Tag Archive for 'New York'

The St.Lawrence Seaway at 60 – A Vital Waterway 

On its 60th anniversary, the St. Lawrence Seaway is stronger than ever as it performs its mission to move commodities in and out of America’s heartland 

By Deputy Administrator Craig H. Middlebrook 

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation 

2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, the binational waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes and the heartland of America. How fitting that in this anniversary year, we can talk about the bright future of the Great Lakes Seaway System – North America’s “Fourth Sea Coast”, while celebrating its historic past. 

The Great Lakes economy is a powerhouse on an international level. With a GDP of $6 trillion, the Great Lakes region would be the third largest economy in the world if it were a country. 

State and local economies in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York are benefitting from the surge in shipping in the St. Lawrence Seaway. In 2018, cargo shipping was up 7% in the St. Lawrence Seaway, sustaining over 237,000 jobs in the Great Lakes region in manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and shipping. 

Top performing cargoes included U.S. grain shipments which increased 37% over 2017, liquid bulk shipments which increased 22% over the previous year, and steel slabs which saw a 53% increase. 

We are living in a transformative moment as the Seaway turns 60 this year. Yet, there is one constant that we always begin and end our day with: our focus on safety and reliability. 

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao is clear about her priorities: focus on safety, invest in infrastructure, and promote technological innovation. Those priorities speak to the heart of the mission at the Seaway. 

The 2018 Seaway navigation season was one of the safest on record, a continuation of the long and steady improvement in our safety performance. New technology, newer fleets, a stringent inspection program and highly trained staff all play a key role in our ability to achieve exceptional safety results. 

In 2018, the reliability rate for the lock and channel infrastructure in the St. Lawrence River section of the Seaway remained extremely high. The System Availability rate improved to 98.9 percent from 96.4 in 2017. 

When it comes to safety and reliability, it is important to include the work of the Ballast Water Working Group. The binational group inspects the ballast tanks of incoming ocean vessels to ensure there are no aquatic invasive species in the tanks. Every tank of every international vessel that entered the Seaway System and Great Lakes was inspected, totaling over 9,300 ballast tanks last year. The results in 2018 sustain a track record of effective oversight and acknowledge the strong cooperation of the maritime industry. These results continue to support the fact that “no unmanaged ballast water is coming into the Great Lakes through the Seaway on international vessels.” 

This year also marks the completion of a decade of infrastructure rehabilitation and maintenance work at the U.S. locks under the ground-breaking Seaway Asset Renewal Program. Through the first ten years of this program, the SLSDC has obligated $152 million on 50 separate projects. Several projects involve the implementation of new innovations and improved technologies for the operation of Seaway infrastructure, resulting in reduced maintenance needs and operating costs to Seaway users. 

One of the projects involves the installation of a unique, first-of-its-kind, Hands-Free Mooring (HFM) technology system in the locks. The HFM system uses vacuum pads, each of which provides up to 20 tons of holding force, mounted on vertical rails inside the lock chamber wall to secure the ship during the lockage process as it is raised or lowered while keeping it at a fixed distance from the lock wall. The HFM technology will increase efficiency, improve safety, reduce operating costs to Seaway users, and reduce lock transit times by nearly seven minutes per lockage, equating to 3-4 hours of potential time savings on a roundtrip transit. The use of HFM will also significantly increase the pool of vessels worldwide that will be able to enter the Great Lakes Seaway System. It is arguably the most important technological advance at the Seaway since 1959 and will revolutionize the vessel transit experience through the Seaway. 

With over $35 billion in economic activity and more than 237,000 U.S. and Canadian jobs dependent upon the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, the waterway is a driver of economic development in the Great Lakes region. 

On its 60th anniversary, the St. Lawrence Seaway is stronger than ever as it performs its mission to move commodities in and out of America’s heartland. 

