Tag Archive for 'pavement'

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TRIP Report: LOUISIANA’S DEFICIENT ROADS COST DRIVERS $6.5 BILLION EACH YEAR – AS MUCH AS $2,466 PER DRIVER.

Louisiana Transportation By The Numbers:

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

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Louisiana

 

$6.5 billion

Driving on deficient roads costs Louisiana motorists a total of $6.5 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.
Baton Rouge: $2,466

Lafayette: $2,024

New Orleans: $2,171

Shreveport: $1,894

TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in Louisiana’s largest urban areas in the form of additional VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. The average Baton Rouge area driver loses $2,466 annually, while each Lafayette area driver loses $2,024. Each New Orleans area driver loses $2,171 annually and the average Shreveport area driver loses $1,894.
3,563

713

On average, 713 people were killed annually in Louisiana traffic crashes from 2011 to 2015, a total of 3,563 fatalities over the five year period.
2X The fatality rate on Louisiana’s non-interstate rural roads is more than double that on all other roads in the state (2.46 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 1.16).
26% Statewide

39% Baton Rouge

41% Lafayette

39%New Orleans

38% Shreveport

Statewide, 26 percent of Louisiana’s major roads are in poor condition. Thirty-nine percent of major roads in the Baton Rouge urban area are in poor condition and in the Lafayette urban area, 41 percent of major roads are in poor condition. Thirty-nine percent of major roads in the New Orleans urban are in poor condition and 38 percent of major roads in the Shreveport urban area are in poor condition.
$734 Billion Annually, $734 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Louisiana, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges.
 

13%

Thirteen percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration to the major components of the bridge.
Baton Rouge: 47 hours

Lafayette: 26 hours

New Orleans: 45 hours

Shreveport: 27 hours

The average driver in the Baton Rouge urban area loses 47 hours to congestion annually, while each driver in the Lafayette urban area loses 26 hours annually. Drivers in the New Orleans area lose 45 hours to congestion each year, while Shreveport area drivers lose 27 hours annually.
 

21%

 

Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Louisiana increased by 21 percent from 2000 to 2016 –from 40.8 billion VMT in 2000 to 49.5 billion VMT in 2016.
 

 

$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, Louisiana’s economy continues to rebound. The rate of economic growth in Louisiana, 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 Pelican 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, natural resource extraction, manufacturing, and tourism, the quality of Louisiana’s transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic growth and quality of life.

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

COST TO LOUISIANA MOTORISTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

An inadequate transportation system costs Louisiana motorists a total of $6.5 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • Driving on rough roads costs Louisiana motorists a total of $2 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 Louisiana motorists a total of $2.1 billion each year in the form of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance and other financial costs.
  • Traffic congestion costs Louisiana motorists a total of $2.4 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel.
  • TRIP has calculated the average cost to drivers in the state’s largest urban areas as a result of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features. The chart below details the costs to drivers in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans and Shreveport urban areas.

POPULATION, TRAVEL AND ECONOMIC TRENDS IN LOUISIANA

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

  • Louisiana’s population reached approximately 4.7 million residents in 2016, a five percent increase since 2000.
  • Louisiana had 3.4 million licensed drivers in 2015.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Louisiana increased by 21 percent from 2000 to 2016 –from 40.8 billion VMT in 2000 to 49.5 billion VMT in 2015.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Louisiana is projected to increase by another 20 percent.
  • From 2000 to 2015, Louisiana’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 16 percent, when adjusted for inflation. U.S. GDP increased 27 percent during this time.

LOUISIANA ROAD CONDITIONS

A lack of adequate state and local funding has resulted in nearly a quarter of major roads and highways in Louisiana having pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist 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, based on data submitted annually by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • 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.
  • Statewide, 26 percent of Louisiana’s major locally and state-maintained roads and highways are in poor condition, while 22 percent are in mediocre condition. Fifteen percent of major roads are in fair condition and the remaining 37 percent are in good condition.
  • Thirty-nine percent of Louisiana’s major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while 25 percent are in mediocre condition. Fourteen percent of major roads are in fair condition and the remaining 23 percent are in good condition.
  • Eighteen percent of Louisiana’s major locally and state-maintained rural roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while 20 percent are in mediocre condition. Sixteen percent of major roads are in fair condition and the remaining 46 percent are in good condition.
  • 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.
  • The chart below details pavement conditions on major urban roads in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans and Shreveport urban areas.

