Tag Archive for 'pavement'

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Cat® D6T Features Optimum Fuel Efficiency, Fully Automatic Transmission And Technology To Match The Job

The new Cat® D6T Dozer features a new, fully automatic transmission to optimize performance and achieve fuel savings of up to 20 percent in heavy work and as much as 30 percent in light work and finish grading applications. The fully automatic bulldozer is easier to operate – just set the desired ground speed and the four-speed transmission will set the powertrain for optimum efficiency.

Availability of the full range of Cat Connect GRADE for Dozers technologies enables equipping the D6T for the application. Cat GRADE with Slope Assist is now standard on the D6T, providing basic blade positioning assistance without the need for added hardware or a GPS signal.

Four-speed automatic efficiency

The new D6T uses a fully automatic, four-speed, power-shift transmission with an integral lock-up clutch to provide a significant increase in fuel efficiency. The operator simply sets the desired ground speed, and the Auto Shift system smoothly and automatically chooses the optimal gear and engine speed to match operating conditions.

The new D6T transmission adds a gear between first and second ranges for smooth shifting and to maintain power to the ground during load changes. The added gear allows the machine to remain in the most efficient mode for a higher percentage of the time. The operator experiences an aggressive feel in the dirt, as well as up to 2.5 percent greater productivity.

Powering the new D6T is the fuel-efficient Cat C9.3 ACERT™ engine, Tier 4 Final certified with a net power rating (ISO 9249/SAE J1349) of 215 horsepower (161 kW).

Many choices of GRADE technology

Cat Connect GRADE technologies help get work done more efficiently and more accurately. With the D6T, customers have a wide range of technologies to choose from—to equip their dozers to work best in their applications. Technologies range from simple grade indicators to full factory-integrated GPS, all supported by Caterpillar and Cat dealers.

   Cat GRADE with Slope Assist, a new standard feature for the D6T, automatically maintains pre-established blade position without the need for added hardware or a GPS signal.

   Cat Slope Indicate, (standard), displays machine cross-slope and fore/aft orientation on the primary monitor, assisting operators to work accurately on slopes.

   Cat Stable Blade, (standard), complements the operator’s blade-control input to achieve finish grades faster with less effort.

   Cat GRADE with 3D is an available, factory-integrated grade-control system that provides three-dimensional guidance both for production dozing and fine grading. The system feature roof-mounted antennas, and the Cat AccuGrade Ready Option is included with the system, as is the AutoCarry™ system that adjusts the blade for optimum load retention.

   Cat AccuGrade is a dealer-installed after-market grade-control system that provides the flexibility to scale system features to changing needs, ranging from lasers for 2D flat-plane and slope work, to systems using the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) or universal total stations for complex contours and precise finish grading.

   AccuGrade Ready Option allows the machine owner to upgrade to an AccuGrade 2D or 3D system as requirements demand.

In addition to grade control technologies, the Cat Product Link™ telematics system integrated into the D6T provides timely, pertinent data—such as location, hours, fuel usage, productivity, idle time, and diagnostic codes—that is easily accessed through the online VisionLink® interface. The system assists machine owners achieve more effective asset management, improved productivity, and lower operating costs.

The D6T remains a versatile workhorse, available in multiple undercarriage configurations and with a wide range of blades to match the machine to the application. Available rear-mounted equipment includes a new high-lift, multi-shank ripper. For more information about the D6T Dozer, contact the local Cat dealer or go to: www.cat.com.

