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TRIP Reports: Deficient Roadways Cost Arkansas Motorists Approximately $2 Billion Annually. Costs Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Funding Boost

TRIPRoads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Arkansas motorists a total of $2 billion statewide annually due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road and bridge conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Arkansas, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, “Arkansas Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that, throughout Arkansas, nearly a third of major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways and nearly a quarter of major rural roads and highways are in poor condition. Nearly a quarter of Arkansas’ bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year. And, Arkansas’ traffic fatality rate is the fifth highest nationally and the state’s rural non-interstate traffic fatality rate is more than three times the fatality rate on all other roads in the state.

Driving on deficient roads costs the state’s motorists approximately $2 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the cost of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. A breakdown of the costs statewide and per motorist in Little Rock area is below.

Arkansas 1The TRIP report finds that 32 percent of major locally and state-maintained urban roads in Arkansas are rated in poor condition and 42 percent are rated in mediocre condition or fair condition and the remaining 26 percent are rated good.   The report finds that 23 percent of major locally and state-maintained rural roads in Arkansas are rated in poor condition, 46 percent are rated in mediocre condition or fair condition and the remaining 31percent are rated good.

A total of 23 percent of Arkansas’ bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Seven percent of Arkansas’ bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional 16 percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete, which means they no longer meet modern design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

Deficient roads cost-segments-Arkansas-Little Rock“Safe and well-maintained highways are critical to Arkansas’ economic development,” said Commissioner Robert Moore, of the Arkansas Highway Commission. “Poor roads and highways cost Arkansans money and, in some cases, lives. While, on the other hand, adequate funding to improve Arkansas highways creates private-sector jobs, improves our business climate, attracts new business and industry, and keep motorists safe.”

Traffic crashes in Arkansas claimed the lives of 2,849 people between 2008 and 2012. Arkansas’ overall traffic fatality rate of 1.65 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012 is the fifth highest in the nation and significantly higher than the national traffic fatality rate of 1.13. Arkansas’ non-Interstate rural roads have a fatality rate in 2012 of 2.71 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, more than three times the fatality rate of 0.87 on all other roads and highways in the state.

The efficiency of Arkansas’ transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s 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.

The Federal surface transportation program is a critical source of funding in Arkansas. From 2008 to 2012, the federal government provided $1.42 for road improvements in Arkansas for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fees. In July, Congress approved an eight-month extension of the federal surface transportation program, which will now run through May 31, 2015. The legislation will also transfer nearly $11 billion into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to preserve existing levels of highway and public transportation investment through the end of May 2015.

“These conditions are only going to worsen if greater funding is not made available at the state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Congress can help by approving a long-term federal surface transportation program that provides adequate funding levels, based on a reliable funding source. If not, Arkansas is going to see its future federal funding threatened, resulting in fewer road and bridge repair projects, loss of jobs and a burden on the state’s economy.”

ARKANSAS TRANSPORTATION BY THE NUMBERS:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility

Ten Key Transportation Numbers in Arkansas

$2 Billion

 

$1,674

 

Driving on deficient roads costs Arkansas residents $2 billion annually statewide. These costs include additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. In the Little Rock urban area, the average driver loses $1,674 annually as a result of driving on deficient roads.
#5 Arkansas’ traffic fatality rate of 1.65 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is the fifth highest in the nation.
5702,849 On average, 570 people were killed annually in Arkansas traffic crashes from 2008 to 2012, a total of 2,849 fatalities over the five year period.
3X The fatality rate on Arkansas’ non-interstate rural roads is more than three that on all other roads in the state (2.71 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.87).
32%23% Thirty-two percent of Arkansas’ major locally and state-maintained urban roads and 23 percent of the state’s major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition.
23 % A total of 23 percent of Arkansas bridges are in need of repair, improvement or replacement. Seven percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and 16 percent are functionally obsolete.
26 hours The average driver in the Little Rock urban area loses 26 hours each year as a result of traffic congestion.
$102 billion

$112 billion

Annually, $102 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Arkansas and another $112 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Arkansas, mostly by truck.
$1.42

 

From 2008 to 2012, the federal government provided $1.42 for road improvements in Arkansas for every dollar paid in federal motor fuel fees.
 

$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

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

Deficient roads cost-segments-Arkansas-StatewideAs Arkansas looks to retain its businesses, maintain its level of economic competitiveness and achieve further economic growth, the state will need to maintain and modernize its roads, highways and bridges by improving the physical condition of its transportation network and enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient and reliable mobility for motorists and businesses. Making needed improvements to Arkansas’ 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 enhanced mobility and access.

With a current unemployment rate of 6.0 percent and with the state’s population continuing to grow, Arkansas must improve its system of roads, highways and bridges to foster economic growth and keep businesses in the state. In addition to economic growth, transportation improvements are needed to ensure safe, reliable mobility and quality of life for all Arkansans. Meeting Arkansas’ need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require significant local, state and federal funding.

Congress will need to pass new legislation prior to the May 31 extension expiration to ensure prompt federal reimbursements to states for road, highway, bridge and transit repairs and improvements.

The level of funding and the provisions of the federal surface transportation program have a significant impact on highway and bridge conditions, roadway safety, transit service, quality of life and economic development opportunities in Arkansas.

An inadequate transportation system costs Arkansas residents a total of $2 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • TRIP estimates that Arkansas roadways that lack some desirable safety features, have inadequate capacity to meet travel demands or have poor pavement conditions cost the state’s residents approximately $2 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear), the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.
  • TRIP has calculated that the average Little Rock driver loses $1,674 annually as a result of driving on roads that have deterioration, are congested or lack some desirable safety features.

Arkansas 2

Population and economic growth in Arkansas have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system.

  • Arkansas’ population reached approximately 2.9 million in 2012, a 25 percent increase since 1990. Arkansas had 2,199,164 licensed drivers in 2012.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Arkansas increased by 60 percent from 1990 to 2012 – jumping from 21 billion VMT in 1990 to 33.5 billion VMT in 2012.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Arkansas is projected to increase by another 30 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2012, Arkansas’ gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 64 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

A lack of adequate local, state and federal funding has resulted in nearly a third of major urban roads and highways and nearly a quarter of major rural roads and highways in Arkansas having pavement surfaces in poor condition. These deteriorated conditions provide a rough ride and cost motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • Thirty-two percent of Arkansas’ major locally and state-maintained urban roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 42 percent of the state’s major urban roads are rated in mediocre or fair condition. Twenty-six percent are rated in in good condition.
  • Twenty-three percent of Arkansas’ major locally and state-maintained rural roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 46 percent of the state’s major urban roads are rated in mediocre or fair condition. Thirty-one percent are rated in in good condition.
  • More than three-quarters of major urban roads in the Little Rock area are deteriorated. Fifty-three percent of major urban roads in Little Rock are in poor condition and an additional 26 percent are in mediocre condition. Twelve percent of major roads in Little Rock are in fair condition and the remaining nine percent are in good condition.
  • Driving on rough roads costs Arkansas motorists a total of $1.1 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • 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 each Little Rock area motorist $902 annually per in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Twenty-three percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in Arkansas show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length.

