually, while the average driver in the Huntsville area loses $1,325 each year. The average driver in the Mobile area loses $1,437 annually and the average Montgomery area driver loses $1,296.
4,280

856

A total of 4,280 people were killed in Alabama traffic crashes from 2011 to 2015, an average of 856 fatalities annually.
 

1.26

Alabama’s roads and highways have a fatality rate of 1.26 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.
 

2X

The fatality rate on Alabama’s rural roads is more than double the fatality rate on all other roads in the state (1.96 fatalities per 100 million VMT vs. 0.92).
 

19%

Statewide, 19 percent of Alabama’s major urban roads are in poor condition. Forty-one percent are in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 40 percent are in good condition.
$436 Billion Annually, $436 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Alabama, mostly by truck.
 

8%

Eight percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient, meaning they have significant deterioration to the major components of the bridge.
Birmingham: 34 hours

Huntsville: 23 hours

Mobile: 30 hours

Montgomery: 24 hours

Congestion is robbing Alabama drivers of time and money. The average driver in the Birmingham area loses 34 hours annually to congestion, while drivers in the Huntsville area lose 23 hours each year. Mobile area drivers spend an average of 30 hours each year stuck in traffic, while Montgomery area drivers lose 24 hours annually.
 

$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, Alabama’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Alabama, 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 Yellowhammer 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, aerospace, forestation and natural resource extraction, the quality of Alabama’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 Alabama as the state addresses its need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit.

In December 2015 the president signed into law a long-term federal surface transportation program that includes modest funding increases and allows state and local governments to plan and finance projects with greater certainty through 2020. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) provides approximately $305 billion for surface transportation with highway and transit funding slated to increase by approximately 15 and 18 percent, respectively, over the five-year duration of the program. While the modest funding increase and certainty provided by the FAST Act are a step in the right direction, the funding falls far short of the level needed to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs and fails to deliver a sustainable, long-term source of revenue for the federal Highway Trust Fund.

COST TO ALABAMA MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs Alabama motorists a total of $4.2 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • Driving on rough roads costs Alabama motorists a total of $1.5 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 Alabama residents a total of $1.5 billion each year in the form of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance and other financial costs.
  • Traffic congestion costs Alabama residents a total of $1.2 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 as well as statewide.

 

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN ALABAMA

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

  • Alabama’s population reached approximately 4.9 million residents in 2015, a nine percent increase since 2000.
  • Alabama had 3.9 million licensed drivers in 2014.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Alabama increased 21 percent from 56.5 billion VMT in 2000 to 68.5 billion VMT in 2015. VMT in Alabama during the first six months of 2016 was 3.3 percent higher than during the first six months of 2015.
  • From 2000 to 2015, Alabama’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 22 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

ALABAMA ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in 19 percent of major urban roads and highways in Alabama having pavement surfaces in poor 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 Alabama Department of Transportation Cabinet (ALDOT) 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.
  • Nineteen percent of Alabama’s major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition, while 41 percent are in mediocre or fair condition. The remaining 40 percent are in good condition.
  • The chart below details the share of major roads 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 Alabama motorists a total of $1.5 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

ALABAMA BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Approximately one in twelve of locally and state-maintained bridges in Alabama show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

  • Eight percent of Alabama’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 bridge conditions statewide and in Alabama’s largest urban areas.

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN ALABAMA

Improving safety features on Alabama’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 4,280 people were killed in Alabama traffic crashes from 2011 to 2015, an average of 856 fatalities per year.
  • Alabama’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.26 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014 was significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.
  • The fatality rate on Alabama’s non-interstate rural roads in 2015 was more than double that on all other roads in the state (1.96 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.92).
  • In the Birmingham urban area, an average of 83 people were killed in traffic crashes over the last three years, while an average of 30 people were killed in traffic crashes in the Huntsville urban area during that time. An average of 71 people were killed in crashes in the Mobile area over the last three years, while in Montgomery, there was an average of 31 annual traffic fatalities over the last three years.
  • Traffic crashes in Alabama imposed a total of $4.6 billion in economic costs in 2014. TRIP estimates that traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $1.5 billion in economic costs in 2014.
  • 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.

ALABAMA TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Alabama, 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.

  • The chart below details what congestion costs the average driver in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of lost time and wasted fuel and the number of hours lost annually to congestion.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 ALABAMA

Investment in Alabama’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, 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 ALABAMA

The efficiency of Alabama’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, $436 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Alabama, mostly by truck.
  • Eighty-one percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Alabama are carried by trucks and another 12 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).

 

 

Construction Experts Forecast 2017

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