Tag Archive for 'highways'

TRIP REPORTS — KENTUCKY MOTORISTS LOSE $4.5 BILLION ANNUALLY ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES – UP TO $2,025 PER DRIVER.

LACK OF FUNDING WILL LEAD TO FURTHER DETERIORATION, INCREASED CONGESTION AND HIGHER COSTS TO MOTORISTS

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Kentucky motorists a total of $4.5 billion statewide annually – as much as $2,025 per driver in some areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Kentucky, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit . 

The TRIP report, Kentucky Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Kentucky, nearly 30 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition, seven percent of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient, and 3,773 people lost their lives on the state’s roads from 2014-2018. Kentucky’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce. 

Driving on deficient Kentucky roads costs the state’s drivers $4.5 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in the state’s largest urban areas, along with a statewide total, is below.

The TRIP report finds that eight percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in Kentucky are in poor condition and another 21 percent are in mediocre condition, costing the state’s motorists an additional $1.2 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Twenty-three percent of the state’s roads are in fair condition and the remaining 48 percent are in good condition.

Seven percent of Kentucky’s bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or othermajor components. Fifty-six percent of the state’s bridges are rated in fair condition and the remaining 36 percent are in good condition. Most bridges are designed to last 50 years before major overhaul or replacement, although many newer bridges are being designed to last 75 years or longer. In Kentucky, 41 percent of the state’s bridges were built in 1969 or earlier.

“Infrastructure investment in Kentucky is a top priority for the greater Louisville business community in 2020, not only for moving commerce and improving bottom lines, but as an important tool for business and job attraction,” said Rebecca Wood, COO and vice president of investor development for Greater Louisville Inc. “As a major logistics and manufacturing region that is within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the U.S. population, it is vital to greater Louisville’s economic future that lawmakers increase funding and support for infrastructure and roads.”

Traffic congestion in the state is worsening, causing up to 52 annual hours of delay for the average motorist in some urban areas and costing drivers up to $1,110 annually in lost time and wasted fuel. Statewide, drivers lose $1.7 billion annually as a result of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion.

“This new report continues to illustrate the serious needs we have throughout Kentucky. In order for greater Louisville to fully capitalize on our central location to attract jobs and compete in today’s 21st century economy, we must make the commitment to invest in our roads and bridges,” said Chris Dickinson, PE, senior principal of Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions and chair of Greater Louisville Inc.’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “The business community urges policymakers to take swift action to repair our crumbling infrastructure.”  

Traffic crashes in Kentucky claimed the lives 3,773 people between 2014 and 2018. Kentucky’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.46 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2018 is the sixth highest in the nation and significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.  Traffic crashes imposed a total of $4.8 billion in economic costs in Kentucky in 2018 and traffic crashes in which a lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor imposed $1.6 billion in economic costs.  

The efficiency and condition of Kentucky’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $578 billion in goods are shipped to and from Kentucky, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. 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. Approximately 900,000 full-time jobs in Kentucky in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are dependent on the quality, safety and reliability of the state’s transportation infrastructure network.

“These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the federal, state and local levels of government,” said Dave Kearby, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate funding, Kentucky’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth, safety and quality of life.”

KENTUCKY KEY TRANSPORTATION FACTS 

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

Driving on Kentucky roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack some desirable safety features costs Kentucky drivers a total of $4.5 billion each year. TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on rough roads, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes. The chart below details the cost of deficient roads statewide and for the average driver in the state’s largest urban areas. 

KENTUCKY ROADS PROVIDE A ROUGH RIDE

Due to inadequate state and local funding, 29 percent of major roads and highways in Kentucky are in poor or mediocre condition. Driving on rough roads costs the average Kentucky driver $402 annually in additional vehicle operating costs – a total of $1.2 billion statewide.  The chart below details pavement conditions on major roads in the state’s largest urban areas and statewide.

KENTUCKY BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Seven percent of Kentucky’s bridges are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition, meaning there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Fifty-six percent of the state’s bridges are rated in fair condition and the remaining 36 percent are in good condition. Most bridges are designed to last 50 years before major overhaul or replacement, although many newer bridges are being designed to last 75 years or longer. In Kentucky, 41 percent of the state’s bridges were built in 1969 or earlier. The chart below details bridge conditions statewide and in the state’s largest urban area.

