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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.

Deficient Texas Roadways Cost Each Driver As Much As $2,000 Annually, A Total Of $23.2 Billion Statewide. Costs Will Rise And Transportation Woes Will Worsen Without Significant Funding Boost

Roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Texas motorists a total of $23.2 billion statewide – nearly $2,000 annually per driver in some areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs (VOC), traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.   Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road and bridge conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Texas, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, “Future Mobility in Texas: The Cost of Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Texas, 45 percent of state and locally maintained urban roads and highways provide motorists with a rough ride. A total of 18 percent of Texas bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards. The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with travel delays in some areas expected to double in the next 15 years. And Texas’ rural non-interstate traffic fatality rate is significantly higher than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state.

Deficient roads place a significant financial burden on the state’s drivers in the form of extra vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the cost of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculated the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in Texas’ largest urban areas: Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth/Arlington, Houston and San Antonio. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each city along with a statewide total is below:

According to the TRIP report, in 2010, 18 percent of Texas’ major urban roads were in poor condition and an additional 27 percent were in mediocre condition. Under current funding scenarios, statewide pavement quality is projected to decrease by 30 percent by 2022. Underfunding maintenance on the state’s roads will increase the cost to preserve and restore the pavement by $6.5 billion over the next ten years.

Commuting and commerce in Texas are constrained by growing traffic congestion, which will increase in the future unless additional highway and transit capacity is provided. According to the Texas Transportation Institute, congestion will cost the state’s economy an average of $20 billion per year over the next 15 years, rising from a current cost of approximately $10.8 billion per year to almost $30 billion in 2025. If roadway efficiency and capacity needs are not addressed, the average congestion-related delay per commuter in Texas’ urban and metropolitan areas will double in 15 years from 37 hours per year to 74 hours per year.

“The TRIP report demonstrates the impact of underfunding our transportation system, in the form of significant costs passed on to the state’s drivers. Texas motorists can not afford to pay the price for an inadequate transportation system, and the state cannot afford missed economic opportunities due to congested and deteriorated roads. While the cost to address these deficient roads is significant, the cost of doing nothing is much higher,” said Lawrence Olsen, executive vice president of Texas Good Roads/Transportation Association.

Traffic crashes in Texas claimed the lives of 2,998 people in 2010. The traffic fatality rate in 2010 on Texas’ non-Interstate rural roads was 1.67 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, 43 percent higher than the 1.17 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel on all other roads and highways in the state. A disproportionate share of highway fatalities occur on Texas’ rural, non-Interstate roads.  In 2010, 34 percent of traffic fatalities in Texas occurred on rural, non-Interstate routes, while only 23 percent of vehicle travel in the state occurred on these roads.

According to the TRIP report, three percent of Texas’ bridges are structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports, or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or are closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks, school buses and emergency service vehicles. An additional 15 percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete. These bridges no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment with the approaching road. Bridges that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete are safe for travel and are monitored regularly by the organizations responsible for maintaining them.

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

TRIP Report

FUTURE MOBILITY IN TEXAS:

The Cost of Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility

October 2012

Executive Summary

Transportation is more than just driving on Texas’ roads and bridges or using public transit.  It’s about receiving packages in a timely manner, easily grabbing groceries on the way home, or safely traveling across the state.  Transportation provides the connections that keep businesses up and running. It not only moves people, it makes the movement of goods and services possible and provides the state’s residents with a high quality of life.  The quality of Texas’ extensive system of roads, highways, bridges and public transit has a significant impact on the level of safety and mobility of the state’s residents, visitors and businesses.

As the backbone that supports the Lone Star State’s economy, Texas’ transportation system impacts each resident every day. It provides for travel to work and school, visits to family and friends, and trips to tourist and recreation attractions.  Transportation connects Texas businesses with customers and the world.  It provides the goods and services people need each day and plays a role in every product manufactured and every customer businesses serve.

With a current unemployment rate of 7.1 percent and with the state’s population continuing to grow, Texas 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 Texans.

An inadequate transportation system costs Texas residents a total of $23.2 billion every year in the form of traffic crashes, additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) and congestion-related delays.