D6T SPECIFICATIONS
Engine model                            Cat C9.3 ACERT
Emissions                                  U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final
Engine Power – 2,200 rpm
(ISO 9249/SAE J1349)            215 hp
Engine Power – 1,200 rpm
(SAE J1995) – Gross                  253 hp
Operating weight range            47,846 – 54,526 lb.
Blade capacity                             4.96 – 7.38 yd3

 

TRIP Reports: Driving on deficient roads costs Colorado motorists a total of $6.8 billion annually

COLORADO TRANSPORTATION BY THE NUMBERS:

 Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Colorado

 

$6.8 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Colorado motorists a total of $6.8 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
$1,954 – Co. Springs

$2,162–Denver

$1,396 –Northern Colorado

$1,264-Grand Junction

$1,553 – Pueblo

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. Drivers in the state’s largest urban areas incur annual costs as a result of driving on deficient roads as follows: Colorado Springs, $1,954; Denver, $2,162; Northern Colorado, $1,396; Grand Junction, $1,264; and Pueblo, $1,553.
2,434

487

A total of 2,434 people were killed in Colorado traffic crashes from 2011 to 2015, an average of 487 fatalities annually.
 

22%

10th

20%

Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Colorado increased by 22 percent from 2000 to 2015 –from 41.8 billion VMT in 2000 to 51.1 billion VMT in 2015 – the tenth largest increase in the nation during that time. By 2030, vehicle travel in Colorado is projected to increase by another 20 percent.
2 1/2 X The fatality rate on Colorado’s rural roads is two-and-a-half times greater than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state (2.09 fatalities per 100 million VMT vs. 0.83).
 

41%

Forty-one percent of Colorado’s major urban roads are in poor condition. Forty-three percent are in mediocre or fair condition and the remaining 15 percent are in good condition.
$323 Billion Annually, $323 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Colorado, mostly by truck.
 

6%

Six percent of Colorado’s bridges are structurally deficient, meaning they have significant deterioration to the major components of the bridge.
Co. Springs: 35 hrs.

Denver: 49 hrs.

Northern Colorado:

17 hrs.

Grand Junction: 11 hrs.

Pueblo: 10 hrs.

Mounting congestion robs drivers of time and fuel. Annual time wasted in congestion for drivers in the state’s largest urban areas is as follows: Colorado Springs, 35 hours; Denver, 49 hours; Northern Colorado, 17 hours; Grand Junction, 11 hours; Pueblo, 10 hours.
 

$1.00 = $5.20

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs, and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Executive Summary

Nine years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Colorado’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Colorado, which is greatly impacted by the reliability and condition of the state’s transportation system, has a significant impact on quality of life in the Centennial State.

An efficient, safe and well-maintained transportation system provides economic and social benefits by affording individuals access to employment, housing, healthcare, education, goods and services, recreation, entertainment, family, and social activities. It also provides businesses access to suppliers, markets and employees, all critical to a business’ level of productivity and ability to expand. Reduced accessibility and mobility – as a result of traffic congestion, a lack of adequate capacity, or deteriorated roads, highways, bridges and transit facilities – diminishes a region’s quality of life by reducing economic productivity and limiting opportunities for economic, health or social transactions and activities.

With an economy based largely on manufacturing, agriculture, natural resource extraction and tourism, the quality of Colorado’s transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic growth and quality of life.

In this report, TRIP looks at the top transportation numbers in Colorado as the state addresses modernizing and maintaining its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit.

COST TO COLORADO MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs Colorado motorists a total of $6.8 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • Driving on rough roads costs Colorado motorists a total of $2.3 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Traffic crashes in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor costs Colorado motorists a total of $1.6 billion each year in the form of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance and other financial costs.
  • Traffic congestion costs Colorado motorists a total of $2.9 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.
  • The chart below details the average cost per driver in the state’s largest urban areas and statewide.

POPULATION, TRAVEL AND ECONOMIC TRENDS IN COLORADO

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

  • Colorado’s population reached approximately 5.5 million residents in 2015, a 27 increase since 2000 and the sixth largest increase in the nation during that time. Colorado had approximately 4 million licensed drivers in 2015.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Colorado increased by 22 percent from 2000 to 2015 –from 41.8 billion VMT in 2000 to 51.1 billion VMT in 2015 – the tenth largest increase in the nation during that time.
  • From 2000 to 2015, Colorado’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 32 percent, when adjusted for inflation. U.S. GDP increased 27 percent during this time.
  • During the first nine months of 2016, VMT in Colorado was up 3.2 percent from the first nine months of 2015, ahead of the national rate of VMT growth of three percent during that time.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Colorado is projected to increase by another 20 percent.