KENTUCKY ROADS ARE INCREASINGLY CONGESTED

Congested roads choke commuting and commerce and cost Kentucky drivers $1.7 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel. In the most congested urban areas, drivers lose up to $1,110 and as many as 52 hours per year sitting in congestion. 

KENTUCKY TRAFFIC SAFETY AND FATALITIES

From 2014 to 2018, 3,773 people were killed in traffic crashes in Kentucky.   In 2018, Kentucky had 1.46 traffic fatalities for every 100 million miles traveled, the sixth highest rate in the nation. The traffic fatality rate on Kentucky’s rural, non-Interstate roadways is approximately three times higher than on all other roads and the third highest rate in the nation.  

Traffic crashes imposed a total of $4.8 billion in economic costs in Kentucky in 2018 and traffic crashes in which a lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor imposed $1.6 billion in economic costs.  

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The health and future growth of Kentucky’s economy is riding on its transportation system. Each year, $578 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Kentucky, mostly by trucks.  Increases in passenger and freight movement will place further burdens on the state’s already deteriorated and congested network of roads and bridges.  The value of freight shipped to and from sites in Kentucky, in inflation-adjusted dollars, is expected to increase 114 percent by 2045 and by 65 percent for goods shipped by trucks.

According to a report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the design, construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Kentucky supports approximately 47,000 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $1.6 billion annually. Approximately 900,000 full-time jobs in Kentucky in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation network.

To view full report visit:

TRIPNET.ORG

ARTBA Reports: 2020-21 Highway Worker Memorial Scholarship Opportunities Available. Application Deadline: April 17

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF) is seeking qualified students for its 2020-21 “Lanford Family Highway Worker Memorial Scholarship Program.” 
 
Applications are due by April 17 and can be found online at www.artbatdf.org.
           
Established in 1999, this first-of-its-kind scholarship fund provides post-high school financial assistance to the children of highway workers killed or permanently disabled on the job. More than 180 scholarships have been awarded to worthy students from 32 states to pursue undergraduate and graduate courses as well as technical training.
 
Eligible students must attend a post-secondary institution of learning that requires a high school diploma or its equivalent. This could include any public or private four-year accredited college or university; two-year accredited college; or vocational technical college or training institution. M.B.A. candidates and master’s degree students in civil engineering, construction management and other construction-related programs will also be considered. Scholarships have a value up to $5,000.
 
For more information, or if you have a lead on a student who might be eligible, contact ARTBA’s Melanie Laird at mlaird@artba.org or 202.289.1029.
 
Established in 1985, the ARTBA Foundation is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt entity designed to “promote research, education and public awareness” about the impacts of transportation investment.  It supports an array of initiatives, including educational scholarships, awards, management and education programs, roadway work zone safety training, special economic research and reports, American National Standards Institute-accredited transportation project safety certification, and an exhibition on transportation at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Asphalt Industry Illuminated in ‘Pave It Black’ Podcast

NAPA’s official podcast engages with asphalt industry
issues, innovations, and personalities

The National Asphalt Pavement Association launches “Pave It Black,” a biweekly podcast highlighting today’s asphalt pavement industry, on February 3, 2020.

Through discussion and interviews with industry leaders, hosts Brett Williams, NAPA Director of Engineering and Technical Services, and NAPA Vice President for Engineering, Research, & Technology Dr. Richard Willis explore challenges, opportunities, and innovations reshaping the ways America’s roads and highways are built. Asphalt Pavement magazine editor Monica Dutcher produces the podcast.

“Podcasting is a great way to open a window on the industry and give a platform to the voices of the people who build roads and further innovation in road building,” said Williams. “They are at the plants, on job sites, and involved in research and development. They are all focused on building the best asphalt pavements possible, and ‘Pave It Black’ lets us help people understand what it takes to get that job done.”

The first season focuses on how asphalt pavement mix producers are putting innovation to use, with interviews with NAPA members, researchers, and suppliers. Episodes will also examine how the asphalt pavement industry is addressing the workforce issues affecting all sectors of construction.

“When people think about jobs in road building, often they focus only on the person holding a flag at the start of a work zone,” said Willis. “Flaggers are an important part of every roadway work zone, but the truth is the asphalt pavement industry offers a wide range of skilled jobs with clear paths for advancement.”