  • Seven percent of Arkansas’ 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.
  • Sixteen percent of Arkansas’ 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.

Arkansas’ traffic fatality rate is the fifth highest in the nation. Improving safety features on Arkansas’ 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 2008 and 2012 a total of 2,849 people were killed in traffic crashes in Arkansas, an average of 570 fatalities per year.
  • Arkansas’ overall traffic fatality rate of 1.65 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012 is the fifth highest in the nation. The national traffic fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel was 1.13 in 2012.
  • The fatality rate on Arkansas’ rural non-Interstate roads was 2.71 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012, more than three times the 0.87 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • 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 the next 20 years.

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

  • According to the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the average driver in the Little Rock urban area loses $545 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion.
  • The average commuter in the Little Rock urban area wastes 26 hours each year stuck in traffic.
  • The increasing levels of congestion add significant costs to consumers, transportation companies, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. The increased levels of congestion can reduce the attractiveness of a location to a company to consider expansion or even 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 employees, and higher consumer costs.

The efficiency of Arkansas’ 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, $102 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Arkansas and another $112 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Arkansas, mostly by truck.
  • Eighty-three percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Arkansas are carried by trucks and another ten 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 one site selection factor in a 2011 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.
  • 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.

The federal government is a critical source of funding for Arkansas’ roads, highways and bridges and provides a significant return to Arkansas in road and bridge funding based on the revenue generated in the state by the federal motor fuel tax.

  • If Congress decides to provide additional revenues into the federal Highway Trust Fund in tandem with authorizing a new federal surface transportation program, a number of technically feasible revenue options have been identified by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
  • Numerous projects have been completed throughout Arkansas since 2005 that relied heavily on federal funding, including the widening of portions of I-40 and I-540 and the replacement of a US Highway 82 bridge over the Mississippi River in Chicot County. Appendix A details projects completed since 2005 as a result of significant federal transportation funding.
  • From 2008 to 2012, the federal government provided $1.42 for road improvements in Arkansas for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fuel fees.
  • Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) has already suspended $60 million in planned construction projects due to the uncertainty of the future status of the Highway Trust Fund. Suspended projects include the replacement of the Highway 70 (Roosevelt Road) bridge and the Remount Road Bridge in Pulaski County, widening of five miles of Highway 167 in Independence County, and widening 1.5 miles of Highway 63 in Lawrence County. Further project suspensions and delays are anticipated until Congress resolves the looming insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund.
  • Many needed projects in Arkansas will require significant federal transportation funds to proceed, including the Springdale Northern Bypass, construction of a new three-lane arterial to provide a north-south corridor in northwest Arkansas, and the reconstruction of 8.5 miles of I-440 in the Little Rock area. A full list of projects can be found in Appendix B.
  • 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 the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
  • 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.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report also found that the current backlog in needed road, highway and bridge improvements is $740 billion.

Sources of information for this report include the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD), 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).

TRIP Reports:Deficient Roadways Cost Each Pennsylvania Driver As Much As $1,800 Annually, A Total Of $9.4 Billion Statewide. Costs Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Significant Funding Boost

TRIPRoads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Pennsylvania motorists a total of $9.4 billion statewide – as much as $1,800 annually per driver in some urban areas due to higher vehicle operating costs (VOC), traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.   Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road and bridge conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Pennsylvania, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Future Mobility in Pennsylvania: The Cost of Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Pennsylvania, 37 percent of major roads and highways provide motorists with a rough ride. A total of 42 percent of Pennsylvania bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting increasing amounts of time and fuel. And Pennsylvania’s rural non-interstate traffic fatality rate is significantly higher than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state.

Driving on deficient roads costs Pennsylvania drivers a total of $9.4 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the cost of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculated the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in Pennsylvania’s largest urban areas: Harrisburg-York-Lancaster, Lehigh Valley-Reading, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below.

The TRIP report finds that 41 percent of major urban roads in the Harrisburg/York/Lancaster metro area are in poor or mediocre condition. In the Reading/Lehigh Valley urban area, 52 percent of major urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition. A total of 73 percent of major urban roads in the Philadelphia urban area are in either poor or mediocre condition.  Forty-eight percent of major urban roads in the Pittsburgh urban area are in poor or mediocre condition. In the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre urban area, 66 percent of major urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

“As the General Assembly looks at a transportation funding measure, there’s a lot of discussion about the cost,” said Jason Wagner, managing director of the Pennsylvania Highway Information Association (PHIA). “The TRIP report quantifies the cost of not addressing this problem, and that cost is almost three times greater than the $3.5 billion annual transportation funding gap. Of even greater concern is the safety threat that a deficient transportation system represents, especially in Pennsylvania’s rural areas.”

According to the TRIP report, 25 percent of Pennsylvania’s bridges are structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports, or other major components. Pennsylvania has the highest share of structurally deficient bridges in the nation. These bridges are often posted for lower weight or are closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks, school buses and emergency service vehicles. An additional 17 percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete. These bridges no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment with the approaching road. Bridges that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete are safe for travel and are monitored regularly by the organizations responsible for maintaining them.

Significant levels of traffic congestion are causing increasing delays in Pennsylvania, particularly in the state’s larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce. In some urban areas, drivers lose as many as 48 hours per year stuck in traffic congestion – the equivalent of two days.

Traffic crashes in Pennsylvania claimed the lives of 1,286 people in 2011. The traffic fatality rate in 2011 on Pennsylvania’s non-Interstate rural roads was 2.33 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, nearly two-and-a-half times higher than the 0.95 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel on all other roads and highways in the state. A disproportionate share of highway fatalities occur on Pennsylvania’s rural, non-Interstate roads.  In 2011, 45 percent of traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania occurred on rural, non-Interstate routes, while only 25 percent of vehicle travel in the state occurred on these roads.

“Addressing Pennsylvania’s needs for a safe, efficient and well-maintained transportation system will require a significant investment boost at the federal and state level.  But not addressing the state’s need for an improved transportation system will result in even greater costs to the public,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP.

