Tag Archive for 'Texas Transportation Institute (TTI)'

TRIP Report: MODERNIZING OKLAHOMA’S TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM:

Progress and Challenges in Providing Safe, Efficient and Well-Maintained Roads, Highways and Bridges 

Executive Summary

Oklahoma’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 and contributes to the provision of a high quality of life in Oklahoma.

A decade ago, Oklahoma had significant road, highway and bridge deterioration and high rates of traffic fatalities.  But beginning with legislative action in 2005 and continuing through state legislative action as recent as 2013, Oklahoma has undertaken a sustained commitment to upgrade the condition and efficiency of its roads, highways and bridges and to reduce traffic fatalities by modernizing its highway system.

By making this effort, Oklahoma has been able to reverse the deterioration of major roads, highways and bridges and has begun to improve traffic safety in the state by modernizing urban and rural roads and highways.  These efforts have resulted in a large reduction in the number of state-maintained deficient bridges, the rehabilitation and reconstruction of thousands of miles of roadways, and the completion of safety improvements that are saving numerous lives each year.

But the state still has far to go to meet its initial goals through 2021 for the reconstruction and modernization of the state highway system, additional improvements in road and bridge conditions, and further traffic safety enhancements.  Achieving the state’s goals for a modern, well-maintained and safe transportation system will require “staying the course” with Oklahoma’s current transportation program and doubling down on this effort by proceeding with further transportation improvements well through the next decade.

Population and economic growth have placed increased demands on Oklahoma’s major roads and highways, leading to mounting wear and tear on the transportation system. 

  • Oklahoma’s population reached approximately 3.8 million in 2012, a 21 percent increase since 1990, when the state’s population was approximately 3.1 million.  Oklahoma has approximately 2.4 million licensed drivers.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in Oklahoma increased 45 percent from 1990 to 2012 – from 33.1 billion VMT in 1990 to 47.9 billion VMT in 2012, higher than the rate of VMT growth nationally, which increased by 38 percent since 1990.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Oklahoma is projected to increase by another 25 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2012, Oklahoma’s gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 59 percent, when adjusted for inflation

Oklahoma has been able to rehabilitate approximately a quarter of state-maintained roads and highways since 2006 as the state continues to reconstruct and modernize its highways.  While further improvements in roadway structural conditions, safety design and capacity are planned for the state’s major roads, Oklahoma will continue to face a challenge in maintaining surface pavement conditions and the need to further modernize its highway system.    

  • Since 2006, Oklahoma has made significant progress in improving the overall quality and condition of its 12,265 miles of state-maintained roadways, largely due to the increased funding approved by the state legislature beginning in 2005.
  • Since 2006, 301 miles of Oklahoma’s 673 miles of Interstate were rehabilitated or reconstructed.
  • Since 2006, Oklahoma has resurfaced, rehabilitated or reconstructed more than 3,000 miles of non-Interstate state roads and highways.
  • Currently, 4,600 miles of Oklahoma’s state-maintained roads lack paved shoulders, reducing safety and limiting capacity on these routes. The state’s current transportation plan calls for improving 567 miles of these two-lane roads, including the addition of paved shoulders, by 2021, making these routes safer and more efficient.
  • Currently 11.5 percent of state-maintained roads and highways in Oklahoma have pavements in deficient condition and this share is anticipated to increase to 12.2 percent in 2021.

The number of Oklahoma’s state-maintained structurally deficient bridges has been cut in half in recent years as a result of accelerated bridge replacement and rehabilitation efforts that were made possible by additional funding provided by the state legislature. By 2021 the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) anticipates reducing the number of state-maintained structurally deficient bridges to near zero. 

  • A total of 468 of Oklahoma’s 6,800 state-maintained bridges were rated structurally deficient in 2013. This represents a significant reduction since 2004 when 1,168 state-maintained bridges were structurally deficient.  From 2006 through 2013 ODOT replaced or rehabilitated 823 bridges.
  • By 2021, the state expects to replace or provide major rehabilitation to 924 state-maintained bridges, reducing the number of state-maintained, structurally deficient bridges to near zero.
  • As a result of the significant improvement in Oklahoma’s state-maintained bridges the state’s overall share of structurally deficient bridges, including locally maintained bridges, that dropped from 27 percent in 2006  (the highest share nationally)  to 18 percent in 2013 (the fifth highest share nationally).
  • 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. Structurally deficient bridges are safe for travel and are maintained and monitored on a regular basis by the agencies responsible for their upkeep.

While Oklahoma has made significant safety improvements to its roadways in recent years, the state’s traffic fatality rate is still significantly higher than the national average.  Improved safety features on Oklahoma’s roads and highways are needed to decrease traffic fatalities and serious crashes in the state. 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, 3,559 people were killed in traffic crashes in Oklahoma, an average of 712 fatalities per year.
  • Oklahoma’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.48 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012 is 31 percent higher than the national average of 1.13.
  • The traffic fatality rate in Oklahoma declined from 1.57 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2006 to 1.48 fatalities in 2012 – a six percent decrease. During that time, the national fatality rate decreased 20 percent from 1.41 to 1.13 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel.
  • The traffic fatality rate on Oklahoma’s non-Interstate rural roads in 2012 was more than two-and-a-half times higher than on all other roads and highways in the state – 2.52 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel compared to 0.92.
  • Since 2006, 635 miles of cable median barriers have been completed or are under construction on Oklahoma’s divided high-speed roads. These barriers have dramatically reduced the number of fatalities resulting from crossover collisions. From 2007 to 2012, the number of fatalities due to crossover collisions in Oklahoma dropped from 39 to six.
  • Nearly a third – 31 percent – of miles of state-maintained highways in Oklahoma (3,862 of 12,265 miles) are rated as either critical or inadequate for safety, based on an evaluation of safety features such as passing opportunities, adequate sight distances, existence of paved shoulders, recovery areas for errant vehicles and the severity of hills and curves.
  • By 2021, the miles of state-maintained highways in Oklahoma that are rated either critical or inadequate for safety are anticipated to be reduced from 3,862 to 3,680.
  •  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.
  • 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.