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Technical Announcement:
Appalachian Basin Energy Resources — A New Look at an Old Basin

USGSNew Geological Compilation Available for Resource Studies and Land-Use Planning

Appalachian coal and petroleum resources are still available in sufficient quantities to contribute significantly to fulfilling the nation’s energy needs, according to a recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Appalachian basin, which includes the Appalachian coalfields and the Marcellus Shale, covers parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

“The study we conducted is a modern, in-depth collection of reports, cross sections and maps that describe the geology of the Appalachian basin and its fossil fuel resources,” said USGS scientist Leslie Ruppert, the study’s lead editor.

Petroleum resources, including oil and natural gas, remain significant in the Appalachian basin. Although both conventional oil and gas continue to be produced in the Appalachian basin, most new wells in the region are drilled in shale reservoirs, such as the famous Marcellus and Utica Shale, to produce natural gas.

The Appalachian basin contains significant coalbed methane and high-quality, thick, bituminous coal resources although the resource is deeper and thinner than the coal that has already been mined.

Although this volume is not a quantitative assessment of all notable geologic and fossil fuel localities in the Appalachian basin, the selected study areas and topics presented in the chapters pertain to large segments of the basin and a wide range of stratigraphic intervals. This updated geologic framework is especially important given the significance of shale gas in the basin.

This volume discusses the locations of coal and petroleum accumulations, the stratigraphic and structural framework, and the geochemical characteristics of the coal beds and petroleum in the basin, as well as the results of recent USGS assessments of coal, oil and gas resources in the basin.

Many of the maps and accompanying data supporting the reports in this volume are available from chapter I.1 as downloadable geographic information system (GIS) data files about the characteristics of selected coal beds and oil and gas fields, locations of oil and gas wells, coal production, coal chemistry, total petroleum system (TPS) boundaries and bedrock geology. Log ASCII Standard (LAS) files for geophysical (gamma ray) wireline well logs are included in other chapters.

USGS is the only provider of publicly available estimates of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas and coal resources of onshore lands and offshore state waters. This study of the Appalachian basin will underpin energy resource assessments and may be found online. To find out more about USGS energy assessments and other energy research, please visit the USGS Energy Resources Program website, sign up for our Newsletter, and follow us on Twitter.

http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=4163

TRIP Reports: More Than One-Third Of New York Roads Are In Poor Condition, More Than A Third Of The State’s Bridges Are Deficient Or Do Not Meet Modern Design Standards. Conditions And Safety Will Worsen Without Increased Funding

TRIPMore than one-third of New York’s major roads are in poor condition, while more than one-third of the state’s bridges are deficient or do not meet modern design standards, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could improve road and bridge conditions, enhance safety, relieve traffic congestion and support long-term economic growth in New York.

The TRIP report, Conditions and Safety of New York’s Roads and Bridges,” examines road and bridge conditions, traffic safety, economic development and transportation funding in New York State. In addition to statewide information, the report also provides regional pavement and bridge condition and highway safety data for Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester and Syracuse.

NY_VOC_TRIP_Infographic_March_2015According to the TRIP report, throughout the state 37 percent of major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways are in poor condition. An additional 43 percent of the state’s major urban roads have pavements in mediocre or fair condition, and the remaining 20 percent are in good condition. Driving on rough roads costs all New York State motorists a total of $6.3 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs (VOC). Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

More than one-third – 39 percent — of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or longer) in New York show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment. Twelve percent of New York’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-seven percent of the state’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.

New York State’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.92 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is lower than the national average of 1.09. Traffic crashes in New York claimed the lives of 5,892 people between 2009 and 2013, an average of 1,178 fatalities each year. Where appropriate, roadway 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.

The efficiency and condition of New York’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $550 billion in goods are shipped from sites in New York and another $597 billion in goods are shipped to sites in the state, mostly by truck.

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.

“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 funds, the state’s pavement and bridge conditions will continue to decline, needed safety improvements will not be made, congestion will worsen and the state will lose out on opportunities for economic growth.”

CONDITIONS AND SAFETY OF NEW YORK’S ROADS AND BRIDGES

Executive Summary

New York’s extensive system of roads, bridges and highways provides the state’s residents, visitors and businesses with a high level of mobility, while acting as the backbone that supports the state’s economy. New York’s transportation system enables the state’s residents and visitors to travel safely to work and school, visit family and friends, and frequent tourist and recreation attractions while providing businesses with reliable access to customers, materials, suppliers and employees.