PENNSYLVANIA TRANSPORTATION BY THE NUMBERS:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility

Key Transportation Numbers in Pennsylvania

$9.4 billion

TRIP estimates that Pennsylvania roadways that lack some desirable safety features, have inadequate capacity to meet travel demands or have poor pavement conditions cost the state’s residents approximately $9.4 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion and traffic crashes.

$1,646$1,355

$1,798

$1,418

$1,320

The costs to motorists of driving on roads that are congested, deteriorated and that lack some desirable safety features in Pennsylvania’s largest urban areas are:  Harrisburg/York/Lancaster – $1,646; Reading/Lehigh Valley – $1,355; Philadelphia – $1,798; Pittsburgh – $1,418; Scranton/Wilkes-Barre – $1,320.

37% 

Thirty-seven percent of Pennsylvania’s major locally and state- maintained roads and highways are either in poor or mediocre condition.

41%52%

73%

48%

66%

 

Forty-one percent of major urban roads in the Harrisburg/York/Lancaster metro area are in poor or mediocre condition. In the Reading/Lehigh Valley urban area, 52 percent of major urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition. A total of 73 percent of major urban roads in the Philadelphia urban area are in either poor or mediocre condition. Forty-eight percent of major urban roads in the Pittsburgh urban area are in poor or mediocre condition. In the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre urban area, 66 percent or major urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

1,3656,825

An average of 1,365 people were killed annually in Pennsylvania traffic crashes From 2007 to 2011, a total of 6,825 fatalities over the five year period.

2.5X

The fatality rate on Pennsylvania’s non-interstate rural roads is nearly two-and-a-half times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.33 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.95).

42 %

#1

A total of 42 percent of Pennsylvania bridges are in need of repair, improvement or replacement. Twenty-five percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and 17 percent are functionally obsolete. Pennsylvania has the highest share of structurally deficient bridges in the nation.

16 %15 %

Vehicle miles of travel in Pennsylvania increased 16 percent from 1990 to 2011 and are expected to increase another 15 percent by 2030.

8,796,774

There are 8,796,774 licensed drivers in Pennsylvania.

$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

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

As Pennsylvania looks to retain its businesses, maintain its level of economic competitiveness and achieve further economic growth, the state will need to maintain and modernize its roads, highways and bridges by improving the physical condition of its transportation network and enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient and reliable mobility for motorists and businesses.  Making needed improvements to Pennsylvania’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 enhanced mobility and access.

With a current unemployment rate of 7.9 percent and with the state’s population continuing to grow, Pennsylvania must improve its system of roads, highways and bridges to foster economic growth and keep businesses in the state. In addition to economic growth, transportation improvements are needed to ensure safe, reliable mobility and quality of life for all Pennsylvanians.  Meeting Pennsylvania’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require a significant boost in local, state and federal funding.

An inadequate transportation system costs Pennsylvania residents a total of $9.4 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • TRIP estimates that Pennsylvania roadways that lack some desirable safety features, have inadequate capacity to meet travel demands or have poor pavement conditions cost the state’s residents approximately $9.4 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion and traffic crashes.
  • TRIP has calculated the annual cost to Pennsylvania residents of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features both statewide and in the state’s major urban area.  The following chart shows the cost breakdown for these areas.

Population and economic growth in Pennsylvania have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system. 

  • Pennsylvania’s population reached 12.8 million in 2012, a seven percent increase since 1990. Pennsylvania had 8,796,774 licensed drivers in 2011.
  • Vehicle miles traveled in Pennsylvania increased by 16 percent from 1990 to 2011 – jumping from 85.7 billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1990 to 99.2 billion VMT in 2011.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Pennsylvania is projected to increase by another 15 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2011, Pennsylvania’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 35 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

Thirty-seven percent of major locally and state-maintained roads and highways in Pennsylvania have pavement surfaces in poor or mediocre condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs. 

  • Fifteen percent of Pennsylvania’s major roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 22 percent of the state’s major roads are rated in mediocre condition.  Twenty-one percent are rated in fair condition and the remaining 43 percent are rated in good condition.
  • The pavement data in this report for all arterial roads and highways is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, based on data submitted annually by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • Forty-one percent of major urban roads in the Harrisburg/York/Lancaster metro area are in poor or mediocre condition. In the Reading/Lehigh Valley urban area, 52 percent of major urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition. A total of 73 percent of major urban roads in the Philadelphia urban area are in either poor or mediocre condition.  Forty-eight percent of major urban roads in the Pittsburgh urban area are in poor or mediocre condition. In the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre urban area, 66 percent of major urban roads are in poor or mediocre 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. Roads rated in mediocre condition may show signs of significant wear and may also have some visible pavement distress. Most pavements in mediocre condition can be repaired by resurfacing, but some may need more extensive reconstruction to return them to good condition.
  • Driving on rough roads costs Pennsylvania motorists a total of $3 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • The costs to motorists of driving on roads that are congested, deteriorated and that lack some desirable safety features in Pennsylvania’s largest urban areas are: Harrisburg/York/Lancaster – $358; Reading/Lehigh Valley – $420; Philadelphia – $572; Pittsburgh – $432; Scranton/Wilkes-Barre – $539.

Forty-two percent of locally and state-maintained bridges in Pennsylvania show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length. 

  • Twenty-five percent of Pennsylvania’s bridges are structurally deficient – the highest share in the nation. 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. 
  • Seventeen percent of Pennsylvania’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.
  • Significant levels of traffic congestion cause increasing delays in Pennsylvania, particularly in the state’s larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce.
  • The chart below includes congestion-related data for the average commuter in Pennsylvania’s major urban areas, including the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion.

Pennsylvania’s traffic fatality rate on rural, non-Interstate routes is nearly two-and-a-half times higher than that on all other roads and highways in the state.  Improving safety features on Pennsylvania’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. Roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.  

  • Between 2007 and 2011 a total of 6,825 people were killed in traffic crashes in Pennsylvania, an average of 1,365 fatalities per year.
  • Pennsylvania’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.30 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 is higher than the national average of 1.10.
  • The fatality rate on Pennsylvania’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.33 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011, nearly two-and-a-half times higher than the 0.95 fatality rate in 2011 on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • The cost of serious traffic crashes in Pennsylvania in 2011, in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor, was approximately $2.7 billion. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • The cost to motorists of traffic crashes in each of the state’s major urban areas are:  Harrisburg/York/Lancaster – $330; Reading/Lehigh Valley – $279; Philadelphia – $208; Pittsburgh – $160; Scranton/Wilkes-Barre – $344.
  • 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 the next 20 years.