  • Driving on rough roads costs Louisiana motorists a total of $2 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. The average driver in the Baton Rouge urban area loses $696 annually, while the average Lafayette urban area driver loses $706 each year as a result of driving on deteriorated roads. Driving on deteriorated roads costs the average New Orleans urban area driver $672 annually, while the average driver in the Shreveport urban area loses $698 annually. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

LOUISIANA BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Thirteen percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in Louisiana show significant deterioration and are in need of repairs or replacement. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

  • Thirteen percent of Louisiana’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 number and share of structurally deficient bridges statewide and in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans and Shreveport urban areas.

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN LOUISIANA

Improving safety features on Louisiana’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.

  • Between 2011 and 2015 a total of 3,563 people were killed in traffic crashes in Louisiana, an average of 713 fatalities per year.
  • Louisiana’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.51 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2015 is the seventh highest in the nation and significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.
  • The fatality rate on Louisiana’s non-interstate rural roads is more than double that on all other roads in the state (2.46 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 1.16).
  • The chart below details the average number of fatalities from 2012 to 2014 in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans and Shreveport urban areas and the average cost per driver as a result of traffic crashes.

  • Traffic crashes in Louisiana imposed a total of $6.3 billion in economic costs in 2015. TRIP estimates that traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $2.1 billion in economic costs in 2015.
  • 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.

LOUISIANA TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Increasing levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Louisiana, 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.

  • Based on Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) estimates, the value of lost time and wasted fuel in Louisiana is approximately $2.4 billion per year.
  • The chart below, based on TTI estimates, details the hours lost to congestion annually by the average motorist in each urban area and the cost per driver in 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 LOUISIANA

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

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

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN LOUISIANA

The efficiency of Louisiana’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, $734 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Louisiana, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges.
  • 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.
  • 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 Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), 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).

 

ASCE Takes Report Card Grades and Solutions to Lieutenant Governors

How bad is our infrastructure? Probably worse than you ever imagined. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has prepared an Infrastructure Report Card that details the problems the country faces with updating, restoring, improving and making our infrastructure safe with a state-by-state overview. (See link below) The association has been doing an infrastructure report card for some time and has provided the country with a realistic and serious look at the things we all take for granted,  our roads and bridges topping the list. Take the time to review the condition of your state’s infrastructure so that you can support efforts made to improve it.
ASCE participated last week in the National Lt. Governors Association annual State-Federal Relations meeting in Washington, DC. The seconds-in-command of the states and territories gathered in Washington D.C. March 15, 2017, to work on schools, roads, and more. Casey Dinges was on the agenda to talk to the Lt. Governors about the solutions offered in the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card. The meeting also focused on ideas on how to streamline state regulations, preserve international markets for agriculture, and assist veterans with health issues.

2017 Infrastructure Report Card

NAPA Reports: Survey Documents Sustainability of Asphalt Pavements

Nationwide, More Than 77.2 Million Tons of Recycled Materials Used in Asphalt Pavements; One-Third of Asphalt Pavements Produced as Warm Mix

The latest survey of asphalt pavement mix producers documents the industry’s continued success in improving the sustainability of America’s roads through the incorporation of recycled materials and the use of energy-saving warm-mix asphalt technologies.

According to the latest survey of asphalt mix producers conducted by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), more than 77.2 million tons of recycled materials — primarily asphalt pavement material reclaimed from old roads and parking lots and recycled asphalt roofing shingles — was used in new asphalt pavement mixtures during the 2015 construction season. In addition, nearly a third (32.8 percent) of all asphalt pavement mixture was produced that year at reduced temperatures using warm-mix asphalt technologies.

The survey has gathered annual data from asphalt pavement mix producers and state asphalt pavement associations since 2009. Over that time, it has documented growth in the use of both warm-mix technologies and recycled materials in pavement mixtures. For the 2015 construction season, the survey was extensively revised to collect additional information about how reclaimed asphalt pavement and shingles are used nationwide.

“Asphalt pavements are already recycled at a greater rate than any other material,” stated Dan Gallagher, 2017 NAPA Chairman and Vice President of Gallagher Asphalt Corp. of Thornton, Illinois, “but we are not content with that. We continue to seek out and put to use practices and technologies that deliver high-performing roads, both in terms of drivability and sustainability.”

The survey found that more than 74 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and 1.9 million tons of reclaimed asphalt shingles (RAS) were used in new asphalt pavement mixes in the United States during 2015. An additional 7 million tons of RAP were used as aggregate, cold mix, and other road-building activities. The survey also found that at year-end 2015 about 85 million tons of RAP was stockpiled for future use across the country.
Reclaiming and reusing the asphalt cement and aggregate in RAP and RAS saved about $2.6 billion in 2015 compared to the use of virgin asphalt binder and aggregates. This helps keep asphalt pavement mixture costs competitive and allows road owners to achieve more roadway maintenance and construction activities with limited budgets.