Federal funding for Oklahoma’s roads, highways and bridges may be cut as early as this summer because of a lack of adequate federal transportation revenue.  The current federal transportation program, which provides funding for the state’s roads and bridges, is set to expire this fall and will require Congressional action to continue beyond September 30th, 2014.   Future state highway spending will also be reduced by $75 million annually, which will be required to pay off bonds that were issued to help pay for the state’s recent road and bridge improvements.

  • The MAP-21 program, approved by Congress in July 2012, increased funding flexibility for states and improved project approval processes to increase the efficiency of state and local transportation agencies in providing needed transportation improvements.
  • The impact of inadequate federal surface transportation revenues could be felt as early as summer of 2014, when federal funding for road, highway and bridge projects is likely to be delayed because the balance in the Highway Account of the federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to drop below $1 billion. This delay and uncertainty in funding will likely result in the postponement of numerous projects.
  • MAP-21 does not provide sufficient long-term revenues to support the current level of federal surface transportation investment.  Nationwide federal funding for highways is expected to be cut by almost 100 percent from the current investment level for the fiscal year starting October 1, 2014 (FY 2015) unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues.  This is due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.
  • If the funding shortfalls into the federal Highway Trust Fund are addressed solely by cutting spending it is estimated that federal funding for highway and transit improvements in Oklahoma will be cut by $625 million for the federal fiscal year starting October 1, 2014, unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues.
  • Oklahoma is obligated to pay $75 million annually to retire bonds issued over the last decade to help pay for road, highway and bridge improvements in the state.

The efficiency of Oklahoma’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to 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, $117 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Oklahoma and another $135 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Oklahoma, mostly by truck.

  • Eighty percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Oklahoma are carried by trucks and another seven percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number one site selection factor in a 2011 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U. S. Census Bureau, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO),the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  All data used in the report are the most recent available.  

TRIP Report: West Virginia Transportation By The Numbers:Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility

 

TRIPTen Key Transportation Numbers in West Virginia

 

 

$333

$400

$383

 

Driving on rough roads costs the average West Virginia motorist $333 annually in extra vehicle operating costs– a total of $400 million statewide annually. The average Charleston-area motorist loses $383 each year as a result of driving on rough roads . Additional vehicle operating costs result from driving on rough roads and include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
 

#2

West Virginia’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.78 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 was the second highest nationally (behind only Montana at 1.79) and was 62 percent higher than the national average of 1.10.

 

35 %

A total of 35 percent of West Virginia bridges are in need of repair, improvement or replacement. Thirteen percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and 22 percent are functionally obsolete.

$425 million

If a lack of adequate revenue into the Federal Highway Trust Fund is not addressed by Congress, funding for highway and transit improvements in West Virginia will be cut by $425 million for the federal fiscal year beginning October 1, 2014.

 

2X

The fatality rate on West Virginia’s non-interstate rural roads is more than double the rate on all other roads in the state (2.54 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 1.19).

36%

 

42%

Thirty-six percent of West Virginia’s major roads are in either poor or mediocre condition.  Forty-two percent of Charleston-area major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

364

1,820

On average, 364 people were killed annually in West Virginia traffic crashes from 2007 to 2011, a total of 1,820 fatalities over the five year period.

$2.26

 

34%

 

 

From 2007 to 2011, the federal government provided $2.26 for road improvements in West Virginia for every $1.00 paid in federal motor fuel fees.   From 2007 to 2011, federal revenues accounted for 34 percent of state spending on West Virginia’s roads, highways and bridges.

23 %

20 %

Vehicle miles of travel in West Virginia increased 23 percent from 1990 to 2011 and are expected to increase another 20 percent by 2030.

 

$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 Summa

West Virginia’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. West Virginia’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 West Virginia looks to retain its businesses, continue 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 West Virginia’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 6.1 percent and with the state’s population continuing to grow, West Virginia 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 West Virginians.  Meeting West Virginia’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require a significant boost in local, state and federal funding.

Signed into law in July 2012, MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), the current federal surface transportation program, will fund surface transportation programs in West Virginia at approximately $424 million annually for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

While the new federal surface transportation program has streamlined several procedures that in the past had delayed projects, MAP-21 does not address long-term funding challenges facing the federal surface transportation program.  As a result, nationwide federal funding for highways is expected to be cut by almost 100 percent from the current investment level for the fiscal year starting on October 1, 2014 (FY 2015) unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues.  This is due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

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 West Virginia.