The efficiency of Pennsylvania’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.  Businesses are increasingly reliant on an efficient and reliable 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, $489 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Pennsylvania and another $458 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Pennsylvania, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-seven percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Pennsylvania are carried by trucks and another 14 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.
  • Site Selection magazine’s 2010 survey of corporate real estate executives found that transportation infrastructure was the third most important selection factor in site location decisions, behind only work force skills and state and local taxes.
  • 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.

Sources of information for this report include the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U.S. Census Bureau, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  

TRIP’S New Report Identifies Texas’ Top 100 Transportation Challenges And Needed Fixes, Including Deteriorated And Congested Roadways, Deficient Bridges And Needed Safety Improvements

TRIPDeficient roads, highways and bridges and crowded or congested routes in Texas are posing mounting challenges to the state’s residents, visitors and businesses in the form of lost time, increased vehicle operating costs and the financial burden of making needed transportation improvements.  This is according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research organization.

The report, Texas’ Top 100 Transportation Challenges and the Improvements Needed to Address Them,” identifies 38 segments of the state’s major roads and highways that have significant levels of traffic congestion; seven sections of major roads or highways that have significant pavement deterioration and need to be reconstructed; 11 segments of state roadways that need safety improvements; 11 major bridges in the state that have significant deficiencies and need to be rebuilt or reconstructed; and, 33 roadway facilities in the state that have multiple needs, including congestion, safety, pavement or bridge challenges. The report also offers solutions for fixing each of the transportation challenges.

The top transportation challenges in the state, as identified by the TRIP report, are as follows. Additional details for all 100 transportation challenges can be found in the report’s Appendix.

  • 1.     Deterioration and Congestion on IH 30 in Dallas-Fort Worth. IH 30 in Dallas County, a critical route for regional and statewide connectivity, is significantly congested and deteriorated from Jefferson to SL 12 East. The freeway would need to be reconstructed and widened, with two to four managed lanes added to relieve congestion.
  • 2.     Deterioration and Congestion on a section of IH 45 in Houston. IH 45 is a critical route for hurricane evacuation in the greater Houston-Galveston area as well as a major freight route connecting to the Port of Houston. However, from IH 610 to SL 8, IH 45 experiences significant congestion and lacks adequate mobility to support economic development opportunities. Some segments of this roadway, as well as the bridges it traverses, will need to be widened, reconstructed or replaced to improve mobility on the corridor.
  • 3.     Congestion on IH 35 in San Antonio. IH 35 acts as the primary route for vehicle and truck traffic from the Texas border to San Antonio, Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth. This section of IH 35, from IH 410 to FM 3009, carries significant truck traffic due to numerous industrial companies located nearby. Because the current traffic volume exceeds the capacity of the current roadway, significant bottlenecks form at the IH 35/IH 410N and IH 35/410S interchanges. Congestion could be eased by expanding the existing six to eight-lane facility to 14 lanes (6 Managed Lanes) from US 281/IH 37 to FM 3009. While the corridor is currently undergoing a Planning and environmental study, no funding has been identified.
  • 4.     IH 35W Congestion in Dallas/Fort Worth. This section of I 35W, from SH 183 to US 81 in Tarrant County, experiences severe congestion due to inadequate capacity and obsolete interchanges. In order to ease congestion, the roadway would need to be reconstructed to add managed HOV lanes.
  • 5.     Congestion on IH 410 in San Antonio. This section of IH 410, from US 281 to IH 35, is the primary connection between San Antonio International Airport and IH 35. The current traffic volume exceeds the capacity of the roadway, leading to chokepoints on IH 35 where EB 410 merges with NB 35. Needed improvements to the IH 35/IH 410 Interchange would ease the existing bottleneck from EB 410 to IH 35.
  • 6.     Deteriorated Pavement Conditions on Statewide Secondary Roads serving the state’s energy sector. Throughout the state, secondary rural and urban roads are becoming increasingly deteriorated. These routes are critical to the development and growth of Texas’ energy extraction sector. However, many are in need of major repairs and added structural capacity to handle the increased traffic, mainly from large trucks as a result of the growth in the state’s energy sector.
  • 7.     Congestion on US 75 in Dallas/Fort Worth. This section of US 75, from SH 190 to IH 635 experiences significant congestion and has already been built to maximum capacity. Congestion on this route could be eased by the addition of six elevated managed HOV lanes and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) improvements.
  • 8.     Deterioration and Congestion on a section of IH 45 in Houston. IH 45 is a vital route for hurricane evacuation in the Greater Houston-Galveston area as well as a major route for transporting goods to and from the Port of Houston. From IH 10 to IH 610, this route experiences significant congestion and contains roadway segments and bridge facilities that need to be reconstructed or replaced. In order to improve road and bridge conditions and relieve congestion, this potion of IH 45 and various interchanges would need to be widened and reconstructed.
  • 9.     Congestion on US 290 in Austin. As a major commuter route, US 290 between SL 1 and RM 1826 experiences severe congestion. This area has seen high residential growth without corresponding transportation improvements that would facilitate the convergence of three major highways: US 290, SH 71 and Loop 1 (about three miles east). During peak periods there is no access for emergency vehicles due to congestion, lack of shoulders and no alternative route. To ease congestion, the route would need to be reconstructed to add a six-lane toll road with frontage roads.
  • 10.  Bridge Deficiency, Safety and Congestion on US 181 at the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. US 181 connects Corpus Christi and the Port facilities to communities and facilities north of the ship channel. The current route is congested, needs safety improvements and includes a deficient bridge. However, because a replacement structure that would meet modern design standards does not fit in the current footprint, a new location is needed. A new structure would address the steep climb, sharp approach curves and lack of shoulders on the current structure.

TRIP ranked Texas’ top transportation challenges by giving each segment or facility an overall score, based on a scale that included points for the following categories: current volume of daily travel or ridership; the challenge posed to the public based on the significance of the problem or deficiency; the importance of the route or facility to regional, interstate or international travel patterns; the importance of the route or facility to the regional economy; and, the cost to repair the deficiency.

“Texas has many more transportation challenges than it has dollars to put towards fixing them,” said Lawrence Olsen, executive director of the Texas Good Roads & Transportation Association.  “While it will take a significant investment to improve Texas’ transportation system, the state simply cannot afford not to address the mounting deficiencies on our roads and bridges. Failure to adequately fund the state’s transportation system will result in further deterioration and congestion and countless lost economic opportunities.”