COLORADO ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in 41 percent of major urban roads and highways in Colorado having pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorists in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • The pavement data in this report, which is for all arterial and collector roads and highways, is provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), based on data submitted annually by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways.
  • Pavement data for Interstate highways and other principal arterials is collected for all system mileage, whereas pavement data for minor arterial and all collector roads and highways is based on sampling portions of roadways as prescribed by FHWA to insure that the data collected is adequate to provide an accurate assessment of pavement conditions on these roads and highways.
  • Forty-one percent of Colorado’s major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, 43 percent are rated in mediocre or fair condition, and the remaining 15 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Twelve percent of Colorado’s major locally and state-maintained rural roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, 48 percent are rated in mediocre or fair condition, and the remaining 40 percent are rated in good condition.
  • The chart below details the share of pavement in poor, mediocre, fair and good condition in the state’s largest urban areas.

  • Roads rated in mediocre to poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes.       In some cases, these roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • Driving on rough roads costs Colorado motorists a total of $2.3 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

COLORADO BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Six percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in Colorado show significant deterioration. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

  • Six percent of Colorado’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles.
  • The chart below details the share of structurally deficient bridges in Colorado Springs, Denver, Northern Colorado and statewide.

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN COLORADO

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

  • A total of 2,434 people were killed in Colorado traffic crashes from 2011 to 2015, an average of 487 fatalities per year.
  • Colorado’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.08 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2015 was lower than the national average of 1.13.
  • The fatality rate on Colorado’s non-interstate rural roads in 2015 was two-and-a-half times greater than on all other roads in the state (2.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.83).
  • The chart below details the average number of people killed in traffic crashes from 2013 to 2015 in the state’s largest urban areas, as well as the cost per motorist of traffic crashes.

  • Traffic crashes in Colorado imposed a total of $4.9 billion in economic costs in 2015. TRIP estimates that traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $1.6 billion in economic costs in 2015.
  • According to a 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, the economic costs of traffic crashes includes work and household productivity losses, property damage, medical costs, rehabilitation costs, legal and court costs, congestion costs and emergency services.
  • Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over 20 years.

COLORADO TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Colorado, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer.

  • The chart below details the number of hours lost to congestion by the average driver in the state’s largest urban areas, as well as the annual cost of traffic congestion per driver in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.

  • Increasing levels of congestion add significant costs to consumers, transportation companies, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers and can reduce the attractiveness of a location to a company when considering expansion or where to locate a new facility. Congestion costs can also increase overall operating costs for trucking and shipping companies, leading to revenue losses, lower pay for drivers and employees, and higher consumer costs.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN COLORADO

Investment in Colorado’s roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments. The five-year federal surface transportation program includes modest funding increases and provides states with greater funding certainty, but falls far short of providing the level of funding needed to meet the nation’s highway and transit needs. The bill does not include a long-term and sustainable revenue source.

  • According to the 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report, a significant boost in investment in the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs.
  • AASHTO’s report found that based on an annual one percent increase in VMT annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase 36 percent, from $88 billion to $120 billion, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs,. Investment in the nation’s public transit system needs to increase from $17 billion to $43 billion.
  • The Bottom Line Report found that if the national rate of vehicle travel increased by 1.4 percent per year, the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent to $144 billion. If vehicle travel grows by 1.6 percent annually the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 77 percent to $156 billion.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN COLORADO

The efficiency of Colorado’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses rely on an efficient and dependable transportation system to move products and services. A key component in business efficiency and success is the level and ease of access to customers, markets, materials and workers.