  • A lack of available transportation funding in the future is projected to lead to increasingly deteriorated road and bridge conditions and additional congestion in Texas’ major urban areas. Without additional funds, the state will be unable to complete many needed transportation improvement projects.
  • TRIP estimates that Texas’ roadways that lack some desirable safety features, have inadequate capacity to meet travel demands or have poor pavement conditions cost the state’s residents approximately $23.2 billion annually in the form of traffic crashes, additional vehicle operating costs and the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion.
  • TRIP has calculated the annual cost to Texas’ residents of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features both statewide and in the state’s four largest metropolitan areas. The following chart shows the annual cost breakdown per driver for each of these areas and also a statewide total.

 TRIP

Population increases and economic growth in the Lone Star State have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways. 

  • Texas’ population reached approximately 25.7 million in 2011, an increase of 51 percent since 1990.  The state’s population is expected to grow to 37.3 million by 2030.
  • From 1990 to 2010, annual vehicle-miles-of-travel (VMT) in the state increased by 44 percent, from approximately 162 billion VMT to 234 billion VMT. Based on travel and population trends, TRIP estimates that vehicle travel in Texas will increase another 35 percent by 2030, reaching approximately 304 billion VMT.
  • From 1990 to 2010, Texas’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 88 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

Nearly half of Texas’ state and locally maintained urban roads are deteriorated. Without additional transportation funding, pavement conditions will worsen in the future.

  •  In 2010, 18 percent of Texas’ major urban roads were in poor condition and an additional 27 percent were in mediocre condition.
  • The pavement data in this report is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, based on data submitted annually by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • 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 in need of repair cost the average Texas motorist $400 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – $6.1 billion statewide.  Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Driving on roads in need of repair carries a heavy financial price tag, especially for residents of the state’s major metropolitan areas, where pavement deterioration may be worse than the statewide average. The chart below details pavement conditions and the extra vehicle operating cost (VOC) borne by the average motorist in the state’s four largest urban areas.

  • The functional life of Texas’ 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.

Eighteen percent of bridges in Texas show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards.  This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length and are maintained by state, local and federal agencies. 

  • Three percent of Texas’ bridges were structurally deficient in 2011.  A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, superstructure or substructure or if the bridge was designed to carry light loads.  Structurally deficient bridges may be closed in some situations, but more often are posted for lower weight limits, which restricts or redirects larger vehicles, including commercial trucks, school buses and emergency services vehicles.
  • Fifteen percent of Texas’ bridges were functionally obsolete in 2011.  Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

Improving safety features on Texas’ roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in traffic fatalities in the state.  TRIP estimates that roadway features are a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.   Texas’ rural traffic fatality rate is significantly greater than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state.  

  • Between 2006 and 2010, 16,635 people were killed in traffic crashes in Texas, an average of 3,327 fatalities per year.
  • Texas’ traffic fatality rate of 1.30 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2010 was higher than the national average of 1.11 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel.
  • The traffic fatality rate in 2010 on Texas’ non-Interstate rural roads was 1.67 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, which is higher than the 1.17 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 Texas’ rural, non-Interstate roads.  In 2010, 34 percent of traffic fatalities in Texas occurred on rural, non-Interstate routes, while only 23 percent of vehicle travel in the state occurred on these roads.
  • The cost of serious traffic crashes in Texas in 2010, in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor, was approximately $6.3 billion. Roadway features which 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.  It is estimated that roadway features are a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • TRIP has calculated the cost of serious traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor for each of Texas’ four largest urban areas.

  • Roadway features which 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.
  • The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that recent TxDOT projects 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 Federal Highway Administration has found that every $100 million spent on needed highway safety improvements will result in 145 fewer traffic fatalities over a 10-year period.

Commuting and commerce in Texas are constrained by growing traffic congestion, which will increase in the future unless additional highway and transit capacity is provided. 

