Tag Archive for 'New Mexico DOT'

TRIP Report: NEW MEXICO DRIVERS LOSE $2.7 BILLION PER YEAR ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES

… AS MUCH AS $2,058 PER DRIVER. LACK OF FUNDING WILL LEAD TO FURTHER ROAD AND BRIDGE DETERIORATION, INCREASED CONGESTION & HIGHER COSTS TO MOTORISTS

Albuquerque, New Mexico– Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost New Mexico drivers a total of $2.7 billion annually – as much as $2,058 per driver in some areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Adequate investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels is needed to 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 more than half of the state’s major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition and six percent of locally and state-maintained bridges are structurally deficient. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length. The report also finds that New Mexico’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce. The report also includes a list of approximately $3 billion in needed but unfunded transportation projects across the state.

Driving on deficient New Mexico roads costs drivers a total of $2.7 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The chart below details costs to the average motorist of driving on deficient roads in New Mexico’s three largest urban areas and statewide.

The TRIP report finds that 31 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in New Mexico are in poor condition and another 25 percent are rated in mediocre condition, costing the state’s drivers an additional $1.2 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs. These costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

“Our state is at a critical point to increase funding for road and highway improvements to keep people and products moving safely in New Mexico,” said New Mexico State Representative Patricia Lundstrom, chairman of the House Appropriations & Finance Committee. “I believe that strategic transportation investments are one of the best approaches to stimulate our economy and provide a competitive advantage for our state.”

Congested roads choke commuting and commerce and cost New Mexico drivers $784 million each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel. In the most congested urban areas, drivers lose up to $1,069 and more than one full working week each year in congestion.  From 2013 to 2017, vehicle miles of travel in New Mexico increased 18 percent, the fastest rate of growth in the nation during that period.

“New Mexico needs a safe and reliable roads system throughout our state,” said New Mexico State Senator Clemente Sanchez, chairman of the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.  “Our rural ranchers, farmers, and small businesses depend on well-maintained roadways for their livelihoods. So many of our children ride school buses every day and deserve safe roads.”

Statewide, six percent of bridges – a total of 251 bridges – are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports, or other major components. Nearly half – 48 percent – of New Mexico’s bridges are at least 50 years old.

“New Mexico is in the enviable position of having huge budget surpluses for FY 19 and FY 20. The extra revenues will exceed $1 billion dollars for each of these years,” said New Mexico State Representative Cathrynn Brown. “The increases are due primarily to the hard work and productivity of the New Mexico oil and gas industry. As a point of reference, the state’s overall budget for FY 20 will be just north of $7 billion dollars. The New Mexico Legislature and the Governor would be wise to invest a substantial portion of the budget surplus in public infrastructure, especially roads, highways, and bridges. In terms of infrastructure, we have a lot of catching up to do.”

From 2013 to 2017, 1,772 people were killed in traffic crashes in New Mexico. Traffic crashes imposed a total of $2.2 billion in economic costs in New Mexico in 2017 and traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $726 million in economic costs each year. New Mexico’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.28 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is higher than the national average of 1.16.

The efficiency and condition of New Mexico’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.  Annually, $124 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in New Mexico, mostly by trucks, 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. Nearly 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.

“Driving on deficient roads comes with a $2.7 billion price tag for New Mexico motorists,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Adequate funding for the state’s transportation system would allow for smoother roads, more efficient mobility, enhanced safety, and economic growth opportunities while saving New Mexico’s drivers time and money.”

New Mexico Transportation

by the Numbers

MEETING THE STATE’S NEED FOR

SAFE, SMOOTH AND EFFICIENT MOBILITY

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 $2.7 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.

 

NEW MEXICO ROADS PROVIDE A ROUGH RIDE

Due to inadequate state and local funding, 56 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 $769 annually in additional vehicle operating costs – a total of $1.2 billion statewide.

NEW MEXICO BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Six percent of New Mexico’s bridges are structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration of 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.

NEW MEXICO ROADS ARE INCREASINGLY CONGESTED

Congested roads choke commuting and commerce and cost New Mexico drivers $784 million each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel. In the most congested urban areas, drivers lose up to $1,069 and more than one full working week each year in congestion.  From 2013 to 2017, vehicle miles of travel in New Mexico increased 18 percent, the fastest rate of growth in the nation during that period.

NEW MEXICO TRAFFIC SAFETY AND FATALITIES

From 2013 to 2017, 1,772 people were killed in traffic crashes in New Mexico. Traffic crashes imposed a total of $2.2 billion in economic costs in New Mexico in 2017 and traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $726 million in economic costs each year.

 

NEEDED PROJECTS OF REGIONAL SIGNIFICANCE

The New Mexico Department of Transportation has identified approximately $3 billion in needed but unfunded transportation projects throughout the state.

 

 

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Each year, $123.5 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in New Mexico, mostly by truck. The value of freight shipped to and from sites in New Mexico, in inflation-adjusted dollars, is expected to increase 110 percent by 2045.

The design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in New Mexico support 26,300 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $802.3 million annually. Nearly 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.

Full Report available at:tripnet.org