Producers were also asked about ground tire rubber, steel and blast furnace slags, and other waste materials repurposed into pavements. Although national estimates of their usage were not calculated, respondents reported using more than 1.1 million tons of these materials in 2015 in the production of about 8 million tons of asphalt pavement mixes.

In addition to increased use of recycled materials, asphalt mix producers continue to increase the use of energy-saving warm-mix asphalt technologies. In 2015, 119.8 million tons of warm-mix asphalt was produced — nearly one-third of total asphalt pavement mix production. This is a 5 percent increase from 2014 and a greater than 614 percent increase in the use of warm mix since 2009, the first year the survey was conducted.

Warm-mix asphalt is produced with a range of technologies that reduce the production and placement temperature of asphalt pavement mixtures. A variety of environmental, worker safety, and construction benefits have been realized through the adoption of warm-mix asphalt. In 2009, FHWA selected warm-mix asphalt as one of the first technologies targeted for deployment through its Every Day Counts initiative.

“The use of warm-mix asphalt technologies is becoming commonplace. In 14 states, more than half of all asphalt pavement mixtures were produced as warm-mix asphalt, and in four of them, more than 75 percent was produced as warm mix,” stated NAPA President Mike Acott. “This said, there is room to increase its use, and we expect road owners to continue to embrace these technologies for their construction and performance benefits, as well as the energy savings they bring.”

The survey was conducted in 2016. Results from 214 companies with 1,119 plants in 48 states and Puerto Rico, along with data from state asphalt pavement associations for 33 states, were used to compile the report. A copy of the full survey report, including a state-by-state breakdown of data, is available at www.asphaltpavement.org/recycling.

# # #

About the National Asphalt Pavement Association
The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is the only trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the asphalt producer/contractor on the national level with Congress, government agencies, and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities. The association provides technical, educational, and marketing materials and information to its members; supplies product information to users and specifiers of paving materials; and conducts training courses. The association, which counts more than 1,100 companies as members, was founded in 1955.

ABC Says Construction Unemployment Rates Improve in 10 States Year-Over-Year

Construction unemployment rates were down in 10 states and unchanged in three in January on a year-over-year basis, according to analysis released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). For the nation and 37 states, rates were higher than in January 2016, ending 75 consecutive months of year-over-year declines. The national not seasonally adjusted (NSA) construction unemployment rate of 9.4 percent was up 0.9 percent from January 2016, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Since these industry-specific rates are NSA, it is most accurate to evaluate the national and state-level unemployment rates on a year-over-year basis.

“It was inevitable that the remarkable ongoing streak of year-over-year declines in the national unemployment rate would come to an end at some point,” said Bernard M. Markstein, Ph.D., president and chief economist of Markstein Advisors, who conducted the analysis for ABC. “The halt to this record may be largely due to the mounting shortage of skilled construction workers acting as a drag on the ability of the sector to grow. Despite this challenge, construction activity will continue to advance this year.”

In spite of the year-over-year rise, this was the second lowest national January NSA construction unemployment rate since January 2007 when the rate was 8.9 percent. Meanwhile, BLS data showed that the industry employed 162,000 more workers than in January 2016.

The usual pattern in the movement in the national NSA construction unemployment rate from December to January is an increase. Starting in 2000, when the BLS data for this series begins, the January rate has risen every year. This year’s 2 percent rate increase was no exception.

View states ranked by their construction unemployment rate, their year-over-year improvement in construction unemployment, their monthly improvement in construction unemployment, a regional breakdown of states’ construction unemployment rates and their January unemployment rates for all industries.

The Top Five States
The states with the lowest estimated NSA construction unemployment rates in order from lowest rate to highest were:

1. Hawaii
2. Utah and Virginia (tie)
4. South Carolina
5. Texas

Only one state, Hawaii, was also among the top five in December. Hawaii had the lowest rate among the states, with a 6 percent estimated construction unemployment rate unchanged from January 2016 and the state’s lowest January rate since the 5.1 percent rate in January 2006.

Utah and Virginia, with a 6.3 percent construction unemployment rate, tied for the second lowest rate in January. This was a big jump for Utah, which was also one of the 10 states that experienced a year-over-year drop in its rate, and marked the seventh year in a row that its January rate was down from the year before. For Virginia, the January 2017 rate was the state’s second lowest estimated January rate since the 6.2 percent rate in 2007, behind January 2016’s industry unemployment rate of 5.8 percent.

South Carolina, with the fourth construction unemployment rate lowest rate (6.4 percent), recorded its second lowest January rate, after last January’s 6.2 percent, going back to the beginning of the January estimates in 2000. Texas recorded the fifth lowest rate at 6.6 percent, despite having the seventh largest year-over-year increase in its rate among the states, up 1.5 percent.