  • According to the Texas Transportation Institute, congestion will cost the state’s economy an average of $20 billion per year over the next 15 years, rising from a current cost of approximately $10.8 billion per year to almost $30 billion in 2025.
  • If roadway efficiency and capacity needs are not addressed, the average congestion-related delay per commuter in Texas’ urban and metropolitan areas will double in 15 years from 37 hours per year to 74 hours per year.
  • The total annual statewide cost to Texas’ motorists of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion is $10.8 billion.  Commuters in the state’s four largest metro areas lose from several hundred to over one thousand dollars annually in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion.

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

  • Over the past decade, roadway maintenance and capacity in Texas have been largely funded through bond proceeds. However, all bonding programs have now been exhausted, resulting in a 50 percent drop in funding levels from a decade ago and leaving no funds available for new construction.
  • A report issued by the 2030 Committee calculated that an annual investment of $9.9 billion was needed just to maintain road and bridge conditions and congestion at 2010 levels. However, after fiscal year 2013, annual state highway investment is anticipated to average $2.6 billion annually.
  • Under current funding scenarios, overall pavement quality is projected to decrease by 30 percent by 2022. Failing to address pavement deterioration in a timely manner increases repair costs over time. In Texas, underfunding maintenance on the state’s roads will increase the cost to preserve and restore the pavement by $6.5 billion over the next ten years.
  • While the growth and expansion of Texas’ oil, gas and wind energy sectors has been beneficial for the state’s economic well being, increased traffic (especially by heavy trucks) has had a significant impact on the condition of the state’s roads and highways.  A new report by the Texas Transportation Institute found that the cost of additional road repairs needed as a result of the energy boom’s wear and tear on state and county roads in Texas is estimated to be $2 billion each year for the next 20 years.

The efficiency of Texas’ 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.  Expenditures on highway repairs create a significant number of jobs. 

  • Every year, $1.2 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Texas and another $1.2 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Texas, mostly by trucks.  Sixty percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Texas are carried by trucks and another nine percent are carried by parcel, U.S. Postal Service or courier services, which use trucks for part of their deliveries.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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

To see the full report visit TRIP

 

Trip Reports: Recent Boosts In Missouri Transportation Funding Have Improved Roads And Bridges.

…But Conditions Will Decline Unless Impending Funding Cuts Are Reversed; Roadway Deficiencies Found To Cost State Motorists Billions

A new report finds that additional transportation funding has allowed Missouri to accelerate bridge repair and replacement, pavement improvements, and safety upgrades. However, deficiencies remain on Missouri’s surface transportation system and recent gains could be lost without continued support for transportation maintenance, improvement and expansion.

The report, “Future Mobility in Missouri: Meeting the State’s Needs for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” was released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC, based national transportation organization. According to the report, voter approval of Amendment 3 in 2004 allowed the state to recapture transportation funds that had been diverted to other programs and also allowed for the sale of $2 billion in bonds to undertake many needed projects. However, after steadily increasing since 2004, highway capital investment will soon plummet to pre-2000 levels, jeopardizing future transportation improvements and compromising the state’s ability to secure millions in federal matching funds for much-needed transportation projects. The TRIP report contains lists of needed road, bridge and transit projects that can not move forward without additional federal, state or local funding.

“With funding for our construction budget cut in half, we are facing a transportation crisis in Missouri,” said Missouri Department of Transportation Director Kevin Keith.  “We will soon be at risk of losing millions of dollars for state road and bridge projects because we’ll be unable to match federal funding.  Without additional funding for transportation, we won’t be able to deliver the projects that make our highways safer, create jobs and help grow our local communities.”

According to the TRIP report, despite recent improvements, Missouri ranks seventh in the nation in the share of bridges that are structurally deficient. Seventeen percent of the state’s bridges were structurally deficient in 2010 and an additional 12 percent were functionally obsolete. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) projects a decrease of 300 structurally deficient and functionally obsolete MoDOT-owned bridges between 2008 and 2014, as a result of MoDOT’s Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program. However, without additional funding, those improvements will be wiped out by 2018, when MoDOT projects that the number of structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges will return to 2008 levels.

While the number of fatalities and crashes on the state’s roads has decreased in recent years, an average of 949 people lost their lives on Missouri’s roads each year between 2006 and 2010. The TRIP report also finds that the state’s rural, non-Interstate roads have a traffic fatality rate that is more than double that on all other roads in the state (1.73 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.83).