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

  • West Virginia’s population reached nearly 1.9 million in 2012, a three percent increase since 1990. West Virginia had 1,198,837 licensed drivers in 2011.
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in West Virginia increased  23 percent from 1990 to 2011 – jumping from 15.4 billion VMT in 1990 to 19 billion VMT in 2011.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in West Virginia is projected to increase by another 20 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2011, West Virginia’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 37 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

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

  • Twelve percent of West Virginia’s major roads and highways have pavements in poor condition while an additional 24 percent of the state’s major roads are rated in mediocre condition.  Eighteen percent are rated in fair condition and the remaining 46 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 West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways.
  • In the Charleston urban area, 15 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are rated in poor condition and 28 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Twenty-six percent of major roads in the Charleston area are rated in fair condition and 31 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Roads rated in poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes.  In some cases, poor roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed. 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 West Virginia motorists a total of $400 million annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Driving on rough roads costs the average West Virginian motorists $333 annually and the average Charleston-area driver $383 in extra vehicle operating costs.

More than one-third of locally and state-maintained bridges in West Virginia 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. 

  • Thirteen percent of West Virginia’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles. 
  • Twenty-two percent of West Virginia’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.

West Virginia’s traffic fatality rate is the second highest in the nation.  Improving safety features on West Virginia’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. 

  • West Virginia’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.78 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 was the second highest nationally, behind only Montana at 1.79. West Virginia’s traffic fatality rate was 62 percent higher than the national average of 1.10.
  • Between 2007 and 2011 a total of 1,820 people were killed in traffic crashes in West Virginia, an average of 364 fatalities per year.
  • The fatality rate on West Virginia’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.54 fatalities per 100 vehicle miles of travel in 2011, more than double the 1.19 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.

The efficiency of West Virginia’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, $49.8 billion in goods are shipped from sites in West Virginia and another $54.1 billion in goods are shipped to sites in West Virginia, mostly by truck.
  • Sixty-five percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in West Virginia are carried by trucks and another 11 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.
  • 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.

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

  • MAP-21, approved by Congress in July 2012, greatly increased funding flexibility for states and streamlined project approval processes to improve the efficiency of state and local transportation agencies in providing needed transportation improvements in the state.
  • MAP-21 does not provide sufficient long-term revenues to support the current level of federal surface transportation investment.  Nationwide federal funding for highways is expected to be cut by almost 100 percent from the current investment level for the fiscal year starting October 1, 2014 (FY 2015) unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues.  This is due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.
  • If a lack of adequate revenue into the Federal Highway Trust Fund is not addressed by Congress, funding for highway and transit improvements in West Virginia will be cut by $425 million for the federal fiscal year beginning October 1, 2014.
  • From 2007 to 2011, the federal government provided $2.26 for road improvements in West Virginia for every dollar the state paid in federal motor fuel fees.
  • From 2007 to 2011, federal revenues accounted for 34 percent of state spending on West Virginia’s roads, highways and bridges.

Sources of information for this report include the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT), 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). All data used in the report is the latest available

TRIP Reports: Des Moines Drivers Waste Nearly $1,400 Each Year Driving On Deficient Roads – A Total Of $1.9 Billion Statewide

TRIPForty-Two Percent Of Iowa Roads Need Improvement, One Quarter Of Bridges Require Repair Or Replacement, And Rural Fatalities Are Disproportionately High

More than two-fifths of Iowa’s major locally and state-maintained roads are in either poor or mediocre condition, the state has the third highest percentage of deficient bridges, and Iowa drivers experience growing congestion and delays. In addition to deteriorated roads and bridges, Iowa’s rural roads have a significantly higher traffic fatality rate than all other roads in the state. Increased investment in transportation improvements could improve road and bridge conditions, ease congestion, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Iowa, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization. The TRIP report, Iowa 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.

 

$1.9 billion

 

$1,368

Iowa 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 $1.9 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. Driving on deficient roads costs the average Des Moines area motorist $1,368 annually.

$215 million

According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, the state faces an annual transportation funding shortfall of $215 million in order to meet the state’s most critical public roadway needs.

42%

 

60%

Forty-two percent of Iowa’s major locally and state- maintained roads and highways are either in poor or mediocre condition.  Sixty percent of Des Moines-area major locally and state- maintained urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
395

1,977

From 2007 to 2011, an average of 395 people were killed annually in Iowa traffic crashes, a total of 1,977 fatalities over the five year period.

 

2.5

The fatality rate on Iowa’s non-interstate rural roads is nearly two-and-a-half times higher than on all other roads (1.81 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.77).

 

27 %

More than a quarter of Iowa bridges are in need of repair, improvement or replacement. Twenty-two percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and five percent are functionally obsolete.

Third

Iowa has the third highest share of structurally deficient bridges in the nation, behind only Pennsylvania and Oklahoma.

36 %

Vehicle miles of travel in Iowa increased 36 percent from 1990 to 2011.

 

 

$1 billion =27,800

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.

 

$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.

“The TRIP report validates the findings of both TIME 21 and Governor Branstad’s Transportation 2020 Commission that more funding for Iowa’s highway infrastructure system is crucial.  The report’s findings underscore the fact that the cost of bad roads has a significantly more adverse economic impact on the driving public than any increase in user fees,” noted David Scott, Executive Director, Iowa Good Roads Association.  Iowa Good Roads Association is part of a larger group of business, agricultural, and development organizations.

