Tag Archive for 'Federal Highway Trust Fund'

Voters Feel Nation’s Infrastructure Needs Attention

Baby & GBy:  Greg Sitek

Days are flying by at a record-breaking pace as the presidential candidates race to the finish line in what, in my opinion, is the most vicious campaign since I was first eligible to vote. No, it wasn’t Lincoln vs. Douglas.

There are almost as many issues as there are dollars in our national debt. Among them is our infrastructure. A failing infrastructure is not conducive to growing a strong economy. Both parties recognize this face and have addressed it in campaign rhetoric.

With 90 days left before Election Day, a national poll released recently by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) found that half of registered voters say the nation’s infrastructure has gotten worse over the last five years, and a majority of voters said roads and bridges are in “extreme” need of repair.

The findings were part of a new national poll commissioned by AEM to gauge voter perceptions and attitudes about the current and future state of U.S. infrastructure amid a high-profile election. The poll found that registered voters, regardless of political affiliation, recognize the declining state of the nation’s infrastructure as an issue that should be addressed and believe that the federal government should do more to improve infrastructure across the board.

“Americans across the political spectrum understand the dire state of U.S. infrastructure and believe that the federal government should do more to improve our infrastructure,” said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. “Voters recognized that increased federal funding for assets such as roads, bridges, and inland waterways will have a positive impact on the economy, and they are looking to the federal government to repair and modernize.”

The national poll identified a number of key findings, including:

• Nearly half (46 percent) of registered voters believe that the state of the nation’s infrastructure has gotten worse in the last five years.

• A significant majority (80 – 90 percent) of registered voters say that roads, bridges and energy grids are in some or extreme need of repairs.

• Half (49 percent) of the surveyed population feel that the federal government is primarily responsible for funding repairs to the nation’s infrastructure.

• Seven out of every 10 registered voters say increasing federal funding for infrastructure will have a positive impact on the economy.

• More than eight out of every ten Americans consider water infrastructure (86 percent), solar powered homes (83 percent) and smart infrastructure (82 percent) as the top three important innovations for the future of infrastructure.

• Voters across the political spectrum think that the federal government should do more to improve the nation’s overall infrastructure, with 68 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Independents and 76 percent of Democrats sharing this sentiment.

Registered voters also feel that government across the board should be doing more to improve the nation’s overall infrastructure, with 76 percent of individuals surveyed wanting more from state governments, 72 percent looking to the federal government to do more and 70 percent expecting more from local governments.

“Both presidential nominees have voiced their strong support for infrastructure investment,” says Ron DeFeo, CEO of Kennametal and chairman of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative. “The specific ideas and proposals they offer over the next 90 days will be critically important, and voters should consider them carefully on Election Day.”

Currently, there are 4.12 million miles of road in the United States, according to the Federal Highway Administration, including Alaska and Hawaii. The core of the nation’s highway system is the 47,575 miles of Interstate Highways, which comprise just over 1 percent of highway mileage but carry one-quarter of all highway traffic. The Interstates plus another 179,650 miles of major roads comprise the National Highway System, which carries most of the highway freight and traffic in the U.S. Most of the roads in the U.S., 2.94 million miles, are located in rural areas, with the remaining 1.18 million miles located in urban areas. Local governments are responsible for maintaining and improving 3.18 million miles of road or 77.3 percent of the total. State highway agencies are responsible for over 780 thousand miles of road, or 19.0 percent. The federal government is responsible for only 150 thousand miles of road or 3.7 percent, largely roads in national parks, military bases and Indian reservations. Of the 4.07 million miles of road, about 2.68 million miles are paved, which includes most roads in urban areas. However, 1.39 million miles or more than one-third of all road miles in the U.S. are still unpaved gravel or dirt roads. These are largely local roads or minor collectors in rural areas of the country. (Source: Highway Statistics 2013 Table HM-20, HM-10, HM-12, HM-15, VM-202)

You don’t like the way things are going?

Do something about it!

Vote!

Just because you vote don’t think your job is done. Keep track of your representatives in local, state and federal government.

Remember they work for you. You pay their salaries and benefits, and they are well paid. Make them accountable and communicate with them regularly. It is your country.