  • Annually, $323 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Colorado, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-five percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Colorado are carried by trucks and another 21 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2015 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

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

ARTBA Comments: Trump Executive Order on Waters of the U.S. Rule Beneficial to Transportation Permitting Process

 President Trump’s Feb. 28 executive order directing the withdrawal of the controversial “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule removes an unnecessary obstacle that would have delayed transportation improvement projects, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says.

At issue for the transportation construction industry is how the Obama Administration’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) attempted to redefine what collections of water constitute the WOTUS and are therefore subject to federal authority. Before EPA issued the rule, ARTBA told the agency on multiple occasions that “roadside ditches are not, and should not be regulated as, traditional jurisdictional wetlands as they are not connected water bodies and they contribute to the public health and safety of the nation by dispersing water from roadways.”

The rule, however, did not categorically exempt roadside ditches from federal jurisdiction. Instead, the EPA, in a regulatory overreach, decided a litany of qualifications must be met before a roadside ditch can be deemed exempt from federal permitting requirements.

ARTBA explained to EPA such a piecemeal approach would add another layer of burdensome permitting requirements, create confusion and increase permitting delays for transportation projects. The WOTUS rule, the association said, would also likely be used as a litigation tool to delay projects and, in the process, make them more expensive for taxpayers.

Subsequently, ARTBA, in addition to numerous other trade associations and state governments, sought relief from the federal courts. As a result of that litigation, the WOTUS rule was stayed nationwide.

It’s unclear how the Feb. 28 executive order will impact future federal court proceedings. The association said it plans to work with EPA Administrator Pruitt to craft a new rule that strikes the proper balance between necessary regulatory protection and the nation’s infrastructure needs.

Established in 1902, ARTBA is the transportation construction industry’s “consensus voice” on environmental and regulatory matters in the Nation’s Capital.

ABC Says, Trump’s Executive Action Will Spur Job Growth

 Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Vice President of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck today released the following statement in response to President Trump’s executive order on regulatory reform.

“Associated Builders and Contractors looks forward to working with the Trump administration to fix our broken regulatory system–an administration that values input from the job creators impacted by the unintended consequences of over-regulation. ABC understands the value of a transparent and effective regulatory system, unfortunately, for far too long our economy has been hampered by unnecessarily cumbersome and costly regulations often driven by a political agenda and not backed by sound evidence.

“By taking action to provide needed relief from the costly and onerous regulations created by the Obama administration, President Trump’s executive actions will free up job creators to invest more time and money in their businesses, which will help create jobs and grow the economy. Increased economic growth often translates directly to increased construction activity and more well-paying construction jobs in communities across the country.”
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents nearly 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at abc.org.

TRIP Reports: Driving on Kentucky’s Roads Costs Kentucky Motorists a Total of $4 Billion Annually…

KENTUCKY TRANSPORTATION BY THE NUMBERS:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Kentucky

 

$4 billion

Driving on roads that are in poor or mediocre condition, congested or lack adequate safety features costs Kentucky motorists a total of $4 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
 

$805 – Bowling Green

$1,285 – Lexington

$1,899 – Louisville

$1,694 – N. Kentucky

$1,065- Owensboro

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in Kentucky’s largest urban areas in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. Driving on roads that are in poor or mediocre condition, congested or lack adequate safety features costs the average Bowling Green driver $805 annually: $1,285 in the Lexington area; $1,899 in the Louisville area; $1,694 in the Northern Kentucky area and $1,065 in the Owensboro area.
3,538

708

A total of 3,538 people were killed in Kentucky traffic crashes from 2011 to 2015, an average of 708 fatalities annually. After decreasing steadily from 2010 to 2013, the number of fatalities rose each year from 2013 to 2015.
 