Iowa 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 $1.9 billion each year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion, and traffic crashes. Driving on roads that are congested, deteriorated and that lack some desirable safety features costs the average Des Moines area driver $1,368 annually.

According to the TRIP report, 42 percent of Iowa’s major locally and state-maintained roads are in either poor or mediocre condition. In the Des Moines metro area, 60 percent of roads are in poor or mediocre condition. A total of 27 percent of Iowa’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet modern design standards. Twenty-two percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient, the third highest total in the nation. Structurally deficient bridges have significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. An additional five percent of Iowa’s bridges are functionally obsolete. These bridges no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

Growing traffic congestion, particularly in the state’s urban areas, threatens to choke commuting and commerce. The average commuter in the Des Moines metro area loses 27 hours each year stuck in congestion.

Traffic crashes in Iowa claimed the lives of 1,980 people between 2007 and 2011. The state’s traffic fatality rate of 1.23 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel (VMT) is higher than the national average of 1.11 fatalities per 100 million VMT. However, the traffic fatality rate in 2010 on Iowa’s non-Interstate rural roads was 1.81 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, nearly two-and-a-half times higher than the 0.77 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel 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. Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion.

“These key transportation numbers in Iowa 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 Iowa will require a significant boost in state and federal funding for road, highway and bridge improvements.”

Executive Summary:

Iowa Transportation By The Numbers:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility

Iowa’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. Iowa’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 Iowa 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 Iowa’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 an unemployment rate of five percent and with the state’s population continuing to grow, Iowa 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 Iowans.  Meeting Iowa’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 Iowa residents a total of $1.9 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. Drivers in the Des Moines area lose an average of $1,368 each year due to driving on deteriorated roads.

  • TRIP estimates that Iowa 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 $1.9 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. Driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack all desirable safety features costs the average Des Moines area motorist $1,368 annually.
  • TRIP has calculated the annual cost to Iowa residents of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features both statewide and in Des Moines.  The following chart shows the cost breakdown both statewide and in Des MoiIowa faces an annual transportation funding shortfall of $215 million in order to make critically needed roadway improvements. The state’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and overburdened unless additional transportation funding can be secured.
  • According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, the state faces an annual transportation funding shortfall of $215 million in order to meet the state’s most critical public roadway needs.
  • Unless the state can close the transportation funding shortfall, Iowa will experience an increasing number of bridge closures and bridges with weight restrictions, deteriorating conditions throughout the system that will impact the movement of goods and people, increased costs to transportation providers and users, and potential economic losses to the state.

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

  • Iowa’s population reached 3.1 million in 2012, a 10 percent increase since 1990, when the state’s population was approximately 2.8 million. Iowa had 2,191,715licensed drivers in 2011.
  • Vehicle miles traveled in Iowa increased by 35 percent from 1990 to 2011 – jumping from 23.2 billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1990 to 31.4 billion VMT in 2011.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Iowa is projected to increase by another 20 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2011, Iowa’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 55 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

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

  • Nineteen percent of Iowa’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.  Nineteen percent are rated in fair condition and the remaining 39 percent are rated in good condition.
  • The 2011 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 Iowa Department of Transportation (IowaDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • In the Des Moines urban area, 38 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are rated in poor condition and 22 percent are rated in 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 Iowa motorist a total of $910 million annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Driving on rough roads costs the average Des Moines motorist $591 annually in extra vehicle operating costs.

More than a quarter of locally and state-maintained bridges in Iowa 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-two percent of Iowa’s bridges are structurally deficient, the third highest rate nationally, behind only Pennsylvania with 25 percent and Oklahoma also with 22 percent.
  • 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. 
  • Five percent of Iowa’s bridges are functionally obsolete.  Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

The growing level of traffic congestion is causing mounting delays on Iowa’s roadways, particularly in the state’s larger urban areas.

  • According to the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the average driver in the Des Moines urban area loses $585 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average commuter in the Des Moines urban area loses 27 hours each year stuck in congestion. 
  • The statewide cost of congestion related delays and wasted fuel is $360 million each year.

Iowa’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 Iowa’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 1,977 people were killed in traffic crashes in Iowa, an average of 395 fatalities per year.
  • Iowa’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.23 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2010 is higher than the national average of 1.11.
  • The fatality rate on Iowa’s rural non-Interstate roads was 1.81 fatalities per 100 vehicle miles of travel in 2010, nearly two-and-a-half times than the 0.77 fatality rate in 2010 on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • The cost of serious traffic crashes in Iowa in 2011, in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor, was approximately $625 million. In the Des Moines urban area, the cost of serious traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor is approximately $192 per motorist. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design.  The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features.  TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion.  Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes.  A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over the next 20 years.