Enhancing critical segments of Texas’ transportation system will boost the state’s economy in the short-term by creating jobs in construction and related fields.  In the long term these improvements will enhance economic competitiveness and improve the quality of life for the state’s residents and visitors by reducing travel delays and transportation costs, improving access and mobility, improving safety, and stimulating sustained job growth.  Sustaining Texas’ long-term economic growth and maintaining the state’s high quality of life will require increased investment in expanding the capacity of the state’s transportation system, which will enhance business productivity and support short- and long-term job creation in the state.

“Investing in Texas’ transportation system and eliminating these challenges by improving the condition and efficiency of the state’s roads, highways and bridges will be an effective step in growing the state’s economy, enhancing quality of life and making Texas an attractive place to live, work and visit,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP.

Executive Summary

Texas’ Top 100 Transportation Challenges and Improvements Needed to Address Them

Texas’ extensive system of roads, highways and bridges provides the state’s residents, visitors and businesses with a high level of mobility. As the backbone of the Lone Star State’s economy, Texas’ surface transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic well-being, and is an integral part of what makes Texas an attractive place to live, work and do business.

However, increasing roadway and bridge deterioration, traffic safety concerns and growing congestion threaten to stifle economic growth and negatively impact the quality of life of the state’s 26 million residents. Due to insufficient transportation funding at the federal, state and local level, Texas faces numerous challenges in providing a road, highway and bridge network that is smooth, well-maintained, as safe as possible, and that affords a level of mobility capable of supporting the state’s economic goals.

As Texas looks to build and maintain a thriving and diverse economy, it will need to modernize its transportation system by improving the physical condition of its roads, highways and bridges, and enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient, safe and reliable mobility to the state’s residents, visitors and businesses.  Making needed improvements to Texas’ roads, highways and bridges would provide a significant boost to the state’s economy by stimulating short and long-term economic growth.

Numerous segments of Texas’ transportation system have significant deterioration, are congested or crowded, lack some desirable safety features, and do not have adequate capacity to provide reliable mobility, creating challenges for Texas’ residents, visitors, businesses and state and local governments.  This report looks at the condition and use of Texas’ system of roads, highways and bridges and provides information on the state’s top 100 transportation challenges and the improvements needed to address these challenges.

Deficient roads, highways and bridges and crowded or congested routes in Texas are posing mounting challenges to the state’s residents, visitors and businesses in the form of lost time, increased vehicle operating costs and the financial burden of making needed transportation improvements. 

  • Texas’ top 100 transportation challenges as ranked by TRIP  include: 38 segments of the state’s major roads and highways that have significant levels of traffic congestion; seven sections of major roads or highways that have significant pavement deterioration and need to be reconstructed; 11 segments of state roadways that need safety improvements; 11 major bridges in the state that have significant deficiencies and need to be rebuilt or reconstructed; and, 33 roadway facilities in the state that have multiple needs, including congestion, safety, pavement or bridge challenges. (Some of the segments identified have multiple challenges, including congestion, safety and road and bridge deficiencies.)
  • TRIP ranked Texas’ top transportation challenges by giving each segment or facility an overall score, based on a scale that included points for the following categories: current volume of daily travel or ridership; the challenge posed to the public based on the significance of the problem or deficiency; the importance of the route or facility to regional, interstate or international travel patterns; the importance of the route or facility to the regional economy; and, the cost to repair the deficiency.
  • The following list details the top 10 transportation challenges in Texas. Further details about each challenge, as well as the full list of 100 challenges, can be found in the Appendix.
  •  11.  Deterioration and Congestion on IH 30 in Dallas-Fort Worth. IH 30 in Dallas County, a critical route for regional and statewide connectivity, is significantly congested and deteriorated from Jefferson to SL 12 East. The freeway would need to be reconstructed and widened, with two to four managed lanes added to relieve congestion.
  •  12.  Deterioration and Congestion on a section of IH 45 in Houston. IH 45 is a critical route for hurricane evacuation in the greater Houston-Galveston area as well as a major freight route connecting to the Port of Houston. However, from IH 610 to SL 8, IH 45 experiences significant congestion and lacks adequate mobility to support economic development opportunities. Some segments of this roadway, as well as the bridges it traverses, will need to be widened, reconstructed or replaced to improve mobility on the corridor.
  •  13.  Congestion on IH 35 in San Antonio. IH 35 acts as the primary route for vehicle and truck traffic from the Texas border to San Antonio, Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth. This section of IH 35, from IH 410 to FM 3009, carries significant truck traffic due to numerous industrial companies located nearby. Because the current traffic volume exceeds the capacity of the current roadway, significant bottlenecks form at the IH 35/IH 410N and IH 35/410S interchanges. Congestion could be eased by expanding the existing six to eight-lane facility to 14 lanes (6 Managed Lanes) from US 281/IH 37 to FM 3009. While the corridor is currently undergoing a Planning and environmental study, no funding has been identified.
  •  14.  IH 35W Congestion in Dallas/Fort Worth. This section of I 35W, from SH 183 to US 81 in Tarrant County, experiences severe congestion due to inadequate capacity and obsolete interchanges. In order to ease congestion, the roadway would need to be reconstructed to add managed HOV lanes.
  •  15.  Congestion on IH 410 in San Antonio. This section of IH 410, from US 281 to IH 35, is the primary connection between San Antonio International Airport and IH 35. The current traffic volume exceeds the capacity of the roadway, leading to chokepoints on IH 35 where EB 410 merges with NB 35. Needed improvements to the IH 35/IH 410 Interchange would ease the existing bottleneck from EB 410 to IH 35.
  •  16.  Deteriorated Pavement Conditions on Statewide Secondary Roads serving the state’s energy sector. Throughout the state, secondary rural and urban roads are becoming increasingly deteriorated. These routes are critical to the development and growth of Texas’ energy extraction sector. However, many are in need of major repairs and added structural capacity to handle the increased traffic, mainly from large trucks as a result of the growth in the state’s energy sector.
  •  17.  Congestion on US 75 in Dallas/Fort Worth. This section of US 75, from SH 190 to IH 635 experiences significant congestion and has already been built to maximum capacity. Congestion on this route could be eased by the addition of six elevated managed HOV lanes and Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) improvements.
  •  18.  Deterioration and Congestion on a section of IH 45 in Houston. IH 45 is a vital route for hurricane evacuation in the Greater Houston-Galveston area as well as a major route for transporting goods to and from the Port of Houston. From IH 10 to IH 610, this route experiences significant congestion and contains roadway segments and bridge facilities that need to be reconstructed or replaced. In order to improve road and bridge conditions and relieve congestion, this potion of IH 45 and various interchanges would need to be widened and reconstructed.
  •  19.  Congestion on US 290 in Austin. As a major commuter route, US 290 between SL 1 and RM 1826 experiences severe congestion. This area has seen high residential growth without corresponding transportation improvements that would facilitate the convergence of three major highways: US 290, SH 71 and Loop 1 (about three miles east). During peak periods there is no access for emergency vehicles due to congestion, lack of shoulders and no alternative route. To ease congestion, the route would need to be reconstructed to add a six-lane toll road with frontage roads. 
  • 20.  Bridge Deficiency, Safety and Congestion on US 181 at the Corpus Christi Ship Channel. US 181 connects Corpus Christi and the Port facilities to communities and facilities north of the ship channel. The current route is congested, needs safety improvements and includes a deficient bridge. However, because a replacement structure that would meet modern design standards does not fit in the current footprint, a new location is needed. A new structure would address the steep climb, sharp approach curves and lack of shoulders on the current structure.