Additional information is available at: The Atlantic – Donald Trump’s Big-Spending Infrastructure Dream

FORTUNE – Both Republicans and Democrats Want More Infrastructure Spending Now

The Hill – Poll: Dems, GOP agree infrastructure worsening

AEM – www.aem.org

Site-K Construction Zone http://www.site-kconstructionzone.com/?p=12782

ARTBA Reports: FHWA Proposal Breaks With 2012
Transportation Bill Directives

29d04b3d-4453-4557-a059-9cf73a6a6df3The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) challenged the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) proposal to measure greenhouse gas emissions from new transportation projects.The proposal is part of larger performance measures required under the 2012 “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) surface transportation reauthorization law. In Aug. 19 comments to the agency, ARTBA charged the proposal “exceeds both the authority of the FHWA and the intent of MAP-21.”

ARTBA warned of this three years ago, when it urged the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) not to jeopardize the broad bipartisan congressional support for MAP-21 by including extraneous issues—such as climate change— in the law’s implementation. Specifically, a 2013 ARTBA task force cautioned:

“Focus on the goals enumerated in the law. The authors of MAP-21 had the opportunity to include a host of external goals such as livability, reduction of transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions, reduction of reliance on foreign oil, adaptation to the effects of climate change, public health, housing, land-use patterns and air quality in the planning and performance process….the U.S. Department of Transportation should focus on implementing the goals and standards as spelled out in MAP-21.”

In its latest comments, ARTBA noted that neither Congress nor the administration sought emission measurements in the MAP-21 performance management process, and that such proposals were not included in the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” (FAST) Act reauthorization law passed in December 2015.

ARTBA also raised a variety of concerns about the proposed measurement system. Specifically, it “does not define what exactly it will measure and how it will measure it,” ARTBA stated, and “[i]t is unfair to ask the regulated community to provide specific comments on such an abstract proposal.” Further, the association warned that the proposal could lead to a cumbersome regulatory process that undercuts progress from both MAP-21 and the FAST Act on expediting transportation project delivery and delay transportation improvements.

ARTBA concluded “it is hard to see this proposal as anything other than a maneuver to achieve a policy objective the administration failed to initiate during the MAP-21 and FAST Act deliberations.” The association has asked FHWA to withdraw its proposed measurement system.

Established in 1902 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ARTBA is the “consensus voice” of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry before Congress, federal agencies, the White House, news media and the general public.

AEM Poll: Infrastructure Unites Voters in Divisive Election Year

infrastructure-poll-advisor-infographic-embed-81116_1AEM Infrastructure Poll Draws National Attention

A poll commissioned by AEM to gauge voter perceptions and attitudes about the current and future state of U.S. infrastructure has drawn wide national attention from the press.

Released on Tuesday, the poll was conducted as part of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative, an ongoing effort to develop a long-term national vision for U.S. infrastructure.

Press coverage included the following, among many others:

An analysis of the results is available here.

AEM Release:

Poll: Infrastructure Unites Voters in Divisive Election Year

With 90 days left before Election Day, a national poll released Tuesday by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) found that half of registered voters say the nation’s infrastructure has gotten worse over the last five years, and a majority of voters said roads and bridges are in “extreme” need of repair.

The findings were part of a new national poll commissioned by AEM to gauge voter perceptions and attitudes about the current and future state of U.S. infrastructure amid a high-profile election. The poll found that registered voters, regardless of political affiliation, recognize the declining state of the nation’s infrastructure as an issue that should be addressed and believe that the federal government should do more to improve infrastructure across the board.

“Americans across the political spectrum understand the dire state of U.S. infrastructure and believe that the federal government should do more to improve our infrastructure,” said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. “Voters recognized that increased federal funding for assets such as roads, bridges, and inland waterways will have a positive impact on the economy, and they are looking to the federal government to repair and modernize.”