The efficiency of Iowa’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, $157 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Iowa and another $142 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Iowa, mostly by truck.
  • Eighty-one percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Iowa are carried by trucks and another seven 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 Iowa Department of Transportation (IowaDOT), 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 Report: New Hampshire Transportation By The Numbers: Meeting The State’s Need For Safe And Efficient Mobility

TRIPNew Hampshire Transportation Funding Shortfall Will Lead To Increasing Road And Bridge Deterioration, Higher Costs To Drivers And Lost Economic Development Opportunities

At a time when New Hampshire faces an annual transportation funding shortfall of $74 million, more than one third of the state’s major roads are deteriorated, nearly a third of bridges are in need of repair or replacement, and the state’s rural traffic fatality rate is disproportionately higher than that of other roads in the state.  Unless the state can increase transportation investment, conditions are projected to worsen significantly in the future.  Increased investment in transportation improvements could improve road and bridge conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in New Hampshire, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.  The TRIP report, New Hampshire 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:

 

37%

 

43%

Currently, 37 percent of New Hampshire’s state-maintained roads and highways — the most critical 4,559 miles of roadways in the state, including the Interstate system — have pavements in poor condition.  Under current levels of funding, 43 percent of state-maintained roads in New Hampshire are projected to be in poor condition by 2016.

 

$74 million

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) projects that it would need to increase annual investment by $74 million annually to allow the state to maintain current road and bridge conditions, complete the widening of Interstate 93 from Salem to Manchester, a critical state priority to support economic development and adequately fund maintenance and operations.
$323

$333 million

$503

$400

Driving on rough roads costs the average New Hampshire motorists $323 annually in additional vehicle operating costs – a total of $333 million statewide each year. The average driver in the Southern New Hampshire area, including Manchester and Nashua, loses $503 annually due to driving on deteriorated roads, while rough roads cost the average Dover-Rochester-Portsmouth driver $400 annually.

 

25 %

Vehicle miles of travel are anticipated to increase in New Hampshire by 25 percent by 2030.

 

119

An average of 119 people were killed annually in New Hampshire traffic crashes over the five-year-period from 2007 to 2011.

 

31 %

 

15 %

Nearly a third – 31 percent – of bridges in New Hampshire show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards.  The number of state-maintained bridges in New Hampshire that  are rated poor for one or more structural elements is expected to increase by 15 percent by 2016 under current funding.

 

$1.3 billion

The current backlog to repair all state-maintained roads, highways and bridges currently in poor condition in New Hampshire is $1.3 billion.
63%

26%

Sixty-three percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in New Hampshire are carried by trucks and another 26 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.

 

3 ½

The fatality rate on New Hampshire’s non-Interstate rural roads is approximately three-and-a-half times higher than on all other roads in the state.

1,056,889

New Hampshire has 1,056,889 licensed drivers.

According to the TRIP report, the state faces a $74 million annual shortfall in funds needed to maintain current road and bridge conditions, adequately fund winter maintenance and complete the widening of I-93 from Salem to Manchester (a critical state priority to support economic development). New Hampshire also faces a $1.3 billion total backlog to repair all state-maintained roads, highways and bridges currently in poor condition.

“Continuing to delay the maintenance and repair of our roads and bridges jeopardizes public safety, increases needless vehicle repair costs and is fiscally irresponsible,” said State Representative Candace Bouchard, Chair of the House Transportation Committee.  “It can cost taxpayers up to five times as much to rebuild a road or bridge due to the delay of routine maintenance.”

Because of this lack of transportation funding, road and bridge conditions are projected to worsen significantly in the future. Currently, 37 percent of New Hampshire’s state-maintained roads and highways are in poor condition. This represents the most critical 4,559 miles of roadway in the state, including the Interstate system. But under current funding conditions, the share of miles in poor condition is projected to increase to 43 percent by 2016. Bridge conditions will also deteriorate without additional funding. A total of 31 percent of the state’s bridges are currently structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Under current funding the number of state-maintained bridges in New Hampshire that are rated poor for one or more structural elements is expected to increase by 15 percent by 2016.

Driving on rough roads costs the average New Hampshire motorists $323 annually in additional vehicle operating costs – a total of $333 million statewide each year. In the Southern New Hampshire area, including Manchester and Nashua, the average motorist loses $503 annually due to driving on deteriorated roads, while rough roads cost the average Dover-Rochester-Portsmouth driver $400 each year.

The fatality rate on New Hampshire’s rural non-Interstate roads was 1.89 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2010, approximately three-and-a-half times higher than the 0.51 fatality rate in 2010 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 New Hampshire claimed the lives of 596 people between 2007 and 2011. Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion.

“These key transportation numbers in New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire will require a significant boost in state and federal funding for road, highway and bridge improvements.”

Executive Summary

New Hampshire’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 Granite State’s economy. New Hampshire’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 New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire’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 New Hampshire’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require a significant boost in local, state and federal funding.

New Hampshire faces a significant funding shortfall in the cost to maintain its roads, highways and bridges in their current condition and a significant backlog in the cost of repairing all deficient roads and bridges.  Meeting the state’s need for a well-maintained, safe and reliable network of roads, highways and bridges will enhance New Hampshire’s economy by creating jobs. 

  • The New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) projects that it would need to increase annual investment by $74 million annually to allow the state to maintain current road and bridge conditions, complete the widening of Interstate 93 from Salem to Manchester, a critical state priority to support economic development and adequately fund maintenance and operations.
  • The current backlog to repair all state-maintained roads, highways and bridges in poor condition in New Hampshire is $1.3 billion.
  • 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 New Hampshire have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways, leading to increased wear and tear on the transportation system. 