Growth in population and vehicle travel has far outstripped the current capacity of Texas’ transportation system. The state’s population and economy will continue to grow in the future, bringing mounting challenges for the existing network of roads and bridges.

  • From 1990 to 2011, Texas’ population increased by 51 percent, from approximately 17 million to approximately 25.7 million. Texas’ population is expected to increase to 37.3 million by 2030.
  • From 1990 to 2010, annual vehicle-miles-of-travel (VMT) in the state increased by 44 percent, from approximately 162.2 billion VMT to 234 billion VMT. Based on travel and population trends, TRIP estimates that vehicle travel in Texas will increase another 35 percent by 2030, reaching approximately 304 billion VMT.
  • In 2013, Texas is projected to have a 3.9 percent rate of economic growth, measured in real Gross State Product (GSP), which is factored for price changes.  This rate of growth is higher than the forecast three percent increase in national real GSP in 2013.
  • Every year, $1.167 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Texas and another $1.246 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Texas, mostly by trucks. Sixty percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Texas are carried by trucks and another nine percent are carried by parcel, U.S. Postal Service or courier services, which use trucks for part of their deliveries.

Texas’ extensive transportation system has some road and bridge deficiencies, lacks some desirable safety features and experiences severe congestion in key areas, which represents a significant cost to the state’s motorists.  Improvements to the condition and efficiency of the state’s transportation system would enhance quality of life, roadway safety and economic development.

  • Texas’ population and economy will continue to grow in the future, bringing mounting challenges for the existing network of roads and bridges. The state will need to expand key roads, highways and bridges to increase mobility and ease traffic congestion, make needed road and bridge repairs, and improve roadway safety.
  • Texas’ system of 311,249 miles of roads and 51,862 bridges carries 234 billion vehicle miles of travel annually.
  • In 2010, 18 percent of Texas’ major urban roads were in poor condition and an additional 27 percent were in mediocre condition.
  • The pavement data in this report is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, based on data submitted annually by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • Three percent of Texas’ bridges were rated structurally deficient in 2011.  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, school buses and emergency services vehicles.
  • Congestion is more than just a headache for commuters. The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) estimates that congestion will cost the state’s economy an average of $20 billion per year through 2025, rising from a current cost of approximately $10.8 billion per year to almost $30 billion in 2025.
  • In 2011, 15 percent of Texas’ bridges were rated as functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards or are inadequate to accommodate current traffic levels, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
  • Texas’ urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, hampering commuting and commerce while reducing economic opportunities and quality of life in the state. Unless Texas’ transportation system is improved and enhanced, congestion will worsen dramatically in the coming years.
  • If roadway efficiency and capacity needs are not addressed, the average annual congestion-related delay in Texas’ urban and metropolitan areas will double in 15 years from 37 hours per motorist each year to 74 hours per motorist.
  • Roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of traffic fatalities. There were 2,998 traffic fatalities in 2010 in Texas. A total of 16,448 people died on Texas’ highways from 2006 through 2010.
  • 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.
  • Texas’ traffic fatality rate of 1.28 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2010 was higher than the national average of 1.11.
  • 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.
  • A 2012 TRIP report found that Texas’ roadways that lack some desirable safety features, have inadequate capacity to meet travel demands or have poor pavement conditions cost the state’s residents approximately $23.2 billion annually in the form of traffic crashes, additional vehicle operating costs and the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion. 

Unless transportation funding is increased, Texas’ roads and bridges will become increasingly deteriorated and congested and needed safety improvements will remain unfunded. The state faces a significant funding shortfall in the amount needed just to maintain the transportation system in its current condition.

  • Over the past decade, roadway maintenance and capacity in Texas have been largely funded through bond proceeds. However, all bonding programs have now been exhausted, resulting in a 50 percent drop in funding levels from a decade ago and leaving no funds available for new construction.
  • A report issued by the 2030 Committee calculated that an annual statewide investment of $9.9 billion was needed just to maintain road and bridge conditions and congestion at 2010 levels. However, after fiscal year 2014, annual state highway investment is anticipated to average just $2.4 billion annually.
  • Under current funding scenarios, overall pavement quality is projected to decrease by 43 percent by 2022. Failing to address pavement deterioration in a timely manner increases repair costs over time. In Texas, underfunding maintenance on the state’s roads will increase the cost to preserve and restore the pavement by $6.5 billion over the next ten years when comparing to the minimum funding amount.
  • While the growth and expansion of Texas’ oil, gas and wind energy sectors has been beneficial for the state’s economic well being, increased traffic (especially by heavy trucks) has had a significant impact on the condition of the state’s roads and highways.  A new report by the Texas Transportation Institute found that the cost of additional road repairs needed as a result of the energy boom’s wear and tear on state and county roads in Texas is estimated to be an additional $2 billion each year for the next 20 years.

Transportation projects that improve the efficiency, condition or safety of a highway provide significant economic benefits by reducing transportation delays and costs associated with a deficient transportation system.  Some benefits of transportation improvements include the following.

  • Improved business competitiveness due to reduced production and distribution costs as a result of increased travel speeds and fewer mobility barriers.
  • Improvements in household welfare resulting from better access to higher-paying jobs, a wider selection of competitively priced consumer goods, additional housing and healthcare options, and improved mobility for residents without access to private vehicles.
  • Gains in local, regional and state economies due to improved regional economic competitiveness, which stimulates population and job growth.
  • Increased leisure/tourism and business travel resulting from the enhanced condition and reliability of a region’s transportation system.
  • A reduction in economic losses from vehicle crashes, traffic congestion and vehicle maintenance costs associated with driving on deficient roads.
  • The creation of both short-term and long-term jobs.
  • Transportation projects that expand roadway or bridge capacity produce significant economic benefits by reducing congestion and improving access, thus speeding the flow of people and goods while reducing fuel consumption.
  • Transportation projects that maintain and preserve existing transportation infrastructure also provide significant economic benefits by improving travel speeds, capacity, load-carry abilities and safety, and reducing operating costs for people and businesses.  Such projects also extend the service life of a road, bridge or transit vehicle or facility, which saves money by either postponing or eliminating the need for more expensive future repairs.
  • Site Selection magazine’s 2010 survey of corporate real estate executives found that transportation infrastructure was the third most important selection factor in site location decisions, behind only work force skills and state and local taxes.
  • 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. 