The national poll identified a number of key findings, including:

  • Nearly half (46 percent) of registered voters believe that the state of the nation’s infrastructure has gotten worse in the last five years.
  • A significant majority (80 – 90 percent) of registered voters say that roads, bridges and energy grids are in some or extreme need of repairs.
  • Half (49 percent) of the surveyed population feel that the federal government is primarily responsible for funding repairs to the nation’s infrastructure.
  • Seven out of every 10 registered voters say increasing federal funding for infrastructure will have a positive impact on the economy.
  • More than eight out of every ten Americans consider water infrastructure (86 percent), solar powered homes (83 percent) and smart infrastructure (82 percent) as the top three important innovations for the future of infrastructure.
  • Voters across the political spectrum think that the federal government should do more to improve the nation’s overall infrastructure, with 68 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Independents and 76 percent of Democrats sharing this sentiment.

Registered voters also feel that government across the board should be doing more to improve the nation’s overall infrastructure, with 76 percent of individuals surveyed wanting more from state governments, 72 percent looking to the federal government to do more and 70 percent expecting more from local governments.

“Both presidential nominees have voiced their strong support for infrastructure investment,” said Ron De Feo, CEO of Kennametal and chairman of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative. “The specific ideas and proposals they offer over the next 90 days will be critically important, and voters should consider them carefully on Election Day.”

The national poll was conducted as part of AEM’s ongoing efforts to develop a long-term national vision for U.S. infrastructure. An analysis of the national poll results is available here.

About the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) – www.aem.org

AEM is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 850 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with offices in the world capitals of Washington, D.C.; Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China.

U.S. Interstate Highway System Turns 60 Years Old Amid Increased Travel, Rising Congestion; Surging Travel And Insufficient Funding To Make Needed Improvements. Interstate System Continues To Save Lives, Time And Money While Easing Personal And Commercial Mobility

Trip LogoAs the U.S. Interstate Highway System turns 60 years old this week, it faces increasing congestion, unprecedented levels of travel – particularly by large trucks – and insufficient funding to make needed repairs and improvements. The nation’s most critical transportation link continues to save lives with its enhanced safety features and is largely well-preserved, but an aging Interstate system will increasingly require more long-term, costly repairs, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, “The Interstate Highway System Turns 60: Challenges to Its Ability to Continue to Save Lives, Time and Money” finds that while the Interstate Highway System represents only 2.5 percent of lane miles in the U.S., it carries 25 percent of the nation’s vehicle travel. The system is increasingly congested, with truck travel growing at a rate twice that of overall Interstate travel. And, while the nation’s Interstates tend to be in better condition than other roads and bridges, the aging system lacks the required funding for needed improvements and repairs.

The chart below details the top 10 states whose Interstate systems have the highest levels of congestion, the largest share of large truck travel, the highest increase in travel from 2000-2014, the highest share of pavements in poor and mediocre condition, the highest rate of structurally deficient bridges, and the largest number of lives saved annually. Data for all 50 states can be found in the report’s Appendix.

TRIP 60 1

“Drivers are frustrated with the condition of the nation’s transportation system,” said Jill Ingrassia, AAA’s managing director of government relations and traffic safety advocacy. “While a record 36 million travelers plan to hit the road for Independence Day weekend, nearly 70 percent are concerned that roads and bridges are not in great driving condition. AAA urges lawmakers to keep their eye on the ball to identify a sustainable funding source to maintain and improve our Interstate system for the future.”

The current backlog of needed improvements to the Interstate Highway System, as estimated by the U.S. Department of Transportation, is $189 billion. The nation’s current transportation investment is less than two-thirds (61 percent) of the amount needed to keep Interstates in good condition and make the improvements necessary to meet the nation’s growing need for personal and commercial mobility. And, while the recently enacted federal surface transportation program, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST Act) provides a modest increase in spending, it lacks a long-term, sustainable revenue source. By 2020 the shortfall into the nation’s Highway Trust Fund will be $16 billion annually.

“The United States moves in large part thanks to the efforts of many elected officials, organizations and citizens whose shared foresight led to the construction of the national interstate system,” said Bud Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “Now, as we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Interstate act, it’s clear that our investments in preserving the system are not keeping up even as our nation continues to grow.”