Fourteen percent of Missouri’s major state and locally maintained roads are in poor condition. In St. Louis, 18 percent of major roads and 38 percent of minor highways are in poor condition. Under current funding projections, the percentage of major state-maintained highways in good condition will drop significantly in the future.

In addition to deteriorating road and bridge conditions, Missouri’s roads are also becoming increasingly crowded and commuting and commerce are constrained by growing traffic congestion on major urban roads. In 2008, 44 percent of the state’s urban highways were congested during peak travel times.

TRIP estimates that Missouri’s roadways that lack some desirable safety features, have inadequate capacity to meet travel demands or have poor pavement conditions cost the state’s drivers approximately $4.4 billion annually in the form of traffic crashes, additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) and the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion. TRIP has calculated the cost to motorists of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features in the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas. The following chart shows the cost breakdown for these areas.

VOC Congestion Safety TOTAL
St, Louis $         416 $      772 $         182 $       1,370
Kansas City $         587 $      498 $         192 $       1,277
STATEWIDE $1.6 billion $1.4 billion $1.4 billion $4.4  billion

“Unless Missouri can find a way to raise the needed funds, the improvements made in recent years will be lost and many critically needed projects will remain stranded on the drawing board,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP. “It is critical that Missouri adequately fund its transportation system.  Thousands of jobs and the state’s economy are riding on it.”

FUTURE MOBILITY IN MISSOURI:

Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility
APRIL 2011

Executive Summary

Transportation is more than just driving on Missouri’s roads and bridges or using public transit.  It’s about receiving packages in a timely manner, easily grabbing groceries on the way home, or safety traveling across the state.  Transportation provides the connections that keep businesses up and running. It not only moves people, it makes the movement of goods and services possible and provides the state’s residents with a high quality of life.  The quality of Missouri’s extensive system of roads, highways, bridges and public transit has a significant impact on the level of safety and mobility of the state’s residents, visitors and businesses.

As the backbone that supports the Show Me State’s economy, Missouri’s transportation system affects each resident every day. It provides for travel to work and school, visits to family and friends, and trips to tourist and recreation attractions.  Transportation connects Missouri businesses with customers and the world.  It provides the goods and services people need each day and plays a role in every product manufactured and every customer businesses serve.

State and local investments in highway and bridge construction in Missouri support 21,653 direct and indirect jobs. On average, every dollar invested in the state’s five-year construction program generates about $4 in new economic activity. Transportation helps the state attract new businesses and retain existing ones, add and keep jobs, and build and maintain tax revenues.

With an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent and with the state’s population continuing to grow, Missouri must improve its system of roads, highways, bridges and public transit to foster economic growth and keep business in the state.  Highway accessibility is the second leading factor when companies choose locations (ranked just behind labor costs).  The Missouri Department of Economic Development has identified providing necessary infrastructure as one of its eight strategic initiatives for companies and communities to succeed.  In addition to economic growth, transportation improvements are needed to ensure safe, reliable mobility and quality of life for all Missourians.

Missouri has made progress in recent years in improving road and bridge conditions, largely as a result of transportation funding provided through voter approval of Amendment 3 in 2004. This legislation redirected revenue from the vehicle sales tax to road and bridge improvements and allowed the state to sell approximately $2 billion in bonds to undertake many needed highway transportation projects. However, this progress will be reversed in the coming years, as state spending on needed projects decreases sharply in the future and transportation spending in the state drops drastically.  As a result, Missouri will be able to move forward with fewer projects to modernize the state’s transportation system. And by 2017 the state will risk losing millions of dollars for transportation projects because it will be unable to provide the matching funds needed to obtain federal surface transportation dollars.  Additional funding will be needed if Missouri is to continue to improve its transportation system and maintain the progress made in recent years.

In addition to state funding, the federal government is an essential source of revenue for the ongoing modernization of Missouri’s roads, highways, bridges and transit. Approved in February 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided approximately $637 million in stimulus funding for highway and bridge improvements and $85 million for public transit improvements in Missouri. (ARRA also included an estimated $22.5 million in Federal Transit Administration grants).  While this funding helped Missouri tackle some needed road, highway, bridge and transit improvements, it is not sufficient to allow the state to proceed with numerous projects needed to modernize its surface transportation system. Meeting Missouri’s need to maintain and improve its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit will require a significant, long-term boost in transportation funding at the federal, state and local levels.