Sources of data for this report include the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), and the U.S. Census Bureau.  All data used in the report is the latest available.

TRIP Report – Maine Transportation By The Numbers…

Key state transportation numbers show how funding shortfall impacts road and bridge deterioration, rural roadway safety and Maine’s economic development and quality of life

At a time when Maine faces an annual transportation funding shortfall of $150 million, one-third of the state’s major roads are deteriorated, nearly a third of bridges are in need of repair or replacement, the state’s rural traffic fatality rate is exponentially higher than on all other roads in the state.  And the extra costs that come with driving on deficient roads are being passed along to motorists.  Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could improve road and bridge conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Maine, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.  The TRIP report, Maine Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” provides data on key transportation facts and figures in the state:

 

7

The fatality rate on Maine’s non-interstate rural roads is approximately seven times higher than on all other roads in the state.

 

33%

61%

40%

Thirty-three percent of Maine’s major locally and state- maintained roads and highways are either in poor or mediocre condition. Sixty-one percent of Portland’s major urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition, while 40 percent of Bangor major urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

 

 

$150 million

Maine faces a $150 million annual shortfall in funds needed to meet the state’s goals for improving road and bridge conditions, improving traffic safety and addressing some traffic congestion challenges over the next decade.

$299

$301 Million

$516

$375

Driving on rough roads costs the average Maine motorists $299 annually in additional vehicle operating costs – a total of $301 million each year. The average Portland driver loses $516 annually due to deteriorated roads, while rough roads cost the average Bangor driver $375 annually.

 

169

The average number of people killed annually in Maine traffic crashes over the five-year-period from 2006 to 2010.

 

30

The percent of Maine bridges that are in need of repair or replacement. Fourteen percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and 16 percent are functionally obsolete.

 

1/3

TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a factor in approximately one-third of serious traffic crashes.

81

The percent of goods shipped annually by truck from sites in Maine.

 

20

The anticipated percentage increase in vehicle miles of travel in Maine by the year 2030.

1,019,738

The number of licensed drivers in Maine.

According to the TRIP report, a total of 33 percent of Maine’s major state and locally maintained roads are deficient, with 10 percent rated in poor condition and an additional 23 percent rated in mediocre condition. In the Portland area, 61 percent of major urban roads are in either poor (28 percent) or mediocre (33 percent) condition.  A total of 40 percent of Bangor’s major urban roads are deficient, with 18 percent rated in poor condition and an additional 22 percent in mediocre condition.  Driving on rough roads costs  Maine motorists an average of $299 each annually in extra vehicle operating costs – a total of $301 million statewide. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Driving on deteriorated roads costs the average motorist in the Portland area $516 annually in extra vehicle operating costs, while the average motorist in the Bangor area loses an additional $375 annually.

A total of 30 percent of Maine bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards.  According to the TRIP report, 14 percent of Maine’s bridges are structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports, or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or are closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks, school buses and emergency service vehicles. An additional 16 percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete. These bridges no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment with the approaching road.  Bridges that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete are safe for travel and are monitored regularly by the organizations responsible for maintaining them.

“Poland Spring uses Maine’s roads and highways every day of the year.   Having good roads and safe bridges is absolutely critical to our business.   Our fleet travels throughout the state hauling- water from such rural spring sites in Denmark, Fryeburg, St Albans, Dallas Plantation, and Pierce Pond Township to our pants in Kingfield, Hollis and Poland Spring,” said Tom Hathaway, fleet manager of Poland Spring Bottling.  “Many of the roads and bridges on which we travel here in Maine are safe.  But a significant number are in desperate need of repair and upgrades.  The annual cost to repair structural damage to our tanker fleet caused by poor roads in this state is staggering.   We send, on average, 7 tankers per week to the shop to repair stress cracks, which adds unnecessarily to the cost of doing business.   We need good roads to remain competitive in the marketplace.  Passage of The Transportation Bond, Question 4, will help ensure the future of Poland Spring here in the State of Maine. “

Maine’s traffic fatality rate on rural, non-Interstate routes is approximately seven times higher than on all other roads and highways in the state.  Roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.  Traffic crashes in Maine claimed the lives of 846 people between 2006 and 2010. The traffic fatality rate in 2010 on Maine’s non-Interstate rural roads was 1.76 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, approximately seven times higher than the 0.25 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel on all other roads and highways in the state. Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion.

“These key transportation numbers in Maine add up to trouble for the state’s residents in terms of deteriorated roads and bridges, reduced traffic safety and constrained economic development,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP.  “Improving road and bridge conditions, improving traffic safety and providing a transportation system that will support economic development in Maine will require a significant boost in funding for road, highway and bridge improvements.”

Executive Summary

Maine’s extensive system of roads, highways and bridges provides the state’s residents, visitors and businesses with a high level of mobility. This transportation system forms the backbone that supports the Pine Tree State’s economy. Maine’s surface transportation system enables the state’s residents and visitors to travel to work and school, visit family and friends, and frequent tourist and recreation attractions while providing its businesses with reliable access to customers, materials, suppliers and employees.

As Maine looks to achieve further economic growth, the state will need to maintain and modernize its roads, highways and bridges by improving the physical condition of its transportation network and enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient and reliable mobility for motorists and businesses.  Making needed improvements to Maine’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 enhanced mobility and access.

Meeting Maine’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require a significant boost in local, state and federal funding.

Maine faces a significant funding shortfall in the cost of maintaining its transportation system in its current condition. Meeting the state’s need for a well-maintained, safe and reliable network of roads, highways and bridges will also enhance Maine’s economy by creating numerous jobs. 

  • The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) projects that it would need to increase investment by an additional $150 million annually over the next decade to allow the state to meet legislative goals for improving road and bridge conditions, boosting traffic safety and addressing some traffic congestion challenges.
  • 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.

Population and economic growth in Maine have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system. 