1.56

4th

Kentucky’s roads and highways have a fatality rate of 1.56 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, the fourth highest in the U.S. and significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.
7 % – Bowling Green

23 % – Lexington

48 % – Louisville

45 % – N. Kentucky

32 % – Owensboro

Seven percent of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the Bowling Green urban area have pavements in poor or mediocre condition and 23, 48, 45 and 32 percent, respectively in the Lexington, Louisville, Northern Kentucky and Owensboro urban areas.
16% Statewide, 16 percent of Kentucky’s major urban roads are in poor condition.
$502 Billion Annually, $502 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Kentucky, mostly by truck.
 

1/12

Approximately one-in-twelve (8 percent) of Kentucky’s locally or state-maintained bridges are rated structurally deficient because they have significant deterioration.
14 hours-Bowling Green

27 hours-Lexington

43 hours-Louisville

41 hours-N. Kentucky

13 hours – Owensboro

Congestion is robbing Kentucky drivers of time and money. The average driver in Bowling Green loses 14 hours annually to congestion, while drivers in Lexington lose 27 hours each year. Louisville drivers spend an average of 43 hours each year stuck in traffic, while Northern Kentucky drivers lose 41 hours annually. Owensboro drivers lose an average of 13 hours annually.
 

$1.00 = $5.20

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety and reduced emissions.

Executive Summary

Nine years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Kentucky’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Kentucky, which will be greatly impacted by the reliability and condition of the state’s transportation system, continues to have a significant impact on quality of life in the Bluegrass State.

An efficient, safe and well-maintained transportation system provides economic and social benefits by affording individuals access to employment, housing, healthcare, education, goods and services, recreation, entertainment, family, and social activities. It also provides businesses with access to suppliers, markets and employees, all critical to a business’ level of productivity and ability to expand. Reduced accessibility and mobility – as a result of traffic congestion, a lack of adequate capacity, or deteriorated roads, highways, bridges and transit facilities – diminishes a region’s quality of life by reducing economic productivity and limiting opportunities for economic, health or social transactions and activities.

With an economy based largely on agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and natural resource extraction, the quality of Kentucky’s transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic growth and quality of life.

In this report, TRIP looks at the top transportation numbers in Kentucky as the state addresses its need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit.

In December 2015 the president signed into law a long-term federal surface transportation program that includes modest funding increases and allows state and local governments to plan and finance projects with greater certainty through 2020. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) provides approximately $305 billion for surface transportation with highway and transit funding slated to increase by approximately 15 and 18 percent, respectively, over the five-year duration of the program. While the modest funding increase and certainty provided by the FAST Act are a step in the right direction, the funding falls far short of the level needed to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs and fails to deliver a sustainable, long-term source of revenue for the federal Highway Trust Fund.

 

COST OF KENTUCKY ROADS THAT ARE DETERIORATED, CONGESTED AND LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES

Driving on Kentucky’s transportation system costs motorists a total of $4 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • Driving on rough roads costs Kentucky motorists a total of $1 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Based on a national estimate that roadway design is likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of serious and fatal traffic crashes, TRIP estimates that the economic costs of serious and fatal traffic crashes in Kentucky in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor is $1.4 billion each year in the form of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance and other financial costs.
  • Traffic congestion costs Kentucky residents a total of $1.6 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.
  • The chart below details the average cost per driver in the state’s largest urban areas as well as statewide.

POPULATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN KENTUCKY

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

  • Kentucky’s population reached approximately 4.4 million residents in 2015, a nine percent increase since 2000.
  • Kentucky had 3 million licensed drivers in 2015.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Kentucky increased from 46.8 billion VMT in 2000 to 48.3 billion VMT in 2015.

KENTUCKY ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in 16 percent of major state and locally maintained urban roads and highways in Kentucky having pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorists in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • The pavement data in this report, which is for all arterial and collector roads and highways, is provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), based on data submitted annually by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways.
  • Pavement data for Interstate highways and other principal arterials is collected for all system mileage, whereas pavement data for minor arterial and all collector roads and highways is based on sampling portions of roadways as prescribed by FHWA to insure that the data collected is adequate to provide an accurate assessment of pavement conditions on these roads and highways.
  • Sixteen percent of Kentucky’s major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition, while 44 percent are in mediocre or fair condition. The remaining 40 percent are in good condition.
  • The chart below details the share of major roads in poor, mediocre, fair and good condition in the state’s largest urban areas.