Ten episodes are planned for the first season of “Pave It Black” with new episodes airing every other Monday starting on February 3, 2020. Listeners can subscribe through iTunes, Google Podcast, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. Links can be found at www.AsphaltPavement.org/Podcast

# # #

About the National Asphalt Pavement Association

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is the only trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the asphalt producer/contractor on the national level with Congress, government agencies, and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities. The association provides technical, educational, and marketing materials and information to its members; supplies product information to users and specifiers of paving materials; and conducts training courses. The association, which counts more than 1,200 companies as members, was founded in 1955.

TRIP Reports: VIRGINIA MOTORISTS LOSE $9.5 BILLION PER YEAR ON ROADWAYS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME DESIRABLE SAFETY FEATURES

AS MUCH AS $2,600 PER DRIVER. LACK OF SUSTAINABLE, LONG-TERM FUNDING THREATENS VIRGINIA’S ABILITY TO IMPROVE ROAD AND BRIDGE CONDITIONS, IMPROVE TRAFFIC SAFETY, AND RELIEVE CONGESTION ON A TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM CARRYING GROWING TRAFFIC VOLUMES.

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Virginia motorists a total of $9.5 billion statewide annually – as much as $2,583 per driver in some areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. A lack of sustainable, long-term transportation funding threatens Virginia’s ability to improve road and bridge conditions, improve traffic safety, and relieve traffic congestion and could be an impediment to economic growth in the state, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit. 

The TRIP report, Virginia Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Virginia, approximately one third of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition, more than 600 locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient, and 3,875 people lost their lives on the state’s roads in traffic crashes from 2014-2018. The report also finds that travel on Virginia’s roadways has increased by 14 percent from 2000 to 2018 and six percent from 2013 to 2018, resulting in increasing traffic congestion, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce. 

Virginia drivers lose $9.5 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in the state’s largest urban areas, along with a statewide total, is below.

The report also finds that Virginia’s current sources of transportation revenues will not keep pace with the state’s future transportation needs. This is largely a result of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and the increasing use of electric vehicles, which, combined, are expected to reduce significantly the revenue generated by the state’s motor fuel tax revenues.  Average fuel efficiency for passenger vehicles in the U.S. has increased by 20 percent over the last decade and is expected to increase by 31 percent by 2030 and 51 percent by 2040.  And, electric vehicles, which now account for two percent of passenger vehicles in Virginia, are expected to increase to 46 percent of passenger vehicles in Virginia by 2040.  As a result of increased fuel efficiency and the adoption of electric vehicles, gasoline and diesel consumption in Virginia is expected to decrease 23 percent by 2030, and 51 percent by 2040.  This decline is expected to decrease Virginia’s state motor fuel tax receipts by 34 percent by 2030 and 62 percent by 2040. State diesel fuel tax receipts are expected to decrease 24 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.

“The lack of adequate, sustainable transportation funding in Virginia will lead to increasing deterioration on the state’s roads and bridges and even longer congestion-related delays for commuters, businesses and visitors,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Deteriorated, congested roads rob drivers of time and money while reducing the state’s competitive advantage and threatening economic growth. Making investments that will improve the condition and efficiency of Virginia’s transportation system will ensure that the state remains an attractive place to live, visit and do business.”

The TRIP report finds that 12 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in Virginia are in poor condition and another 22 percent are in mediocre condition, costing the state’s drivers an additional $2.8 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Twenty-four percent of major roads in Virginia are in fair condition and the remaining 42 percent are in good condition.

A total of 646 Virginia bridges (20 feet or longer) are rated poor/structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. More than eight thousand (8,499) of the state’s bridges are rated in fair condition and the remaining 4,786 are in good condition. 

Traffic congestion throughout the state is worsening, causing up to 102 annual hours of delay for drivers in some areas and costing as much as $2,015 per driver. Statewide, lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion costs Virginia drivers a total of $4.6 billion annually. 

Traffic crashes in Virginia claimed the lives 3,875 people between 2014 and 2018. Virginia’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.96 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2018 was lower than the national average of 1.13.  The fatality rate on Virginia’s non-interstate rural roads in 2018 was approximately three times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.05 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.63).  Traffic crashes imposed a total of $6.4 billion in economic costs in Virginia in 2018 and traffic crashes in which a lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor imposed $2.1 billion in economic costs.  

The efficiency and condition of Virginia’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.  Annually, $497 billion in goods are shipped to and from Virginia, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. 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. Approximately 112,000 full-time jobs in Virginia in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are dependent on the quality, safety and reliability of the state’s transportation infrastructure network.