However, the state’s locally and state-maintained roads, highways and bridges face a significant challenge in the need to improve conditions and traffic safety. As New York works to retain its quality of life, maintain its level of economic competitiveness and achieve further economic growth, the state will need to preserve, maintain and modernize its roads, highways and bridges by improving the physical condition and safety of its transportation network, thus enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient and reliable mobility for motorists and businesses. Making needed improvements to New York’s roads, highways and bridges could also provide a significant boost to the state’s economy by creating jobs in the short term and stimulating long term economic growth as a result of reduced vehicle operating costs, improved safety and enhanced mobility.

Meeting New York’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require significant local, state and federal funding.

New York’s major roads have significant deterioration which provides motorists a rough ride and increases the cost of operating a vehicle. Repairing roads and highways while they are in good or fair condition greatly reduces long-term preservation costs because of the high cost of repairing roads in poor condition.

  • More than a third – 37 percent – of New York’s major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition. An additional 43 percent of the state’s major urban roads have pavements in mediocre or fair condition, and the remaining 20 percent are in good condition.
  • The following chart details the percentage of major locally-and state-maintained roads and highways in poor, mediocre, fair and good condition in each of the state’s largest urban areas.

NY 1

  • Roads in good condition can be maintained by preventive maintenance, which costs approximately $85,000 per lane mile; roads in mediocre or fair condition require resurfacing, which costs approximately $575,000 per lane mile; and roads in poor condition require reconstruction to repair the surface and the base under the road, which costs approximately $1,625,000 per mile – 19 times greater than the cost of preventive maintenance.
  • Roads rated in poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, poor roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • Driving on rough roads costs all New York motorists a total of $6.3 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs (VOC). Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • The following chart details the annual extra vehicle operating costs per motorists as a result of driving on rough roads in each of the following urban areas.

NY 2

More than one-third – 39 percent — of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or longer) in New York show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

  • Twelve percent of New York’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-seven percent of New York’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 following chart details the percentage of bridges in each of the following urban areas that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

NY 3

Improving safety features on New York’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in traffic fatalities and serious crashes. It is estimated that roadway features are a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • Between 2009 and 2013 a total of 5,892 people were killed in traffic crashes in New York, an average of 1,178 fatalities per year.
  • New York’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.92 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2013 is lower than the national traffic fatality rate of 1.09.
  • The fatality rate on New York’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.15 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2013, more than three-and-a-half times higher than the 0.61 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • The following chart indicates the average number of people killed annually from 2011 to 2013 in the following urban areas.

NY 4Roadway 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.

The efficiency of New York’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Increased deterioration of New York’s roads and bridges and the lack of needed transportation improvements to serve economic development threaten the state’s economic vitality.

  • New York’s population reached approximately 19.6 million in 2013, a nine percent increase since 1990. New York had 11,248,617 licensed drivers in 2012.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in New York increased by 21 percent from 1990 to 2013 – from 107 billion VMT in 1990 to 130 billion VMT in 2013. By 2030, vehicle travel in New York is projected to increase by another 10 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2013, New York’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 46 percent, when adjusted for inflation.
  • Annually, $550 billion in goods are shipped from sites in New York and another $597 billion in goods are shipped to sites in New York, mostly by truck. Seventy-two percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in New York are carried by trucks and another 22 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 2013 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.

A 2014 report by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) concluded that allowing its state’s major roads, highways and bridges to deteriorate would result in significant reduction in job growth and reduced state gross domestic product (GDP) as a result of reduced economic efficiency. The report found that the cost of making needed road, highway, and bridge improvements is far less than the potential loss in state economic activity caused by a lack of adequate road, highway and bridge preservation.