  • New Hampshire’s population reached 1,320,718 in 2012, a 19 percent increase since 1990, when the state’s population was approximately 1.1 million.  New Hampshire’s population is expected to increase by approximately another 325,000 people by 2030, to 1,646,471 – a 25 percent increase.
  • New Hampshire has 1,056,889 licensed drivers.
  • Vehicle miles traveled in New Hampshire increased by 29 percent from 1990 to 2011 – jumping from 9.8 billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1990 to 12.7 billion VMT in 2011.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in New Hampshire is projected to increase by another 25 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2010, New Hampshire’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 52 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

More than a third of miles of state-maintained roads and highways in New Hampshire have pavement surfaces in poor condition, providing a rough ride and costing motorist in the form of additional vehicle operating costs.

  • Currently, 37 percent of New Hampshire’s state-maintained roads and highways — the most critical 4,559 miles of roadways in the state, including the Interstate system — have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 44 percent of the state’s roads are rated in fair condition and the remaining 19 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Under current levels of funding, the share of state-maintained roads in poor condition in New Hampshire is anticipated to increase to 43 percent by 2016.
  • 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 fair condition may show signs of significant wear and may also have some visible pavement distress. Most pavements in fair 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 typical New Hampshire motorist an average of $323 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – a total of $333 million statewide. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Driving on rough roads in the Southern New Hampshire area, including Manchester and Nashua, costs the average driver $503 annually in extra vehicle operating costs. The average motorist in the Dover-Rochester-Portsmouth area loses an additional $400 annually due to driving on deteriorated roads.

Nearly a third – 31 percent – of bridges in New Hampshire show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. This includes both state and municipal bridges that are 20 feet or more in length. 

  • Fifteen percent of New Hampshire’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 New Hampshire’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. 
  • At current funding levels, the number of structurally deficient, state-maintained bridges is expected to increase by 15 percent by 2016 from 152 bridges to 174.

New Hampshire’s traffic fatality rate on rural, non-Interstate routes is approximately three-and-a-half times higher than on all other roads and highways in the state.  Improving safety features on New Hampshire’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 2007 and 2011, a total of 596 people were killed in traffic crashes in New Hampshire, an average of 119 fatalities per year.
  • New Hampshire’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.98 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2010 is below the national average of 1.11.
  • The fatality rate on New Hampshire’s rural non-Interstate roads was 1.89 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2010, approximately three-and-a-half times higher than the 0.51 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 New Hampshire’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, $38.5 billion in goods are shipped from sites in New Hampshire and another $40.3 billion in goods are shipped to sites in New Hampshire, mostly by truck.
  • Sixty-three percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in New Hampshire are carried by trucks and another 26 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 New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT), 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).  

 

New TRIP Report Identifies Minnesota’s Top Transportation Challenges And Needed Fixes, Including Deteriorated And Congested Roadways, Deficient Bridges, Needed Safety Improvements And Transit Deficiencies

TRIPDeteriorated and congested roads, deficient bridges, needed safety improvements and transit deficiencies in Minnesota 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, Minnesota’s Transportation Challenges and the Improvements Needed to Address Them,” identifies segments of the state’s major roads and highways that have significant levels of traffic congestion; sections of major roads or highways that have significant pavement deterioration and need to be reconstructed; needed safety improvements to segments of state roadways; major bridges in the state that have significant deficiencies and need to be rebuilt or reconstructed; and, transit routes or facilities that do not provide adequate mobility because they are overcrowded, deficient or underfunded. Details for all of the state’s transportation challenges can be found in the report’s Appendices.

The total cost of addressing the roadway challenges identified in this report is between $7.1 and $9.4 billion. Currently, no funding is available to address the roadway challenges identified in the report. An additional $171 to $181 million annually would be needed to adequately construct and operate the state’s public transit system in a way that would address Minnesota’s public transit challenges.  This funding is also not available. These costs are not meant to represent all transportation needs in Minnesota, but only those identified in the TRIP report.

“Maintaining county highways and city streets so they are safe and in good repair is important to Minnesota residents and businesses,” said Ken Brown, Olmstead County Commissioner. “Without adequate state resources, local governments have to rely more and more on property tax dollars to repair critical infrastructure. This increasing burden on our property taxes means we continue to fall further behind in maintaining our infrastructure here in Minnesota.”

According to the TRIP report, nearly a third of Minnesota’s major roads are in need of repair, with 12 percent rated in poor condition and an additional 19 percent rated mediocre in 2010. The roadway sections in need of reconstruction include principal and non-principal arterials throughout the state, as well as sections of I-94 in the Twin Cities and West Central Minnesota, I-90 in Southern Minnesota, US 61 in Red Wing, MN 43 in Winona and MN 194 in Duluth. A full list of regionally significant roads and highways that are in need of reconstruction or significant preservation can be found in Appendix A.

Minnesota also faces a significant challenge in the need to reconstruct or repair numerous major bridges in the state, including several that cross the Mississippi River. A total of 11 percent of bridges in Minnesota show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. Significant bridges in need of repair or replacement include the Third Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis; the Mendota Bridge (TH 55) in Bloomington; the I-35 Bridge in Duluth; and the multi-modal bridge in St. Paul carrying Robbins Street, the University of Minnesota Transitway and a railroad.  A list of deficient bridges of regional importance that present the most significant challenges to the state can be found in Appendix B.