  • Maine’s population reached 1,333,074 in 2010, a nine percent increase since 1990, when the state’s population was approximately 1.2 million.  Maine has 1,019,738 licensed drivers in the state.
  • Vehicle miles traveled in Maine increased by 23 percent from 1990 to 2010 – jumping from 11.9 billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1990 to 14.5 billion VMT in 2010.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Maine is projected to increase by another 20 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2010, Maine’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 33 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

One in three miles of major locally and state-maintained roads and highways in Maine have pavement surfaces in poor or mediocre condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • Currently, 10 percent of Maine’s major roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 23 percent of the state’s major roads are rated in mediocre condition. Twenty-three percent are rated in fair condition and the remaining 44 percent are rated in good or excellent condition.
  • In the Portland urban area, 28 percent of major roads are rated in poor condition and 33 percent are rated in mediocre condition.  Nineteen percent of Portland’s major urban roads are rated in fair condition and 20 percent are rated in good condition.
  • In the Bangor urban area, 18 percent of major roads are rated in poor condition and 22 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Twenty-seven percent of Bangor’s major urban roads are rated in fair condition and 33 percent are rated in good condition.
  • The 2010 pavement data in this report is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, based on data submitted annually by the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • 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. Roads rated in mediocre condition may show signs of significant wear and may also have some visible pavement distress. Most pavements in mediocre condition can be repaired by resurfacing, but some may need more extensive reconstruction to return them to good or excellent condition.
  • Driving on rough roads costs the average Maine motorist an average of $299 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – a total of  $301 million statewide. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Driving on rough roads costs the average Portland motorist $516 annually in extra vehicle operating costs. The the average motorist in the Bangor area loses an additional $375 annually due to driving on deteriorated roads.

Nearly a third – 30 percent – of bridges in Maine show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length. 

  • Fourteen percent of Maine’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.
  • Sixteen percent of Maine’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.

Maine’s traffic fatality rate on rural, non-Interstate routes is approximately seven times higher than on all other roads and highways in the state.  Improving safety features on Maine’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in traffic fatalities and serious crashes in the state. Roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.  

  • Between 2006 and 2010, a total of 846 people were killed in traffic crashes in Maine, an average of 169 fatalities per year.
  • Maine’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.11 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2010 is the same rate as the national average.
  • The fatality rate on Maine’s rural non-Interstate roads was 1.76 fatalities per 100 vehicle miles of travel in 2010, approximately seven times higher than the 0.25 fatality rate in 2010 on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. It is estimated that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • 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.
  • 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 Maine’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.  Businesses are increasingly reliant on an efficient and reliable 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, $31 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Maine and another $41 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Maine, mostly by truck.

  • Eighty-one percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Maine are carried by trucks and another 13 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • 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.
  • Site Selection magazine’s 2010 survey of corporate real estate executives found that transportation infrastructure was the third most important selection factor in site location decisions, behind only work force skills and state and local taxes.

Sources of information for this report include the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U.S. Census Bureau, the Texas Transportation Institute and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  

KEY FACTS ABOUT MICHIGAN’S SURFACE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM AND FEDERAL FUNDING

The nation’s roads and highways are the backbone of the U.S. transportation system, allowing Americans to travel approximately 3 trillion miles annually. But conditions on the system are deteriorating, as the need for transportation improvements far outpaces the amount of funding available. As Michigan and the nation look to rebound from the current economic downturn, making needed improvements to roads, bridges and public transit 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.

SAFETEA-LU (the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users), the current long-range federal surface transportation program, was originally set to expire on September 30, 2009. Following a series of short term continuing resolutions, the current program now expires June 30, 2012. The level of funding and the provisions of a future federal surface transportation program will have a significant impact on future highway and bridge conditions and safety as well as the level of transit service in Michigan, which, in turn, will affect the state’s ability to improve its residents’ quality of life and enhance economic development opportunities. 

Federal Funding for Our Nation’s Surface Transportation System Generates Jobs.

Making Needed Highway Improvements Assures Economic Recovery and Growth

  • Our nation’s highways, transit systems, railroads, airports, ports and inland waterways drive our economy, enabling industry to achieve the growth and productivity that have made America strong and prosperous.
  • A Federal Highway Administration study concludes that for each $1 billion of federal spending on highway construction nationwide nearly 28,000 jobs are generated annually, 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.
  • Seventy-four percent of the $409 billion worth of commodities delivered annually from sites in Michigan is transported by trucks on the state’s highways. An additional nine percent is delivered by a combination of trucks and trail, and seven percent is delivered by parcel, U.S. Postal Service or courier, which use multiple modes, including highways.

Current Road and Bridge Conditions, Travel Trends and Traffic Congestion

  • Thirty-five percent of Michigan’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Driving on roads in need of repair costs Michigan motorists $2.5 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs – $357 per motorist.
  • Twenty-four percent of Michigan’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
  • Thirty-nine percent of Michigan’s major urban highways are congested. Traffic congestion costs American motorists $101 billion a year in wasted time and fuel costs. The average U.S. commuter loses 34 hours each year due to traffic congestion.
  • Americans rely almost exclusively on motor vehicles for mobility. Travel in private vehicles accounts for 88 percent of all person miles of travel. Air travel accounts for eight percent of all person miles of travel, while transit (including buses and trains) accounts for one percent.
  • Vehicle travel on Michigan’s highways increased by 20 percent from 1990 to 2010. Michigan’s population grew by seven percent between 1990 and 2010.
  • Vehicle travel on America’s highways increased by 39 percent from 1990 to 2009, while new road mileage increased by only four percent. The nation’s population grew by 25 percent from 1990 to 2010.

Roadway Improvements Can Save Lives and Reduce Traffic Crashes

  • Roadway conditions are a significant factor in approximately one-third of traffic fatalities. There were 942 traffic fatalities in 2010 in Michigan. A total of 4,966 people died on Michigan’s highways from 2006 through 2010.
  • Michigan’s traffic fatality rate of 0.97 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is lower than the national average of 1.11.
  • Motor vehicle crashes cost Michigan $8.1 billion per year, $812 for each resident, in medical costs, lost productivity, travel delays, workplace costs, insurance costs and legal costs.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements such as removing or shielding obstacles, adding or improving medians, widening lanes and shoulders, upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes, and improving road markings and traffic signals can reduce traffic fatalities and accidents and improve traffic flow to help relieve congestion.
  • According to a study conducted by the Federal Highway Administration, $100 million spent on highway safety improvements will save 145 lives over a 10-year period.

Data from the U.S Census, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Texas Transportation Institute was compiled and analyzed by TRIP, a nonprofit transportation research group based in Washington, D.C. Information is the latest available.

This article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Michigan Contractor & Builder