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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).

 

 

Association of Equipment Manufacturers today relaunched IMakeAmerica.com

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers today relaunched IMakeAmerica.com to serve as its grassroots advocacy platform during the 115th Congress and the Trump administration.

The new IMakeAmerica.com will continue to serve manufacturing voters by giving them a platform to take action on the issues that affect their jobs, communities and industry. It features information about the equipment manufacturing industry’s economic impact on the national economy and the economies of all 50 states, and it provides new tools for supporters to connect with elected officials as well as resources to help AEM’s members engage and mobilize their employees around issues that affect their industry.

“We are excited to bring the latest version of IMakeAmerica.com to our more than 40,000 grassroots supporters and 950 AEM member companies,” said Kip Eideberg, Vice President of Public Affairs & Advocacy. “This new advocacy platform will provide a one-stop-shop for our members and their employees to connect with their elected officials and help us advance policies that strengthen and grow our industry.”

I Make America is the grassroots advocacy program of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the national trade association representing the $159 billion equipment manufacturing industry. The program is entering its seventh year of connecting equipment manufacturers with elected officials through factory visits, advocacy events on Capitol Hill and grassroots outreach and mobilization.

In tandem with the launch of the redeveloped grassroots advocacy platform, AEM also unveiled a new digital advertising campaign urging President Trump to make good on his campaign promise to invest in infrastructure. AEM will roll out display and video advertising campaigns in the Washington, D.C. area in the coming weeks encouraging the Trump administration to “start with infrastructure.”

The ads will run on D.C. news websites over the next several weeks.

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.

ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane Statement on Elaine Chao’s Selection as U.S. Secretary of Transportation

fa4ca536-14f6-4df1-83e2-ca3527905984American Road &Transportation Builders Association President & CEO Pete Ruane issued the following statement in reaction to Elaine Chao’s selection as U.S. DOT Secretary:

Pete Ruane

Pete Ruane

“President-elect Trump has made a very good choice in selecting an experienced and proven leader to serve in this key cabinet post.

“As a former deputy secretary of transportation and secretary of labor in the respective Bush Administrations, there will be little learning curve for Elaine Chao. She is already well-versed on federal transportation policy, regulatory and safety matters.

“We look forward to her playing a critical leadership role in fulfilling President-elect Trump’s campaign pledge to make major new strategic investments in America’s transportation infrastructure network.”

Since 1902, ARTBA has been the “consensus voice” of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, news media and the general public.

Voters Want Transportation Investment Record Number of State and Local Ballot Measures Approve

63f04383-b557-424b-936b-696d2d371c0bPreliminary November 8 election results show voters in 22 states approved ballot measures that will provide $201 billion in funding extensions and new revenue for state and local transportation projects.

According to an analysis by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s “Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™” (ARTBA-TIAC), 69 percent of the 280 transportation funding ballot measures up for vote across the nation were approved, with results still pending for seven local areas.

California will see the biggest impact. Voters in the state approved 15 of 26 transportation ballot measures worth $133 billion, including a 1 cent sales tax in Los Angeles that will provide $120 billion over 40 years for local road, bridge and transit projects. The California measures had to muster at least a two-thirds “super majority” vote to pass—10 of the measures that failed received over 50 percent of the vote, but did not reach that threshold. California voters also rejected a statewide measure that would have required any public infrastructure bond over $2 billion to go on the ballot for voter approval.

Voters in Illinois and New Jersey passed transportation tax “lockbox” measures to prohibit state lawmakers from diverting transportation user fee revenue to non-transportation uses. Maine approved a statewide transportation bond issue for $100 million and Rhode Island voters approved $70 million in bonds for port investment.

In Washington state, voters approved a 25-year, $54 billion revenue package that would support expanding Sound Transit light rail and bus routes. The package included a bond issue and adjustments in property, sales and motor vehicle taxes.

In Missouri, a statewide initiative to increase the state’s cigarette tax to raise an estimated $100 million annually for transportation investments failed. Voters in Georgia approved local sales tax increases that would raise nearly $4 billion for road and transit projects in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

Earlier this year, voters approved 76 of 81 transportation funding measures—or 93 percent—of initiatives on primary ballots.

Overall, voters approved 74 percent of transportation ballot initiatives in 2016. This is in line with the 10-year average rate of 74 percent. In the last two presidential elections, voters approved 77 percent (2012) and 76 percent (2008) of transportation funding measures.

The complete report and an interactive map showing the state-by-state results can be found at www.transportationinvestment.org.