  • The ODOT report used a sophisticated model that integrates transportation, land use and economic activity to compare how an economy operates when a transportation system is well-maintained versus when it is allowed to deteriorate. The report found that deteriorated pavements, which result in a rougher and slower ride for vehicles, and deteriorated bridges, which need to be closed to heavy trucks, reduce economic productivity by increasing transportation costs.
  • The report found that allowing roads and bridges to deteriorate reduces business productivity by increasing vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on rough roads, reducing travel speeds and increasing travel times because of route detours necessitated by weight-restricted bridges.
  • As road and bridge conditions deteriorate, transportation agencies are likely to shift resources from preservation projects, which extend the service life of roads and bridges, to more reactive maintenance projects, which results in higher lifecycle costs, the report found. Transportation agencies are also likely to respond to increased road and bridge deterioration by shifting funds from modernization projects, which relieve congestion and increase business productivity, to maintenance projects.
  • The ODOT report estimated that the road, highway and bridge deterioration anticipated over the next 20 years will result in Oregon creating 100,000 fewer jobs and generating $9.4 billion less in state GDP.
  • Oregon could avoid losing 100,000 jobs and $9.4 billion in GDP through 2035 by spending an additional $810 million more on road, highway and bridge repairs – nearly a 12-to-1 return on investment, according to the ODOT report.

Without additional transportation funding at the local, state and federal level, the condition and safety of New York’s roads, highways and bridges will deteriorate.

  • 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.
  • Signed into law in July 2012, MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), has improved several procedures that in the past had delayed projects, MAP-21 does not address long-term funding challenges facing the federal surface transportation program.
  • A significant boost in investment on the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs, concluded a new report from AASHTO. The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase from $88 billion to $120 billion and from $17 billion to $43 billion in the nation’s public transit systems, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs.

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). All data used in the report is the latest available.

TRIP Report: The Condition and Funding Needs of New York’s Local Roads & Bridges

TRIPNew York State’s Local Roads And Bridges Have Significant Deterioration; Conditions Will Worsen Under Current Funding Levels, Which Would Need To Nearly Triple Over Next Decade To Make Needed Road And Bridge Repairs

Nearly half of New York’s locally maintained roads are in need of rehabilitation, preservation or reconstruction and almost one-third of locally maintained bridges are deficient and in need of corrective maintenance or rehabilitation. However, local governments face a significant shortfall in funding needed to maintain and repair the roads, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, The Condition and Funding Needs of New York’s Local Roads and Bridges,” finds that a total of 47 percent of the state’s locally maintained roads are in need of rehabilitation or reconstruction. Fifteen percent of New York’s local roads are rated in poor condition. Roads rated poor are in the later years or beyond their service life, show significant signs of deterioration, and need to be replaced or reconstructed.   In some cases, poor roads can be resurfaced but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed. An additional thirty-two percent of New York’s locally maintained roads in need of rehabilitation or preservation to correct adverse effects of age and wear. A desirable goal for state and local organizations that are responsible for road maintenance is to keep 75 percent of major roads in good condition. Thirty-four percent of New York’s locally maintained roads are in good condition and 19 percent are in excellent condition. Roads in good condition require maintenance and minor repairs to protect pavements from avoidable deterioration, while roads in excellent condition require only drain cleaning and crack sealing.

In addition to deteriorated road conditions, a total of 31 percent of New York’s locally maintained bridges are in need of corrective maintenance or rehabilitation to restore the bridge to good condition. Seven percent of locally maintained bridges have serious deterioration that require significant repairs while an additional 24 percent of locally-maintained bridges are rated as deficient and will require corrective maintenance or rehabilitation to restore the bridge to fully functional, non-deficient condition. Of the remaining bridges, 31 percent are in good condition and 38 percent are in excellent condition. Bridges in good condition require regular maintenance and minor upgrades or repairs, while bridges rated excellent need only regular cleaning and sealing.

The TRIP report is based on surveys that were completed by local governments in New York. Forty-two of New York State’s 62 counties and 29 of its municipalities completed the TRIP local roads and bridges survey.

“Having a modern system of roads and bridges in New York State must be a priority,” said Timothy Hens, president of the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association and the Highway Superintendent of Genesee County. “The TRIP report is yet another confirmation that investment in the state’s transportation infrastructure has for years been far short of what is needed. Consequently, we continue to fall further and further behind in our efforts to maintain the system, especially our local roads and bridges. It is therefore critical that the next state Five Year Transportation Capital Plan boosts investment in our transportation infrastructure to ensure its continued safety and functionality and to secure New York’s competitiveness for economic development and job creation for all communities throughout the state.”