Since 2000 travel on the Interstate system is increasing two times faster than new lane capacity is being added. As a result, 43 percent of urban Interstate highways are considered congested during peak hours and the average annual amount of travel per Interstate lane mile increased by 11 percent from 2000 to 2014. Travel by combination trucks on the Interstate increased by 29 percent from 2000 to 2014, more than double the 14 percent rate of growth for all Interstate vehicle travel during the same period.

“It’s hard to believe it’s been 60 years since the Interstate Highway System was developed,” said Ed Mortimer, executive director for transportation infrastructure at the United States Chamber of Commerce. “The vision of President Eisenhower has enabled economic mobility throughout our nation and showed we can accomplish big things. As we work to maintain, and in many cases rebuild this great system, let’s continue to think big as we work to fund and finance an improved, smarter network.”

Travel on the nation’s Interstate highways has surged since 2014. In 2015 vehicle miles of travel on the Interstate Highway System was four percent higher than in 2014 and through the first three months of 2016 travel on the Interstate Highway System was five percent higher than during the first three months of 2015.

The design of the Interstate – which includes a separation from other roads and rail lines, a minimum of four lanes, paved shoulders and median barriers – makes it more than twice as safe to travel on as all other roadways. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel on the Interstate in 2014 was 0.54, compared to 1.26 on non-Interstate routes. TRIP estimates that the Interstate Highway System saved 5,359 lives in 2014, based on an estimate of the number of additional fatalities that would have occurred had Interstate traffic been carried by other major roadways, which often lack the safety features common to Interstate routes.

While the condition of Interstate pavement and bridges is acceptable, some deficiencies exist. Twelve percent of Interstate highways are in poor or mediocre condition. Three percent of Interstate bridges are structurally deficient and an additional 18 percent are functionally obsolete. Structurally deficient bridges have significant deterioration of the major components of the bridge, while functionally obsolete bridges no longer meet modern design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

“The long-term vision that helped establish the current Interstate system 60 years ago is needed again today,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “In order to maintain personal and commercial mobility, transportation investment and a sustainable, long-term funding source for the federal surface transportation program must remain a priority.”

The above highlighted links will take you to the full report, including the executive summary and appendix of supporting charts and graphs.

or you can scan: Trip ReportTRIP Report qrcode-9

Appendix:TRIP Appendix qrcode-10

TRIP Report: Deficient, Congested Roadways Cost Average New Jersey Driver $2,626 Annually, A Total Of $13.1 Billion Statewide. Costs Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Increased Funding

Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost New Jersey motorists a total of $13.1 billion statewide annually – more than $2,600 per driver – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in New Jersey, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, New Jersey Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that more than one-third of the state’s major roads are in poor condition and more than one-third of New Jersey’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers facing some of the longest commutes in the nation. And an average of 574 people were killed annually in crashes on New Jersey’s roads from 2010 to 2014.

Driving on deficient roads costs each New Jersey driver $2,626 per year – a total of $13.1 billion statewide- in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. A breakdown of the costs per motorist along with a statewide total is below.

NJ 1

The TRIP report finds that 37 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in New Jersey are in poor condition and another 41 percent are in mediocre and fair condition. The remaining 22 percent are in good condition. Driving on deteriorated roads costs the average New Jersey motorist an additional $632 each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Statewide vehicle operating costs as a result of rough roads total $3.9 billion annually.

A total of 35 percent of New Jersey’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Nine percent of New Jersey’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional 26 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.

Traffic congestion in New Jersey is worsening, costing the average motorist $1,501 annually in lost time and wasted fuel – a total of $6.2 billion each year. The average daily commute for New Jersey residents is 31 minutes, the third longest nationally, behind only New York and Maryland. The national average is 26 minutes.

“The TRIP report underscores how important renewing the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund program is to motorists in our state. In the long run, driving on well-maintained roads is far less expensive than paying for needless car repairs, congestion and crashes that result from an underfunded transportation system,” stated Philip Beachem, president of the New Jersey Alliance for Action.

New Jersey’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.74 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is lower than the national average of 1.08. The state’s rural roads have a traffic fatality rate that is more than three times higher than the rate on all other roads in the state (2.10 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel versus 0.67). TRIP estimates that roadway features may be a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.