The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), the current long-range federal surface transportation program,  was originally set to expire on Sept. 30, 2009. Following a series of short term extensions, the program now expires Sept. 30, 2011.  The level of funding and the provisions of a future federal surface transportation program will have a significant impact on future highway and bridge conditions and safety as well as the level of transit service in Missouri, which, in turn, will affect the state’s ability to keep its residents safe, improve their quality of life and enhance economic development opportunities.

Since 2004, Missouri has used funding made available by voter approval of Amendment 3 to make significant improvements to its highway transportation system. But that progress may be reversed as state spending on needed projects decreases sharply. An increase in federal, state and local transportation funding is necessary to continue to make needed improvements and maintain the progress made in recent years.

  • Voter approval of Amendment 3 in 2004 redirected revenue from the state’s vehicle sales tax that had been diverted to fund other programs in the state budget back to road and bridge improvements. It also allowed the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) to sell approximately $2 billion in bonds to undertake many needed projects.
  • Transportation spending in the state is set to drop drastically in the coming years when bond proceeds are no longer available. After steadily increasing since 2004, highway capital investment in the state is dropping to pre-2000 levels, leaving less funding available for projects to modernize, repair and improve safety on the state’s roads, highways and bridges.
  • By 2017, Missouri will be unable to provide state matching funds needed to obtain federal funds. As a result, Missouri will lose millions of federal dollars for much-needed transportation projects.
  • In addition to state transportation funding, the federal surface transportation program is an essential source of funding for the construction, maintenance and improvement of Missouri’s system of roads, highways, bridges and public transit.
  • Federal spending levels for highways and public transit are based on the current federal surface transportation program, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which was approved by Congress in 2005.  Following a series of short-term extensions since its original expiration date of Sept. 30 2009, the SAFETEA-LU program expires on Sept. 30, 2011.
  • From 2000 to 2009, Missouri received approximately $8.4 billion in federal funding for road, highway and bridge improvements, and $1.1 billion for public transit, a total of approximately $9.5 billion.

An inadequate transportation system costs Missouri residents a total of $4.4 billion every year in the form of traffic crashes, additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) and congestion-related delays.

  • A lack of available transportation funding in the future is projected to lead to increasingly deteriorated road and bridge conditions and additional congestion in Missouri’s major urban areas. Without additional funds, the state will be unable to complete many needed transportation improvement projects.
  • TRIP estimates that Missouri’s 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 $4.4 billion annually in the form of traffic crashes, additional vehicle operating costs and the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion.
  • TRIP has calculated the cost to Missouri’s residents of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features in the St. Louis and Kansas City metro areas. The following chart shows the cost breakdown for these areas.

Without a substantial boost in federal or state highway funding, Missouri will be unable to complete numerous projects to improve the condition and expand the capacity of roads, bridges, highways and public transit, hampering the state’s ability to boost mobility, improve safety and to enhance economic development opportunities.

  • Needed projects in Missouri that would require a significant boost in federal or state funding to proceed include I-70/I-435 interchange improvements in Kansas City, corridor and safety improvements to I-44 in St. Louis, corridor improvements to US 60 in Springfield, improvements to the Downtown Loop in Kansas City, rebuilding and widening the I-70 and I-44 statewide corridors, replacing the MO 47 major bridge over the Missouri River in Washington, adding capacity to transit service in rural and urban parts of the state.  A list of needed projects is included in the report.
  • To ensure that federal funding for highways and bridges in Missouri and throughout the nation continues beyond the expiration of SAFETEA-LU, Congress needs to approve a new long-term federal surface transportation program by Sept. 30, 2011.
  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided approximately $637 million in stimulus funding for highway and bridge improvements and $85 million for public transit improvements in Missouri. (ARRA also included an estimated $22.5 million in Federal Transit Administration grants.)

Population and economic growth in the Show Me State have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways.