VIRGINIA KEY TRANSPORTATION FACTS 

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

Driving on Virginia roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack some desirable safety features costs Virginia drivers a total of $9.5 billion each year. TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on rough roads, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes. The chart below details the cost of deficient roads statewide and for the average driver in the state’s largest urban areas. 

VIRGINIA ROADS PROVIDE A ROUGH RIDE

Due to inadequate state and local funding, 34 percent of major roads and highways in Virginia are in poor or mediocre condition. Driving on rough roads costs the average Virginia driver $468 annually in additional vehicle operating costs – a total of $2.8 billion statewide.  The chart below details pavement conditions on major roads in the state’s largest urban areas and statewide.

VIRGINIA BRIDGE CONDITIONS

More than 600 of Virginia’s bridges (646) are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition. Bridges that are rated poor/structurally deficient have significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. More than eight thousand (8,499) of the state’s bridges are rated in fair condition and the remaining 4,786 are in good condition. Most bridges are designed to last 50 years before major overhaul or replacement, although many newer bridges are being designed to last 75 years or longer. In Virginia, 46 percent of the state’s bridges were built in 1969 or earlier. The chart below details bridge conditions statewide and in the state’s largest urban areas.

VIRGINIA ROADS ARE INCREASINGLY CONGESTED

Congested roads choke commuting and commerce and cost Virginia drivers $4.6 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel. In the most congested urban areas, drivers lose up to $2,015 and spend as many as 102 hours per year sitting in traffic as a result of congestion. 

VIRGINIA TRAFFIC SAFETY AND FATALITIES

From 2014 to 2018, 3,875 people were killed in traffic crashes in Virginia. In 2018, Virginia had 0.96 traffic fatalities for every 100 million miles traveled, lower than the national average of 1.13.  The fatality rate on Virginia’s non-interstate rural roads in 2018 was approximately three times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.05 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.63).

Traffic crashes imposed a total of $6.4 billion in economic costs in Virginia in 2018 and traffic crashes in which a lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor imposed $2.1 billion in economic costs.  The chart below details the number of people killed in traffic crashes in the state’s largest urban areas between 2015 and 2018, and the cost of traffic crashes per driver. 

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN VIRGINIA

Virginia’s current sources of transportation revenues will not keep pace with the state’s future transportation needs. This is partially a result of increasing vehicle fuel efficiency and the increasing use of electric vehicles, which have reduced the revenue generated by the state’s motor fuel taxes.  The average fuel efficiency of U.S. passenger vehicles increased from 20 miles per gallon in 2010 to 24.5 miles per gallon in 2020. Average fuel efficiency is expected to increase 31 percent by 2030 (to 32 miles per gallon) and 51 percent by 2040 (to 37 miles per gallon).  Electric vehicles, which now account for two percent of passenger vehicles in Virginia, are expected to increase to 46 percent of passenger vehicles in Virginia by 2040.

   As a result of increased fuel efficiency and the adoption of electric vehicles, gasoline and diesel consumption in Virginia is expected to decrease 23 percent between 2020 to 2030, and 51 percent by 2040.  This decline is expected to decrease Virginia’s state motor fuel tax receipts by 34 percent by 2030 and 62 percent by 2040. State diesel fuel tax receipts are expected to decrease 24 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The health and future growth of Virginia’s economy is riding on its transportation system. Each year, $497 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Virginia. The value of freight shipped to and from sites in Virginia, in inflation-adjusted dollars, is expected to increase 128 percent by 2045 and 92 percent for goods shipped by trucks, placing an increased burden on the state’s already deteriorated and congested network of roads and bridges. 

The amount of freight transported in Virginia and the rest of the U.S. is expected to increase significantly as a result of further economic growth, changing business and retail models, increasing international trade, and rapidly changing consumer expectations that place an emphasis on faster deliveries, often of smaller packages or payloads.  

According to a report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the design, construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Virginia support approximately 112,000 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $5.2 billion annually. Approximately 1.5 million full-time jobs in Virginia in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation network.

CONCLUSION

            As Virginia works to enhance its thriving, growing and dynamic state, it will be critical that it is able to provide a 21st century network of roads, highways, bridges and transit that can accommodate the mobility demands of a modern society.

            Virginia will need to modernize its surface transportation system by improving the physical condition of its transportation network and enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient, safe and reliable mobility for residents, visitors and businesses. Making needed improvements to the state’s roads, highways, bridges and transit systems would provide a boost to the economy by creating jobs in the short term and stimulating long-term economic growth as a result of enhanced mobility and access. 