Agencies responsible for maintaining New York’s local transportation systems estimate a significant shortfall in needed funds to maintain and repair roads, bridges and highways. The current amount of annual spending on New York’s local roads and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent in order to keep locally maintained roads and bridges in their current condition over the next decade. In order to improve the condition of all locally maintained roads, highways and bridges to good condition or better, the current amount of annual spending over the next decade would need to nearly triple.

The efficiency of New York’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. A 2007 analysis by the Federal Highway Administration found that every $1 billion invested in highway construction would support approximately 27,800 jobs. 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.

“New York’s locally maintained roads will require significant rehabilitation and modernization in order to provide a high quality of life for the state’s residents and an attractive economic climate for businesses and industries,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “The state’s counties and municipalities must have the funding to make the maintenance, repair and upkeep of their transportation system a top priority.”

Executive Summary

New York’s extensive system of roads, highways and bridges provides the state’s residents, visitors and businesses with a high level of mobility. New York’s locally maintained roads provide for travel to work and school, visits with family and friends, and trips to tourist and recreation attractions while simultaneously providing businesses with reliable access for customers, suppliers and employees.

A variety of agencies are responsible for the maintenance and repair of New York’s system of roads and bridges. In addition to transportation assets maintained by federal or state agencies, New York’s local governments are responsible for the repair, maintenance and upkeep of nearly 9,000 bridges (more than half of the bridges in the state) and over 100,000 miles of roads (approximately six out of every seven miles of roads in the state). With already strapped budgets, counties and municipalities must allocate increasingly scarce resources to the maintenance, repair and upkeep of their transportation systems. As a result, a significant portion of New York’s locally maintained roads and bridges is in need of repair or replacement and the current amount of annual transportation funding for local roads is just one-third of what counties and municipalities estimate is needed to make needed repairs to their roads and bridges over the next decade.

New York will need to improve the physical condition of its transportation network and enhance the system’s ability to provide efficient and reliable mobility for residents, visitors and businesses. Making needed improvements to local roads, highways and bridges could provide a significant boost to the state’s economy by creating jobs and stimulating long-term economic growth as a result of enhanced mobility and access. Meeting New York’s need to modernize and maintain its system of local roads, highways and bridges will require a significant, long-term boost in transportation funding at the federal, state and local levels.

To prepare this report, TRIP compiled survey responses from town, city, municipal and county governments in New York that completed a TRIP survey on road and bridge conditions, current transportation spending and the annual funding needs of each county or municipality over the next decade. Information on the condition of roads and bridges and needed funding levels for each local government that responded to the TRIP survey can be found in the appendix of the report.

Agencies responsible for maintaining New York’s local roads and bridges estimate a significant shortfall in needed funds to maintain and repair roads, bridges and highways. At current levels of funding, the condition of locally maintained roads and bridges in New York will worsen and repair costs will escalate. Addressing road and bridge deficiencies before they further worsen will save money because it will be much more costly to make repairs if conditions worsen.

  • In order to improve the condition of all locally maintained roads, highways and bridges to good condition, the current amount of annual spending over the next decade would need to nearly triple.
  • The current amount of annual spending on New York’s local roads and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent just to keep locally maintained roads and bridges in their current condition over the next decade.
  • A 2013 study of local roads and bridges by the New York State Town Highway Superintendents Association projected that the funding needs for local roads and bridges totaled $34.8 billion through 2030.
  • Long-term repair costs increase significantly when road and bridge maintenance is deferred, as road and bridge deterioration accelerates later in the service life of a transportation facility and requires more costly repairs. A study by the Cornell Local Roads Program estimates that every $1 of deferred maintenance on roads and bridges costs an additional $4 to $5 in needed future repairs.
  • Forty-two of New York State’s 62 counties and 29 of its municipalities completed the TRIP local roads and bridges survey.

Population increases and economic growth in New York have resulted in increased demands on all of the state’s roads and bridges, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system.