Commuting and commerce in Minnesota are constrained by growing traffic congestion, particularly in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.  The improvements needed to relieve congestion and enhance mobility as determined by TRIP include the following: capacity enhancements, roadway reconstruction, managed lanes and improved traffic management on multiple sections of roadway in the Twin Cities Metro Area (including sections of I-35W, I-35E, I-94, I-394, I-694, and MN 100), and enhancements that would promote economic development opportunities along crucial statewide connector routes such as US 169 in Itasca County, US 14 in Dodge and Steele Counties, and MN 371 in Crow Wing County. A list of segments of roadway that are congested, contain chokepoints that hamper commuting or commerce, or lack an adequate facility to fully support economic development opportunities can be found in Appendix C.

Enhancing critical segments of Minnesota’s 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 Minnesota’s 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.

The roadway corridors most in need of safety improvements to reduce the occurrence of crashes and fatalities include the following: system-wide enhancements to the state’s Trunk Highway System, including the addition of rumble strips, the construction of cable median barriers, additional signage, and intersection improvements; the statewide implementation of conflict warning systems on rural intersections; and the removal of at-grade railroad crossings of major highways in Anoka, Cannon Falls, Crosby and Ramsey.A list of the state’s most significant safety challenges can be found in Appendix E.

Minnesota’s transit system is overburdened, leading to gaps in service and reliability along key transit routes. Minnesota’s current transit needs include the following: expanding bus service in the Twin Cities metropolitan area; increasing funding to build out the transitway network in the Twin Cities region as planned by the Metropolitan Council and the Counties Transit Improvement Board; the addition of Bus Rapid Transit corridors; and increased operating funds for numerous transit systems. A list of existing or lacking transit facilities, or routes that hamper commuting or commerce because they are deteriorated or crowded can be found in Appendix D.

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

Executive Summary

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

However, increasing roadway and bridge deterioration, traffic safety concerns, inadequate transit service and growing congestion threaten to stifle economic growth and negatively impact the quality of life of the state’s 5.3 million residents.  Due to insufficient transportation funding at the federal, state and local level, Minnesota faces numerous challenges in providing a road, highway, bridge and transit 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 Minnesota 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, bridges, and transit systems 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 Minnesota’s surface transportation system would provide a significant boost to the state’s economy by stimulating short and long-term economic growth.

Numerous segments of Minnesota’s surface 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 Minnesota’s residents, visitors, businesses and state and local governments.  This report looks at the condition and use of Minnesota’s system of roads, highways, transit and bridges and provides information on the state’s most pressing transportation challenges and the improvements needed to address these challenges.

Deficient roads, highways, bridges and transit systems and crowded or congested routes in Minnesota 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. 

  • TRIP has identified Minnesota’s top surface transportation challenges, which include the following: segments of the state’s major roads and highways that have significant levels of traffic congestion; sections of major roads or highways that have significant pavement deterioration and need to be resurfaced or reconstructed; needed safety improvements to segments of state roadways; major bridges in the state that have significant deficiencies and need to be rebuilt or reconstructed; and transit routes or facilities that do not provide adequate mobility because they are overcrowded, deficient or underfunded.
  • The report contains lists of the state’s most pressing challenges as determined by TRIP in five categories: roadway deterioration, congested routes, deficient bridges, roadway safety and transit. Lists of challenges in each category can be found in Appendices A through E.
  • The total cost of addressing the state’s top transportation challenges identified in this report is between $7.1 and $9.4 billion.  An additional $171 to $181 million annually would be needed to adequately operate public transit service needed to address Minnesota’s public transit challenges.  These costs are not meant to represent all transportation needs in Minnesota, but only those identified in the TRIP report.
  • Currently there is no funding available to address the challenges identified in this report.

Growth in population and vehicle travel has far outstripped the current capacity of Minnesota’s 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.

  • Minnesota’s system of 141,482 miles of roads and 13,117 bridges carries approximately 57 billion vehicle miles of travel annually.
  • From 1990 to 2011, Minnesota’s population increased by 21 percent, from approximately 4.4 million to approximately 5.3 million. Minnesota’s population is expected to increase to 6.2 million by 2030.
  • From 1990 to 2010, annual vehicle-miles-of-travel (VMT) in the state increased by 45 percent, from approximately 39 billion VMT to 57 billion VMT.
  • Minnesota is projected to have a 2.8 percent rate of economic growth in 2013, measured in real Gross State Product (GSP), which is factored for price changes.  This rate of growth is lower than the forecast 3.0 percent increase in national real GSP in 2013.
  • Every year, $237 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Minnesota and another $199 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Minnesota, mostly by trucks.  Sixty-four percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Minnesota are carried by trucks and another 21 percent are carried by parcel, U.S. Postal Service or courier services, which use trucks for part of their deliveries.
  • Minnesota’s 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.

Minnesota faces a significant challenge in the need to rehabilitate pavements on numerous major roads and highways throughout the state.  Nearly a third of Minnesota’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Repairing the state’s deteriorated roadways and maintaining them in good condition will provide a smooth and efficient roadway system for the state’s residents and businesses.

  • Nearly a third of Minnesota’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, with 12 percent rated in poor condition and an additional 19 percent rated mediocre in 2010.  An additional 18 percent of the state’s major roads were rated in fair condition and 51 percent were rated in good condition in 2010.
  • The pavement data in this report is provided by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), based on data submitted annually by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state (roads classified as arterials by the FHWA).
  • The functional life of Minnesota’s roads is greatly affected by the state’s ability to perform timely maintenance and upgrades to ensure that structures last as long as possible.  It is critical that roads are fixed before they require major repairs because reconstructing roads costs approximately four times more than resurfacing them.
  • The roadway sections in need of reconstruction include principle and non-principle arterials throughout the state, as well as sections of I-94 in the Twin Cities and West Central Minnesota, I-90 in Southern Minnesota, US 61 in Red Wing, MN 43 in Winona and MN 194 in Duluth. A list of regionally significant roads and highways that are in need of reconstruction or significant preservation can be found in Appendix A.