  • Roads rated in mediocre to poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes.       In some cases, these roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed.
  • Driving on rough roads costs Kentucky motorists a total of $1 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

KENTUCKY BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Approximately one-out-of-twelve locally and state-maintained bridges in Kentucky show significant deterioration. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

  • Eight percent of Kentucky’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles. 
  • The chart below indicates the share of bridges which are structurally deficient statewide and in Kentucky’s largest urban areas.

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN KENTUCKY

The traffic fatality rate on Kentucky’s roads is the fourth highest in the nation. Improving safety features on Kentucky’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. Nationally, it is estimated that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • A total of 3,538 people were killed in Kentucky traffic crashes from 2011 to 2015, an average of 708 fatalities per year. After decreasing steadily from 2010 to 2013, the number of fatalities rose each year from 2013 to 2015.
  • Kentucky’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.56 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2015 was the fourth highest in the U.S. and significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.
  • In the Bowling Green urban area, an average of 16 people were killed in traffic crashes over the last three years, while an average of 58 people were killed in traffic crashes in the Lexington urban area during that time. An average of 84 people were killed in crashes in the Louisville area over the last three years, while in Northern Kentucky, there was an average of 27 annual traffic fatalities over the last three years, while an average of 14 people were killed in traffic crashes in the Owensboro urban area during that time.
  • Traffic crashes in Kentucky imposed a total of $4.2 billion in economic costs in 2014. Based on a national estimate that roadway design is likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of serious and fatal traffic crashes, TRIP estimates that the economic costs of serious and fatal traffic crashes in Kentucky in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor is $1.4 billion each year in the form of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance and other financial costs.
  • Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over 20 years.

KENTUCKY TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Kentucky, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. Traffic congestion robs commuters of time and money and imposes increased costs on businesses, shippers and manufacturers, which are often passed along to the consumer.

  • The chart below details what congestion costs the average driver in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of lost time and wasted fuel and the number of hours lost annually to congestion.

 

  • Increasing levels of congestion add significant costs to consumers, transportation companies, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers and can reduce the attractiveness of a location to a company when considering expansion or where to locate a new facility. Congestion costs can also increase overall operating costs for trucking and shipping companies, leading to revenue losses, lower pay for drivers and employees, and higher consumer costs.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN KENTUCKY

Investment in Kentucky’s roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments. The five-year federal surface transportation program includes modest funding increases and provides states with greater funding certainty, but falls far short of providing the level of funding needed to meet the nation’s highway and transit needs. The bill does not include a long-term and sustainable revenue source.

  • The ability of state and local governments to make needed improvements to Kentucky’s transportation system to improve conditions, enhance economic development opportunities and to improve safety is constrained by the level of available federal, state and local transportation funding.
  • According to the 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report, a significant boost in investment in the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs.
  • AASHTO’s report found that based on an annual one percent increase in VMT annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase 36 percent, from $88 billion to $120 billion, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs, based on an annual one percent rate of vehicle travel growth. Investment in the nation’s public transit system needs to increase from $17 billion to $43 billion.
  • The Bottom Line Report found that if the national rate of vehicle travel increased by 1.4 percent per year, the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent to $144 billion. If vehicle travel grows by 1.6 percent annually the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 77 percent to $156 billion.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN KENTUCKY

The efficiency of Kentucky’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses rely on an efficient and dependable transportation system to move products and services. A key component in business efficiency and success is the level and ease of access to customers, markets, materials and workers.

  • Annually, $502 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Kentucky, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-six percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Kentucky are carried by trucks and another 13 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2015 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

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