  • New York’s population reached 19.6 million in 2012, an increase of nine percent since 1990. While the state’s overall population has increased slightly in recent years, the lagging economy has caused a decline in population upstate. Upstate New York lost young adults (those between 25 and 34 years old) at a rate of 17 percent per decade since 1990.
  • New York had 11,248,617 licensed drivers in 2012.
  • Vehicle travel in New York increased 20 percent from 1990 to 2012 – from 106.9 billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1990 to 128.2 billion VMT in 2012.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in New York is projected to increase by another 10 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2012, New York’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 36 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

Nearly half – 47 percent –of New York’s locally maintained roads are in need of rehabilitation, preservation or reconstruction.

  • Fifteen percent of New York’s local roads are rated in poor condition. Roads rated poor are in the later years or beyond their service life, show significant signs of deterioration, and need to be replaced or reconstructed.
  • Thirty-two percent of New York’s locally maintained roads are in need of rehabilitation or preservation to correct the adverse effects of age and wear.
  • Although a desirable goal for state and local organizations that are responsible for road maintenance is to keep 75 percent of major roads in good condition, 34 percent of New York’s locally maintained roads are in good condition and 19 percent are in excellent condition. Roads in good condition require maintenance and minor repairs to protect pavements from avoidable deterioration, while roads in excellent condition require only drain cleaning and crack sealing.

 

Pavement Rating Percentages
Poor 15%
Correct 32%
Good 34%
Excellent 19%

Nearly a third – 31 percent — of locally maintained New York bridges are deficient and in need of corrective maintenance or rehabilitation to restore the bridge to good condition.

  • In New York State, bridge inspectors assess all of a bridge’s individual parts in order to assign a condition score. The New York State Department of Transportation condition rating scale ranges from one to seven, with seven being in new condition and a rating of five or greater considered as good condition. The NYSDOT considers any bridge rated below a five to be deficient.
Bridge Rating Percentages
Poor: <4 7%
Correct: >4 but <5 24%
Good: >5 but <6 31%
Excellent: >6 38%

 

  • Bridges rated below four have serious deterioration at a level that requires corrective maintenance or rehabilitation to restore the bridge to its fully functional, non-deficient condition. Bridges rated between four and five have deterioration that will also require corrective maintenance or rehabilitation.
  • Bridges in good condition (with a rating between five and six) require regular maintenance and minor upgrades or repairs, while bridges rated excellent (with a rating above six) need only regular cleaning and sealing.

The efficiency of New York’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses are increasingly reliant 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, $550 billion in goods are shipped from sites in New York and another $597 billion in goods are shipped to sites in New York, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-two percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in New York are carried by trucks and another 22 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.
  • Businesses have responded to improved communications and greater competition by moving from a push-style distribution system, which relies on low-cost movement of bulk commodities and large-scale warehousing, to a pull-style distribution system, which relies on smaller, more strategic and time-sensitive movement of goods.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number one site selection factor in a 2011 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • A 2007 analysis by the Federal Highway Administration found that every $1 billion invested in highway construction would support approximately 27,800 jobs, including approximately 9,500 in the construction sector, approximately 4,300 jobs in industries supporting the construction sector, and approximately 14,000 other jobs induced in non-construction related sectors of the economy.
  • 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.

For the completer report visit: tripnet.org

Sources of information for this report include responses to a TRIP survey from individual New York municipalities and counties, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U.S. Census, and The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). All data used in the report is the latest available

WTC Developer Larry Silverstein Celebrates Topping Out Of Steel At 4 World Trade Center

Nearly 1,000 Hard Hats Join in Topping Out Ceremony To Mark Placing of Final Steel Beam Atop 977-Foot Skyscraper

4WTC Ironwork - Credit Joe Woolhead

Silverstein Properties President and CEO Larry A. Silverstein was joined by approximately 1,000 construction workers and other New York government, civic and business leaders at a topping out ceremony marking the completion of steel erection for the new 4 World Trade Center – the first office tower that will be completed and opened on the original 16-acre World Trade Center site.