Numerous projects to improve the condition and expand the capacity of Virginia’s roads, highways, bridges and transit systems will not be able to proceed without a substantial boost in local, state or federal transportation funding.  If Virginia is unable to complete needed transportation projects it will hamper the state’s ability to improve the condition and efficiency of its transportation system or enhance economic development opportunities and quality of life.  

For the full report visit tripnet.org

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.

TRIP Report: NEW MEXICO MOTORISTS LOSE $2.6 BILLION ANNUALLY ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES

AS MUCH AS $2,100 PER DRIVER. LACK OF FUNDING WILL LEAD TO FURTHER DETERIORATION, INCREASED CONGESTION AND HIGHER COSTS TO MOTORISTS

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost New Mexico motorists a total of $2.6 billion statewide annually – as much as $2,114 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 Mexico, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit . 

The TRIP report, New Mexico Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout New Mexico, more than half of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition, six percent of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient, and 1,853 people lost their lives on the state’s roads from 2014-2018. The report also identifies the 20 most congested corridors in the state and finds that New Mexico’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce. 

Driving on New Mexico roads costs the state’s drivers a total of $2.6 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in the state’s largest urban areas, along with a statewide total, is below.

“It is critical that New Mexico continues to invest in a modern and efficient roadway system throughout our state.  The traveling public, visitors to our state, and our local business communities, which includes ranchers and farmers in our rural areas, deserve a reliable transportation network to support their livelihoods,” said State Senator Clemente Sanchez, Senate Corporations & Transportation Committee Chairman (D-Cibola, Socorro, McKinley and Valencia-30).  “We also need to ensure that the school buses our children ride on to and from school every day are operating on safe and well-maintained roads and bridges.”  

The TRIP report finds that 30 percent of New Mexico’s major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition and another 24 percent are in mediocre condition, costing the state’s drivers an additional $1.1 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Twelve percent of New Mexico’s major roads are rated in fair condition and the remaining 34 percent are rated in good condition.  

NMDOT projects an annual maintenance shortfall of approximately $103 million and has identified nearly $2.8 billion in needed but unfunded transportation projects throughout the state. The TRIP report includes a list of the needed projects. “Without a substantial investment of state and local transportation funding, we will be unable to complete much needed road and bridge infrastructure projects intended to improve the condition and efficiency of our statewide transportation system,” said State Representative Rodolpho S. Martinez (D-Dona Ana, Grant & Sierra-39).   

Six percent of New Mexico’s bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Most bridges are designed to last 50 years before major overhaul or replacement, although many newer bridges are being designed to last 75 years or longer. In New Mexico, 48 percent of the state’s bridges were built in 1969 or earlier.

Traffic congestion throughout the state is worsening, causing up to 44 annual hours of delay for the average motorist and costing as much as $936 annually per driver in lost time and wasted fuel. The TRIP report identifies New Mexico’s 20 most congested corridor segments during typical morning and evening peak travel periods. The top ten are listed below.

“For New Mexico to compete economically with our neighboring states and provide safe and reliable mobility for our residents, visitors and commerce, we must commit to making necessary improvements to our statewide network of roads, highways and bridges,” said State Representative Patricio Ruiloba, House Transportation, Public Works and Capital Improvements Committee Chairman (D-Bernalillo-12).

Traffic crashes in New Mexico claimed the lives 1,853 people between 2014 and 2018. New Mexico’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.43 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2018 is the tenth highest in the nation and significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.  Traffic crashes imposed a total of $2.3 billion in economic costs in New Mexico in 2017 and traffic crashes in which a lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor imposed $767 million in economic costs.  

“As a result of the revenue-generating activities taking place in the oil and gas rich areas of our state, New Mexico has an opportunity to devote additional state resources to address the critical needs on our roads and bridges,” said State Representative Cathrynn N. Brown (R-Eddy-55).  “Investing today in the state’s deteriorating transportation infrastructure will result in long-term benefits for New Mexico in terms of job creation, statewide economic stimulation, and reliable mobility for the traveling public.” 

The efficiency and condition of New Mexico’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.  Annually, $123.5 billion in goods are shipped to and from New Mexico, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. 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. Approximately 350,000 full-time jobs in New Mexico in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are dependent on the quality, safety and reliability of the state’s transportation infrastructure network.

“These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the federal, state and local levels of government,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate funding, New Mexico’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth, safety and quality of life.”