The efficiency and condition of New Jersey’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $816 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in New Jersey, mostly by truck. Seventy-three percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in New Jersey are carried by trucks and another 18 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.

“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the local, state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without additional transportation funding New Jersey’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, the state will miss out on opportunities for economic growth and quality of life will suffer.”

Executive Summary

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in New Jersey

 

 

$13.1 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs New Jersey motorists a total of $13.1 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
$2,626 TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in New Jersey in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. The average New Jersey driver loses $2,626 annually as a result of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack some desirable safety features.
2,870

574

A total of 2,870 people were killed in New Jersey traffic crashes from 2010 to 2014. An average of 574 fatalities occurred annually on New Jersey’s roads in the last five years.
3X The fatality rate on New Jersey’s non-interstate rural roads is more than three times higher than all other roads in the state (2.10 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.67).
37% Statewide, 37 percent of New Jersey’s major roads are in poor condition. Forty-one percent are in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 22 percent are in good condition.
$816 Billion

 

Annually, $816 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in New Jersey, mostly by truck.
 

35%

A total of 35 percent of New Jersey bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. Nine percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and 26 percent are functionally obsolete.
$6.2 Billion

64 Hours

$1,501 Per Driver

The average New Jersey driver loses 64 hours each year stuck in congestion. Congestion related delays cost the state’s drivers a total of $6.2 billion annually, an average of $1,501 per driver.
 

$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.
31 Minutes

3rd Longest

The average daily commute to work for New Jersey residents is 31 minutes, the third longest nationally, behind only New York and Maryland.

 

Eight years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, New Jersey’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in New Jersey, 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 Garden 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 manufacturing, chemical production, agriculture and tourism, the quality of New Jersey’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 New Jersey 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 NEW JERSEY MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs New Jersey motorists a total of $13.1 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • Driving on rough roads costs all New Jersey motorists a total of $3.9 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 New Jersey residents a total of $3 billion each year in the form of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance costs and other financial costs.

 

  • Traffic congestion costs New Jersey residents a total of $6.2 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.

 

NJ 2 

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN NEW JERSEY

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

  • New Jersey’s population reached approximately nine million residents in 2015, a six percent increase since 2000.

 

  • New Jersey had 6.2 million licensed drivers in 2014.

 

  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in New Jersey increased by 11 percent from 2000 to 2014 –from 67.4 billion VMT in 2000 to 74.9 billion VMT in 2014.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in New Jersey is projected to increase by another 10 percent.

 

NEW JERSEY ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in 37 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads and highways in New Jersey 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 New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) 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, 37 percent of New Jersey’s major locally and state-maintained roads and highways are in poor condition, while 41 percent are in mediocre or fair condition. The remaining 22 percent are in good condition.

 

  • 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 New Jersey motorists a total of $3.9 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs – approximately $632 per driver each year. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

 

NEW JERSEY BRIDGE CONDITIONS

More than one-third of locally and state-maintained bridges in New Jersey 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.

  • Nine percent of New Jersey’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.

 

  • Twenty-six percent of New Jersey’s bridges are functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

 

  • The chart below details bridge conditions statewide.

NJ 3HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN NEW JERSEY

Improving safety features on New Jersey’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 2,870 people were killed in New Jersey traffic crashes from 2010 to 2014.

 

  • New Jersey’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.74 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2014 was lower than the national average of 1.08.

 

  • The fatality rate on New Jersey’s non-interstate rural roads in 2014 was more than three times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.10 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.67).

 

  • 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 the next 20 years.

 

NEW JERSEY TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in New Jersey, 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 New Jersey is approximately $6.2 billion per year – $1,501 annually per driver.

 

  • 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.

 

  • The average daily commute for New Jersey residents is 31 minutes, the third longest nationally, behind only New York and Maryland. The national average is 26 minutes.

 

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN NEW JERSEY

Investment in New Jersey’s roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments. The recently approved 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 NEW JERSEY

The efficiency of New Jersey’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, $816 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in New Jersey, mostly by truck.

 

  • Seventy-three percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in New Jersey are carried by trucks and another 18 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 New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), 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).