  • Missouri’s population reached approximately 6 million in 2009, an increase of 17 percent since 1990.  The state’s population is expected to grow another 14 percent by 2030.
  • Vehicle travel in Missouri increased 36 percent from 1990 to 2009 – jumping from 50.9 billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1990 to 69.0 billion VMT in 2009.
  • By 2025, vehicle travel in Missouri is projected to increase by another 40 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2009, Missouri’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 40 percent, when adjusted for inflation.
  • In 2010, Missouri’s 36 public transit systems provided 60 million rides.

Although Missouri road conditions have improved in recent years, without additional transportation funding, road conditions are projected to deteriorate in the next 15 years.

  • In 2008, 14 percent of Missouri’s major state and locally maintained roads were in poor 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 in need of repair cost each Missouri motorist an average of $380 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – $1.6 billion statewide.  Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • In Kansas City, 16 percent of major roads and nearly 40 percent of minor roads on the state system are in poor condition.  Driving on roads in need of repair costs each Kansas City motorist an average of $587 each year in the form of accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Eighteen percent of St. Louis’ major roads and about 38 percent of minor highways are considered to be in poor condition.   It is estimated that this costs the average area driver $416 annually in extra vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on roads in need of repair.
  • Pavement conditions on state-maintained roads in Missouri have improved in recent years. However, unless additional funding is made available, MoDOT projects that the share of major and minor state-maintained roads in good condition will decrease significantly by 2024. The percentage of major state-maintained highways in good condition is projected to drop from 86 percent in 2010 to 70 percent in 2024, while the share of minor state-maintained roads in good condition will drop from 68 percent to 53 percent during the same time period.
  • The functional life of Missouri’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.

Twenty-nine percent of bridges in Missouri show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards.  This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length and are maintained by state, local and federal agencies.  Missouri ranks seventh among states nationally in the percentage of bridges that are structurally deficient.

  • Seventeen percent of Missouri’s bridges were structurally deficient in 2010, the seventh highest rate nationally.  A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, superstructure or substructure or if the bridge was designed to carry light loads.  Structurally deficient bridges may be closed in some situations, but more often are posted for lower weight limits, which restricts or redirects larger vehicles, including commercial trucks, school buses and emergency services vehicles.
  • Twelve percent of Missouri’s bridges were functionally obsolete in 2010.  Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
  • The state projects a decrease of about 300 structurally deficient and functionally obsolete MoDOT-owned bridges by 2014, as a result of MoDOT’s Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program. However, without long-term funding, those improvements will be wiped out by 2018, when MoDOT projects that the number of structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges will return to 2008 levels.
  • This report contains a list of needed bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects across the state that would require additional federal or state funding to be completed.

Improving safety features on Missouri’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in traffic fatalities in the state.  Roadway design is an important factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.   Missouri’s rural traffic fatality rate is significantly greater than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state.

  • Between 2006 and 2010, 4,747 people were killed in traffic crashes in Missouri, an average of 949 fatalities per year.
  • Missouri’s traffic fatality rate was 1.16 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2010.
  • The traffic fatality rate in 2010 on Missouri’s non-Interstate rural roads was 1.73 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, which is more than two times higher than the 0.83 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • A disproportionate share of highway fatalities occur on Missouri’s rural, non-Interstate roads.  In 2010, 55 percent of traffic fatalities in Missouri occurred on rural, non-Interstate routes, while only 37 percent of vehicle travel in the state occurred on these roads.
  • The cost of serious traffic crashes in Missouri in 2009, in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor, was approximately $1.4 billion. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • In the Kansas City area, where there were 134 traffic fatalities in 2010, traffic crashes in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor cost the average driver approximately $192 per year.
  • Traffic crashes in the St. Louis area in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor cost the average driver approximately $182 per year. In 2010, there were 175 traffic fatalities the St. Louis area.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway design.  It is estimated that roadway design is an important factor in one-third of fatal traffic accidents.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and accidents while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion.  Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • The Federal Highway Administration has found that every $100 million spent on needed highway safety improvements will result in 145 fewer traffic fatalities over a 10-year period.