NEW MEXICO KEY TRANSPORTATION FACTS 

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

Driving on New Mexico roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack some desirable safety features costs New Mexico drivers a total of $2.6 billion each year. TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on rough roads, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes. The chart below details the cost of deficient roads statewide and for the average driver in the state’s largest urban areas. 

NEW MEXICO ROADS PROVIDE A ROUGH RIDE

Due to inadequate state and local funding, 54 percent of major roads and highways in New Mexico are in poor or mediocre condition. Driving on rough roads costs the average New Mexico driver $770 annually in additional vehicle operating costs – a total of $1.1 billion statewide.  The chart below details pavement conditions on major roads in the state’s largest urban areas and statewide.

NEW MEXICO BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Six percent of New Mexico’s bridges are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition. Bridges that are rated poor/structurally deficient have significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Fifty-six percent of the state’s bridges are rated in fair condition and the remaining 38 percent are in good condition. Most bridges are designed to last 50 years before major overhaul or replacement, although many newer bridges are being designed to last 75 years or longer. In New Mexico, 48 percent of the state’s bridges were built in 1969 or earlier. The chart below details bridge conditions statewide and in the state’s largest urban areas.

NEW MEXICO ROADS ARE INCREASINGLY CONGESTED

Congested roads choke commuting and commerce and cost New Mexico drivers $725 million each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel. In the most congested urban areas, drivers lose up to $936 and as many as an additional 44 hours per year sitting in traffic as a result of congestion. The TRIP report identifies New Mexico’s 20 most congested corridor segments during typical morning and evening peak travel periods. The top ten are below.

NEW MEXICO TRAFFIC SAFETY AND FATALITIES

From 2014 to 2018, 1,853 people were killed in traffic crashes in New Mexico. In 2018, New Mexico had 1.43 traffic fatalities for every 100 million miles traveled, the tenth highest in the nation and significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.  

Traffic crashes imposed a total of $2.3 billion in economic costs in New Mexico in 2017 and traffic crashes in which a lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor imposed $767 million in economic costs.  The chart below details the number of people killed in traffic crashes in the state’s largest urban areas between 2014 and 2018, and the cost of traffic crashes per driver. 

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING AND NEEDED PROJECTS

The New Mexico Department of Transportation projects an annual maintenance shortfall of approximately $103 million. NMDOT has also identified nearly $2.8 billion in needed but unfunded transportation projects throughout the state, as detailed in the chart below.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

With an economy based largely on natural resource extraction, agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, the health and future growth of New Mexico’s economy is riding on the quality and efficiency of its transportation system. These industries – particularly the state’s burgeoning energy extraction sector – are heavily reliant on the state’s transportation system to move products and people and rely on well-maintained, safe and efficient roads and bridges. Each year, $123.5 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in New Mexico. The value of freight shipped to and from sites in New Mexico, in inflation-adjusted dollars, is expected to increase 110 percent by 2045 and 126 percent for goods shipped by trucks, placing an increased burden on the state’s already deteriorated and congested network of roads and bridges. 

The amount of freight transported in New Mexico and the rest of the U.S. is expected to increase significantly as a result of further economic growth, changing business and retail models, increasing international trade, and rapidly changing consumer expectations that place an emphasis on faster deliveries, often of smaller packages or payloads.  

According to a report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, the design, construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in New Mexico support approximately 26,300 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $802 million annually. Approximately 350,000 full-time jobs in New Mexico in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation network.

CONCLUSION

            As New Mexico works to enhance its thriving, growing and dynamic state, it will be critical that it is able to address the most significant transportation issues by providing a 21st century network of roads, highways, bridges and transit that can accommodate the mobility demands of a modern society.

            New Mexico will need to modernize its surface transportation system by improving the physical condition of its transportation network and enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient, safe and reliable mobility for residents, visitors and businesses. Making needed improvements to the state’s roads, highways, bridges and transit systems would provide a significant boost to the economy by creating jobs in the short term and stimulating long-term economic growth as a result of enhanced mobility and access. 

Numerous projects to improve the condition and expand the capacity of New Mexico’s roads, highways, bridges and transit systems will not be able to proceed without a substantial boost in local, state or federal transportation funding.  If New Mexico is unable to complete needed transportation projects it will hamper the state’s ability to improve the condition and efficiency of its transportation system or enhance economic development opportunities and quality of life.  

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.

For the full report visit: TRIPNET.ORG