Minnesota faces a significant challenge in the need to reconstruct or repair numerous major bridges in the state, including several that cross the Mississippi River.  A total of 11 percent of bridges in Minnesota show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. 

  • Eight percent of Minnesota’s 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 may be posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks, school buses and emergency services vehicles.
  • In 2011, three percent of Minnesota’s 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.
  • Bridges that are designated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete are safe for travel and are monitored and maintained on a regular basis by the agencies responsible for their upkeep.
  • Significant bridges in need of repair or replacement include the Third Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis; the Mendota Bridge (TH 55) in Bloomington; the I-35 Bridge in Duluth; and the multi-modal bridge in St. Paul carrying Robbins Street, the University of Minnesota Transitway and a railroad.  A list of deficient bridges of regional importance that present the most significant challenges to the state can be found in Appendix B.

Commuting and commerce in Minnesota are constrained by growing traffic congestion, particularly in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.  The state faces a significant challenge in the need to relieve congestion and improve personal and commercial mobility by making numerous transportation improvements, which will increase the capacity and efficiency of its roadways and transit systems. 

  • Minnesota’s urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, hampering commuting and commerce while reducing economic opportunities and quality of life in the state. Unless Minnesota’s transportation system is improved and enhanced, congestion will worsen dramatically in the coming years.
  • The improvements needed to relieve congestion and enhance mobility as determined by TRIP include the following: capacity enhancements, roadway reconstruction, managed lanes and improved traffic management on multiple sections of roadway in the Twin Cities Metro Area (including sections of I-35W, I-35E, I-94, I-394, I-694,  and MN 100), and enhancements that would promote economic development opportunities along crucial statewide connector routes such as US 169 in Itasca County, US 14 in Dodge and Steele Counties, and MN 371 in Crow Wing County.
    • A list of segments of roadway that are congested, contain chokepoints that hamper commuting or commerce, or lack an adequate facility to fully support economic development opportunities can be found in Appendix C.

Minnesota’s transit system is overburdened, leading to gaps in service and reliability along key transit routes. An adequate transit system helps to relieve traffic congestion and plays an important role in providing mobility to those without access to a private vehicle.

  • TRIP has compiled a list of transit facilities or routes (or the lack thereof) that hamper commuting or commerce because they are deteriorated or congested.  Minnesota’s  current transit needs include the following: expansion of the Metro Mobility Americans with Disabilities Act service in the Twin Cities metro area; expanding bus service in the Twin Cities metropolitan area; increasing funding for the Hiawatha Blue Line, Green Line and Red Line to allow for connections between major employment centers in the Twin Cities; the addition of Bus Rapid Transit corridors; and increased operating funds for numerous transit systems.
  • A list of existing or lacking transit facilities, or routes that hamper commuting or commerce because they are deteriorated or crowded can be found in Appendix D.

Although Minnesota has one of the lowest traffic fatality rates in the county, it still faces a challenge in the need to improve roadway safety, particularly on its rural roads and highways, which have a significantly higher rate of fatal traffic crashes than all other roads and highways in the state.  TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.  

  • Traffic crashes claimed the lives of 411 people in Minnesota in 2010. Between 2006 and 2010, 2,292 people were killed in traffic crashes in Minnesota, an average of 458 fatalities per year.
  • Minnesota’s traffic fatality rate in 2010 was 0.73 per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, below the national average of 1.11, the second lowest rate nationally among states behind only Massachusetts at 0.58.
  • The traffic fatality rate in 2010 on Minnesota’ non-Interstate rural roads was 1.29 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, which is triple the rate of 0.43 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • A disproportionate share of highway fatalities occurs on Minnesota’ rural, non-Interstate roads.  In 2010, 63 percent of traffic fatalities in Minnesota occurred on rural, non-Interstate routes, while only 36 percent of vehicle travel in the state occurred on these roads.
  • The roadway corridors most in need of safety improvements to reduce the occurrence of crashes and fatalities include the following: system-wide enhancements to the state’s Trunk Highway System, including the addition of rumble strips, the construction of cable median barriers, additional signage, and intersection improvements; the statewide implementation of conflict warning systems on rural intersections; and the removal of at-grade railroad crossings of major highways in Anoka, Cannon Falls, Crosby and Ramsey.
    • A list of the state’s most significant safety challenges can be found in Appendix E.
  • 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.

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.
  • A 2009 report prepared for the American Public Transportation Association found that every $1 billion invested in public transit highway construction would support approximately 36,000 jobs, including approximately 17,500 in jobs related to constructing transit facilities or manufacturing vehicles and in operating transit systems, approximately 4,500 jobs in industries supporting either the construction of transit facilities or the manufacturing of transit vehicles and approximately 14,000 other jobs induced in non-transit 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 Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), 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 American Public Transit Association (APTA), the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), and the U.S. Census Bureau.  All data used in the report is the latest available.