The Bottom Five States

The states with the highest NSA construction unemployment rates in order from lowest to highest rates were:

46. Montana
47. Illinois
48. Rhode Island
49. West Virginia
50. Alaska

Four of these states—Alaska, Illinois, Montana and West Virginia—were also among the five states with the highest construction unemployment rates in December. Alaska recorded the highest estimated NSA construction unemployment rate for the fourth month in a row at 22.5 percent. This is to be expected since these are NSA construction unemployment rates; however, the state also had the largest year-over-year increase in its rate at 4.7 percent.

West Virginia had the second highest construction unemployment rate in January (16.4 percent) and its 5.5 percent increase from December was the second largest among the states behind Rhode Island’s 6.5 percent increase.

Rhode Island had the third highest estimated NSA construction unemployment rate in January (16.3 percent); however, it was among the 10 states with a drop in its year-over-year rate (down 0.3 percent) and the state’s lowest estimated January rate since the 11.3 percent rate in January 2007.

Illinois had the fourth highest rate in January, 15.8 percent after recording the third highest rate in December, and Montana had the fifth highest construction unemployment rate in January (15.3 percent), but was among the 10 states with a drop in its year-over-year rate (down 0.3 percent).

Note on Data Revision
On March 13, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its benchmark revision of state employment data covering the period from April 2015 through December 2016 (some data prior to April 2015 were also revised). The models used to estimate state construction unemployment rates were updated incorporating the new data. The revised data and the updated models resulted in some changes to the previously estimated state unemployment rates. Read more on the impact of the revisions on previous construction industry unemployment rate estimates on ABC’s website.

To better understand the basis for calculating unemployment rates and what they measure, see the article Background on State Construction Unemployment Rates.

ARTBA Reports: Major Economic & Job Creation Boost Expected from Kansas Highway & Bridge Infrastructure Increase, New Analysis Finds

A new report finds that an annual $264 million increase in state highway and bridge infrastructure investment would support nearly $600 million in economic activity throughout all sectors of the Kansas economy. The additional demand, in turn, would also support or create 5,000 jobs—with over half being in sectors outside of the construction industry.

The analysis, conducted by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black shows how the impacts of transportation capital investments trigger immediate economic activity, including cost savings for drivers, and new and sustained jobs, while yielding long-lived capital assets that facilitate economic activity for decades to come.

Black testified March 23 before a Kansas state legislature hearing about the report’s findings. The study was commissioned by the Kansas Contractors Association.

An annual investment level of $264 million is consistent with an increase in the state motor fuel tax of about 15 cents per gallon, which would cost the average driver about $5 to $10 a month, or less than 20 to 40 cents per day, but would help businesses increase output, grow the tax base and support jobs across all major sectors of the state economy, Black said.

The improvement in the state’s transportation network would include enhanced safety, lower operating costs, reduced congestion and an increase in both mobility and efficiency, ARTBA said.

In addition, Black’s analysis reveals that increased investment would:
Generate $594.3 million in additional economic output;
Increase gross state product (GSP) by nearly $304 million;
Grow state and local tax revenues by $29.4 million; and
Support or create an additional 5,308 jobs, with 52 percent of the employment outside of the construction industry, including an estimated 549 jobs in retail trade, 330 jobs in manufacturing and 321 jobs in health care and social assistance

Research shows that the economic return for every $1 invested in transportation infrastructure improvements can range up to $5.20. For drivers in Kansas, this could add up to as much as $1.3 billion in savings, not including the additional benefits of improving access to critical facilities like schools and hospitals or increases in business productivity, Black says.

More than 660,000 Kansas jobs in tourism, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, agriculture and forestry, mining, retailing and wholesaling alone are fully dependent on the work done by the state’s transportation construction industry. These dependent industries provide a total payroll of $25.2 billion and their employees contribute $4.6 billion annually in state and federal payroll taxes, the ARTBA report found.

The annual $264 million investment would help restore some of the recent cuts to the Kansas highway program. The Kansas state legislature will have diverted about $3.5 billion from the state Highway Fund to the General Fund and other state agencies between FY 2011 and FY 2019 for non-transportation purposes. These diversions have had a significant market impact, Black said, delaying over $600 million in road projects because of a lack of funds and resulting in the loss of 3,000 construction jobs.

If the diverted funds were instead invested in highway and bridge projects, the construction work would generate $7.8 billion in economic activity throughout all sectors of the economy and provide an additional $4 billion in state GSP, the association said.

Read the full report: www.artba.org/economics/research/.