4WTC Topping Out - Credit Joe Woolhead

The final steel beam, which weighed 8 tons and was adorned with an American flag, was signed by Mr. Silverstein and other dignitaries.  It was then raised 977 feet in the air and placed at the top the 72-story tower.

 “The topping out of 4 World Trade Center represents another milestone in the effort to create a new, dynamic World Trade Center at the heart of a resurgent Downtown,” said Mr. Silverstein.  “This neighborhood has undergone a remarkable transformation into a one-of-a-kind model of sustainable urban development.  Over the past decade, the number of people living Downtown has doubled.  We have the best mass transit network, new parks and schools, and the densest concentration of green buildings of anywhere in the world.  That is why lower Manhattan is fast becoming the location of choice for all kinds of creative companies, as well as the financial powerhouses of Wall Street.”

“The World Trade Center site is at the heart of Lower Manhattan’s rebirth,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “As 4 World Trade Center takes its place in the New York City skyline, we’re creating a neighborhood that is stronger than ever. Congratulations to all who have taken on the challenge of rebuilding and worked so hard on this important project.”

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said:  “To think that such a beautiful structure now stands where there had once been such shocking ugliness and terrible pain is, on the one hand, breathtaking and inspiring, and on the other, so perfectly symbolic of New York’s ‘can do/never surrender’ spirit.  I congratulate Larry Silverstein and Dan Tishman on this outstanding achievement.”

4 World Trade Center - Credit Joe Woolhead

Designed by Pritzker Prize winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, 4 World Trade Center is located at 150 Greenwich Street and bounded by Greenwich, Church, Cortlandt and Liberty Streets.  The tower was designed to have an abstract quality – minimal, light, cool in color, and ephemeral, changing with the light of day.  Seen from a distance, the building presents a unique angular profile at the crown, in keeping with the spiral composition formed by the group of four towers and looking back to the Memorial and One World Trade Center.

The fourth tallest skyscraper on the World Trade Center site, 4 WTC will include 72 floors that total approximately 2.3 million square feet.  It has been designed to meet a LEED Gold level of sustainable design – like 7 World Trade Center and the other office buildings at the WTC site.  A quarter of the office space is slated to become the new headquarters of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.  Another 600,000 square feet will be occupied by the City of New York. The remainder of the office space will be retained by Silverstein Properties for commercial tenants.

The podium base of 4 WTC is made up of the ground floor, plus two levels above grade and two floors below grade that are dedicated for retail use – restaurants, shops and boutiques of every kind. The building provides primary access from Wall Street to the World Trade Center’s underground transportation and retail concourse, which in turn connects to the central PATH terminal and virtually every subway line.

Said Fumihiko Maki, “The design of the tower at 150 Greenwich has two fundamental elements – a ‘minimalist’ tower that achieves an appropriate presence, quiet but with dignity, and a ‘podium’ that becomes a catalyst for activating the surrounding urban streetscape as part of the revitalization of lower Manhattan.”

4WTC Topping Out - Credit Joe Woolhead

The conceptual design for 4 World Trade Center was unveiled in September 2006.  In February 2008, excavation and foundation work began and in July 2009, below-grade work on the project was completed.   Steel erection began in December 2009.  Glass curtain wall installation began in April 2011 and the building will be fully enclosed in December 2012.  4 World Trade Center is scheduled to open in fall 2013.

“Everyone at Tishman is delighted to have helped bring 4 WTC to this great day as another symbol of the progress of the rebuilding – and also of the determination and vision of Larry Silverstein and his team,” said Daniel R. Tishman, Chairman and CEO of Tishman Construction, an AECOM company, which also built 7 World Trade Center and is building 3 WTC for Silverstein Properties.  “Our role at the World Trade Center site is something we are all extremely proud of.  I want to thank all of the architects, engineers, safety managers, subcontractors and, most of all, the thousands of trade workers who are making it possible for this project to become a reality.”

“More than 1,200 union construction workers put in over 3 million hours to build this tower from bedrock to 977 feet,” said Gary LaBarbera President, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.  “It now stands as part of the skyline of New York as a testament to their resolve to never give up, always move forward, and build New York bigger, better and stronger.”