Commerce and commuting in Missouri are constrained by growing traffic congestion, which will increase in the future unless additional highway and transit capacity is provided.

  • In 2008, 44 percent of the state’s urban highways carried a level of traffic likely to result in significant delays during peak travel hours.
  • The average rush hour trip in the Kansas City metropolitan area takes approximately ten percent longer to complete than during non-rush hour. Congestion related delays cost the average peak-hour driver in Kansas City $498 each year in lost time and wasted fuel.
  • The average rush hour trip in the St. Louis metropolitan area takes approximately 12 percent longer to complete than during non-rush hour.  Congestion related delays cost the average peak-hour driver in St. Louis $772 each year in lost time and wasted fuel.

The efficiency of Missouri’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.  Expenditures on highway repairs create a significant number of jobs.

  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs, and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.
  • Every year, $226 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Missouri and another $234 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Missouri, mostly by trucks.  Seventy-two percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Missouri are carried by trucks and another 14 percent are carried by parcel, U.S. Postal Service or courier services, which use trucks for part of their deliveries.
  • 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.

Two 2010 reports, one by the Treasury Department with the Council of Economic Advisers and the other by a bipartisan group of transportation experts, found that the U.S. is falling far behind internationally in providing a modern transportation system and will need to adopt a more ambitious and focused transportation program to maintain the nation’s standard of living.  The reports call for increased investment to relieve traffic congestion, improve freight and intermodal access, improve road and bridge conditions, improve traffic safety, and reduce emissions.

The reports found that now is an optimal time to invest in infrastructure because of reduced costs due to the economic downturn and that providing adequate resources to modernize the nation’s transportation system will require increased use of innovative funding tools including vehicle-miles-traveled fees, public-private partnerships and capital budgeting.

  • The report, “An Economic Analysis of Infrastructure Investment” (The Treasury report), was prepared by the U.S. Department of the Treasury with the Council of Economic Advisers.
  • The report, “Well Within Reach: America’s New Transportation Agenda” (The Miller report), was prepared by a group of the nation’s top transportation policy experts chaired by former U.S. Secretaries of Transportation, Samuel Skinner and Norman Mineta.  The group was assembled by the Miller Center at the University of Virginia to develop solutions for the funding and planning challenges that confront the nation’s transportation system.
  • The Miller report found that the U.S. faces an annual funding shortfall to maintain conditions and traffic congestion levels on its transportation system from between $134 and $194 billion and from between $189 and $262 billion to improve conditions and reduce traffic congestion.
  • The Treasury report found that U.S. infrastructure spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen by 50 percent and now accounts for two percent of the nation’s GDP.  In contrast, China spends about nine percent of its GDP on infrastructure and Europe about five percent.
  • The Treasury report found that now is an optimal time to invest in transportation infrastructure because well-designed projects can provide significant, long-term economic benefits, significant needs exist and construction and other costs associated with infrastructure projects are especially low because of high unemployment and a high level of underutilized resources.

Key recommendations of the reports include:

Program format:

  • Adopt an integrated approach to transportation planning that includes freight and goods movement and stresses intermodal connectivity (Miller).
  • Prioritize projects that provide the greatest returns in terms of future U.S. competitiveness, economic growth and employment (Miller).
  • Increase emphasis on urban congestion relief, including adding additional roadway and transit capacity, making the existing system work more efficiently and adopting regional policies that may reduce some travel demand (Miller).
  • Improve the delivery of transportation projects by reforming the project planning, permitting and review process to speed actual implementation (Miller).

Funding:

  • Establish a National Infrastructure Bank (NIB) that would create conditions for greater private sector co-investment in infrastructure.  The NIB would also perform rigorous analysis to identify projects with the greatest possible societal and economic benefits (Treasury).
  • Save the public money by investing adequately in transportation to reduce delays, vehicle maintenance costs, traffic crashes and vehicle emissions (Miller).
  • Adopt a federal capital budget that recognizes that transportation expenditures are an investment and that takes into account future returns on those investments (Miller).

All data used in the report is the latest available. Sources of information for this report include the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Treasury Department, the Council of Economic Advisers, the U.S. Census, The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Reason Foundation and the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI).