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TRIP Report: America’s Rural Roads & Bridges Have Significant Deficiencies & High Fatality Rates; Repairs & Modernization Needed To Improve Conditions, Boost Safety & Support Economic Growth

America’s rural transportation system is in need of repairs and modernization to support economic growth in the nation’s Heartland, which is a critical source of energy, food and fiber and home to an aging and increasingly diverse population that is heavily reliant on the quality of its transportation system. A new report released today by TRIP evaluates the safety and condition of the nation’s rural roads and bridges and finds that the nation’s rural transportation system is in need of improvements to address deficient roads and bridges, high crash rates, and inadequate connectivity and capacity. TRIP is a national non-profit transportation research group based in Washington, D.C. The chart below shows the states with the highest rate of rural pavements in poor condition, states with the highest share of structurally deficient rural bridges and those with the highest fatality rates on rural roads.

TRIP Rural 1America’s rural roads and bridges have significant deficiencies. In 2013, 15 percent of the nation’s major rural roads were rated in poor condition and another 39 percent were rated in mediocre or fair condition. In 2014, 11 percent of the nation’s rural bridges were rated as structurally deficient and 10 percent were functionally obsolete.

The federal surface transportation program is a critical source of funding for rural roads. However, the current federal surface transportation program is set to expire on May 31, 2015.

“The 61 million people who live in America’s rural heartland deserve a transportation system that is safe, efficient and reliable,” said Kathleen Bower, AAA vice president of public affairs. “It is up to Congress to pass a fully funded, long-term bill to improve our nation’s rural roads before the Highway Trust Fund runs out of money this summer.”

In addition to deteriorated roads and bridges, the TRIP report finds that traffic crashes and fatalities on rural roads are disproportionately high, occurring at a rate nearly three times higher than all other roads. In 2013, non-Interstate rural roads had a traffic fatality rate of 2.20 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles of travel, compared to a fatality rate on all other roads of 0.75 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel. Rural traffic fatality rates remain high, despite a substantial decrease in the number of overall fatalities.

“America’s rural transportation network plays a key role in the success and quality of life for U.S. farmers and ranchers,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “But deteriorated and deficient rural roads and bridges are hindering our nation’s agricultural goods from reaching markets at home and abroad and slowing the pace of economic growth in rural America. Securing the appropriate resources at the local, state and federal levels will allow for the improvements needed to provide a rural transportation system that will keep goods moving, improve quality of life and quicken the pace of economic growth.”

The quality of life in America’s small communities and rural areas and the health of the nation’s rural economy is highly reliant on the quality of the nation’s rural transportation system, particularly its roads, highways and bridges. America’s rural transportation system provides the first and last link in the supply chain from farm to market while supporting the tourism industry and enabling the growing production of energy, food and fiber. Rural Americans are more reliant on the quality of their transportation system than their urban counterparts.

TRIP Rural Roads-Final“America’s rural transportation system enables the farm to market supply chain, supports our tourism and energy industries, and allows for the production of the goods and services that are vital to our nation’s economic health and growth,” said Janet Kavinoky, executive director of Transportation and Infrastructure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “But years of inadequate transportation funding have left a deficient rural transportation network that does not meet present-day demands. Improving the transportation system will create jobs today and leave a lasting asset for future generations.”

The TRIP report finds that the U.S. needs to adopt transportation policies that will improve rural transportation connectivity, safety and conditions to provide the nation’s small communities and rural areas with safe and efficient access to support quality of life and enhance economic productivity. To accomplish this, the report recommends modernizing and extending key routes to accommodate personal and commercial travel, implementing needed roadway safety improvements, improving public transit access to rural areas, and adequately funding the preservation and maintenance of rural transportation assets.

“The safety and quality of life in America’s small communities and rural areas and the health of the nation’s economy ride on our rural transportation system. The nation’s rural roads provide crucial links from farm to market, move manufactured and energy products, and provide access to countless tourism, social and recreational destinations,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP.  “But, with long-term federal transportation legislation stuck in political gridlock in Washington, economic growth in America’s rural communities could be threatened.  Funding the modernization of our rural transportation system will create jobs and help ensure long-term economic development and quality of life in rural America.”

Rural Connections:

Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland

Executive Summary

America’s rural heartland plays a vital role as home to a significant share of the nation’s population, many of its natural resources, and popular tourist destinations. It is also the primary source of the energy, food and fiber that supports America’s economy and way of life. The strength of the nation’s rural economy is heavily reliant on the quality of the transportation system, particularly the roads and highways that link rural America with the rest of the U.S. and to markets in other countries. The economy of rural America rides on the quality and connectivity of the rural transportation system, which supports quality of life for the approximately 61 million Americans living in rural areas.

Good transportation is essential to rural areas to provide access to jobs, to facilitate the movement of goods and people, to access opportunities for health care and educational skills, and to provide links to other social services. Transportation supports businesses and is a critical factor in a company’s decision to locate new business operations. For communities that rely on tourism and natural amenities to help support their economy, transportation is the key link between visitors and destinations.

Roads, highways, rails and bridges in the nation’s heartland face a number of significant challenges: they lack adequate capacity, they fail to provide needed levels of connectivity to many communities, and they are not adequate to accommodate growing freight travel in many corridors. Rural roads and bridges have significant deficiencies, they lack many desirable safety features, and they experience fatal traffic crashes at a rate far higher than all other roads and highways. This report looks at the condition, use and safety of the nation’s rural transportation system, particularly its roads, highways and bridges, and identifies needed improvements.

Rural areas in this report are based on the U.S. Census Bureau definition, which defines rural areas as regions outside of urban areas with a population of 2,500 or more. Road, bridge and safety data in this report is based on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) definition, which allows states to either use the U.S. Census Bureau definition to identify rural routes or to define rural areas as regions outside of urban areas with a population of 5,000 or more.

The following are the key findings of the report.

An aging and increasingly diverse rural America plays a vital role as home to a significant share of the nation’s population, natural resources and tourist destinations. It is also the primary source of the energy, food and fiber that drive the U.S. economy. Rural Americans are more reliant on the quality of their transportation system than their urban counterparts.

  • While there are many ways to define rural, the U.S. Census Bureau defines rural areas as regions outside of urban areas with a population of 2,500 or more.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau definition, 19 percent of the nation’s residents live in rural areas – approximately 61 million of the nation’s 314 million people in 2014.
  • America’s rural population increased gradually each year from 1976 to 2010, rising between 0.1 and 1.5 percent each year. From 2010 to 2014, the nation’s rural population declined slightly as rural areas continued to be impacted by the Great Recession.
  • While overall rural populations declined slightly between 2010 and 2014, population did increase in some rural areas from 2010 to 2014. This population increase occurred primarily in rural counties that have been impacted by the ongoing energy boom, particularly in the Northern Great Plains as well as portions of Arkansas, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Texas.
  • Many of the transportation challenges facing rural America are similar to those in urbanized areas. However, rural residents tend to be more heavily reliant on their limited transportation network – primarily rural roads and highways- than their counterparts in more urban areas. Residents of rural areas often must travel longer distances to access education, employment, retail locations, social opportunities and health services.
  • The rural U.S. population is aging more rapidly than the nation as a whole. The share of older adults in rural areas is disproportionate, with 17.2 percent of those living in rural areas over age 65, while 12.8 percent of residents in urban areas and 13 percent of the nation’s total population are over 65.
  • Rural areas are growing increasingly more diverse. Although racial and ethnic minorities make up only 21 percent of the rural population, minorities accounted for nearly 83 percent of rural population growth between 2000 and 2010.
  • The movement of retiring baby boomers to rural America is likely to continue in the future as aging Americans seek out communities that offer affordable housing, small-town quality of life and desirable natural amenities, while often located within a short drive of larger metropolitan areas.
  • Eighty-six percent of trips taken by Americans to visit rural areas are for leisure purposes.
  • Popular tourism activities in rural America include hiking, golfing, biking, hunting, fishing and water sports. Rural areas are also home to beaches, national and state parks, wineries, orchards and other national amenities.
  • The amount of rural tourism in a region is tied partly to the level of highway access.

The quality of life in America’s small communities and rural areas and the health of the nation’s rural economy is highly reliant on the quality of the nation’s transportation system, particularly its roads, highways and bridges. America’s rural transportation system provides the first and last link in the supply chain from farm to market while supporting the tourism industry and enabling the production of energy, food and fiber.

  • Freight mobility and efficiency is fundamental to rural economic vitality and prosperity. Economic growth and stability in rural areas is heavily reliant on the ability to move raw materials into, or the value-added products out of, these areas.
  • The annual value of agricultural production in the U.S. increased by 33 percent from $297 billion in 2007 to $395 billion in 2012.
  • While farming accounts for just six percent of all jobs in rural America, for every person employed in farming there are seven more jobs in agribusiness, including wholesale and retail trade, processing, marketing, production, and distribution.
  • Despite pockets of rapid economic growth, many rural areas have experienced a slower recovery from the Great Recession. Rural employment remains three percent below its 2007 peak, while urban employment now exceeds pre-recession levels.
  • A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report found that “an effective transportation system supports rural economies, reducing the prices farmers pay for inputs such as seeds and fertilizers, raising the value of their crops and greatly increasing market access.”
  • Trucks provide the majority of transportation for agricultural products, accounting for 46 percent of total ton miles of travel compared to 36 percent by rail and 12 percent by barge.
  • Trucks account for the vast majority of transportation for perishable agricultural items, carrying 91 percent of ton miles of all fruit, vegetables, livestock, meat, poultry and dairy products in the U.S.
  • The Council of State Governments recently found that “rural highways provide many benefits to the nation’s transportation system, including serving as a bridge to other states, supporting the agriculture and energy industries, connecting economically challenged citizens in remote locations to employers, enabling the movement of people and freight and providing access to America’s tourist attractions.”
  • The rapid expansion of the energy extraction industry, particularly in the Great Plains states, has consumed rail capacity that had previously been used to move agricultural goods. As a result, the agricultural goods that had been shipped by rail are now being moved via alternate transportation means, placing additional stress on the rural highway system and increasing costs to farmers and consumers.
  • Transportation is becoming an even more critical segment of the food distribution network. While food demand is concentrated mostly in urban areas, food distribution is the most dispersed segment of the economy.
  • A highly competitive and efficient transportation system can lead to lower food costs for U.S. consumers and higher market prices for producers due to lower shipping costs, smaller margins and more competitive export prices.
  • A report by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council recommends that governments improve the quality of their transportation systems serving the movement of goods from rural to urban regions as a strategy to lower food costs and increase economic prosperity.
  • A report on agricultural transportation by the USDA found it likely that market changes and shifts in consumer preferences would further increase the reliance on trucking to move U.S. agricultural products.

The condition and quality of the nation’s highway system plays a critical role in providing access to America’s many tourist destinations, particularly its scenic parks and recreational areas, which are mostly located in rural areas.

  • In 2013, travel and tourism related spending in the U.S. in 2013 totaled $1.5 trillion and 8.1 million Americans were employed in tourism-related jobs.
  • America’s national parks, which are largely located in rural areas, received 274 million visitors in 2013, many in personal vehicles.

Travel loads on America’s rural roads are increasing dramatically due to the booming energy extraction sector. This has been driven by increases in domestic oil and gas extraction, largely as a result of advancements in hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which has greatly increased the accessibility of shale oil and gas deposits, as well as the increased production of renewable energy such as wind and solar.

  •  Rapid growth in energy extraction has led to significant population and job growth in select rural areas, particularly in areas that were previously sparsely populated. Between 2001 and 2011, oil and gas extraction was a substantial contributor to 444 rural counties. In 114 of these rural counties, oil and gas extraction at least doubled from 2001 to 2011.
  • Ethanol production in the U.S. increased from 1.7 billion gallons in 2000 to 13.3 billion gallons in 2012. Federal mandates require that production of renewable fuels, including biofuels and cellulosic fuels, reach 36 billion gallons per year by 2022.
  • The U.S. production of liquid fuels, including crude oil and natural gas, has increased 34 percent from 2000 to 2014, increasing liquid fuel’s share of overall U.S. energy production, from 47 to 54 percent between 2000 and 2014 (includes coal and nuclear).
  • The U.S. production of renewable energy, including wind and solar, has increased 48 percent from 2000 to 2014, increasing renewable energy’s share of overall U.S. energy production from 8.3 to 10.6 percent from 2000 to 2014 (includes coal and nuclear).
  • The development of significant new oil and gas fields in numerous areas, particularly in the North Central Plains, and increased agricultural production, are placing significantly increased traffic loads by large trucks on non-Interstate rural roads, which often have not been constructed to carry such high load volumes.
  • The average travel per-lane mile by large trucks on major, non-Interstate arterial rural roads in the U.S. increased by 13 percent from 2000 to 2013.

Rural Transportation Challenge: Connectivity

The potential for additional economic growth in many rural areas is being impeded by the failure to significantly modernize the nation’s rural transportation system and provide for adequate connectivity. This lack of connectivity is preventing economic growth and reducing quality of life for rural residents.

  • Sixty-six cities of 50,000 or more in the U.S. do not have direct access to the Interstate Highway System. A list of the 66 cities can be found in Appendix A.
  • Rural transportation accessibility and connectivity is critical to transportation-dependent business sectors including the growing energy production sector, advanced manufacturing and tourism. Many jobs located in urban areas also depend on economic inputs from rural communities.
  • Since the routes for the Interstate Highway System were designated in 1956, the nation’s population has nearly doubled from – 165 million to 318 million.
  • The abandonment of more than 100,000 miles of rail lines in recent decades, mostly in rural areas, has reduced access in many rural communities and increased reliance on trucking for freight movement.
  • Only 60 percent of rural counties nationwide have public transportation available and 28 percent of those have very limited service.
  • Residents of rural areas often must travel longer distances to access education, employment, retail locations, social opportunities, and health services. Rural residents also assume additional risks as a result of living in areas that may be farther from police, fire or emergency medical services.

Rural Transportation Challenge: Safety

Traffic fatalities on the nation’s rural roads occur at a rate nearly three times higher than all other roads. A disproportionate share of fatalities take place on rural roads compared to the amount of traffic they carry.

  • Rural roads have a traffic fatality rate that is nearly three times higher than all other roads. In 2013, non-Interstate rural roads had a traffic fatality rate of 2.20 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles of travel, compared to a fatality rate on all other roads of 0.75 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel.
  • Crashes on the nation’s rural, non-Interstate routes resulted in 15,601 fatalities in 2013, accounting for nearly half – 48 percent – of the nation’s 32,719 traffic deaths in 2013.
  • Rural, non-Interstate routes accounted for 24 percent of all vehicle miles of travel in the U.S. in 2013.
  • While overall fatality rates have decreased in recent years, the fatality rate on rural, non-Interstate roads has declined at a slower rate. From 2005 to 2013, the fatality rate on rural, non-Interstate routes declined by 16 percent, from 2.61 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2005 to 2.20 in 2013. The fatality rate on all other roads decreased 29 percent from 2005 to 2013, from 1.05 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel to 0.75.
  • After years of steadily decreasing, the rate of fatalities and the number of fatalities on rural non-Interstate roads increased in 2012 before dropping slightly in 2013. The rate of traffic fatalities on the nation’s rural non-Interstate roads decreased from 2.61 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2005 to 2.14 in 2011 before increasing to 2.21 in 2012 and 2.20 in 2013. Similarly the number of traffic fatalities on the nation’s rural non-Interstate roads decreased from 20,333 in 2005 to 15,668 in 2011 before increasing to 16,161 in 2012 and dropping to 15,601 in 2013.
  • The chart below details the twenty states that led the nation in the number of rural non-Interstate traffic deaths in 2013. Data for all states is available in Appendix B.

TRIP 2The chart below details the twenty states with the highest rate of rural non-Interstate traffic fatalities per 100 million miles of travel and the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles of travel on all other roads in the state in 2013. Data for all states is available in Appendix C.

 

TRIP 3The higher traffic fatality rate found on rural, non-Interstate routes is a result of multiple factors, including the following: a lack of desirable roadway safety features, longer emergency vehicle response times and the higher speeds traveled on rural roads compared to urban roads.

  • Rural roads are more likely than urban roads to have roadway features that reduce safety, including narrow lanes, limited shoulders, sharp curves, exposed hazards, pavement drop-offs, steep slopes and limited clear zones along roadsides.
  • Because many rural routes have been constructed over a period of years, they often have inconsistent design features for such things as lane widths, curves, shoulders and clearance zones along roadsides.
  • Rural roads are more likely than urban roads to be two-lane routes. Eighty-six percent of the nation’s urban non-freeway arterial roads have two-lanes, compared to 56 percent of rural non-freeway arterial routes having two-lanes.
  • Rural roads are more likely than urban roads to have narrow lanes. A desirable lane width for collector and arterial roadways is at least 11 feet.       However, 23 percent of rural collector and arterial roads have lane widths of 10 feet or less, compared to 18 percent of urban collector and arterial roads with lane widths of 10 feet or less.
  • Most head-on crashes on rural, non-Interstate roads are likely caused by a motorist making an unintentional maneuver as a result of driver fatigue, being distracted or driving too fast in a curve.
  • While driver behavior is a significant factor in traffic crash rates, both safety belt usage and impaired driving rates are similar in their involvement rate as a factor in urban and rural traffic crashes. 

Numerous roadway safety improvements can be made to reduce serious crashes and traffic fatalities. These improvements are designed largely to keep vehicles from leaving the correct lane and to reduce the consequences of a vehicle leaving the roadway.

  • The type of safety design improvements that are appropriate for a section of rural road will depend partly on the amount of funding available and the nature of the safety problem on that section of road.
  • Low-cost safety improvements include installing rumble strips along the centerline and sides of roads, improving signage and pavement/lane markings including higher levels of retroreflectivity, installing lighting, removing or shielding roadside obstacles, using chevrons and post-mounted delineators to indicate roadway alignment along curves, adding skid resistant surfaces at curves and upgrading or adding guardrails.
  • Moderate-cost improvements include adding turn lanes at intersections, resurfacing pavements and adding median barriers.
  • Moderate to high-cost improvements include improving roadway alignment, reducing the angle of curves, widening lanes, adding or paving shoulders, adding intermittent passing lanes or adding a third or fourth lane.
  • Systemic installation of cost effective safety solutions and devices in rural areas helps to improve safety not just by targeting individual safety problem points on a road, but also making entire segments safer by improving those roadway segments that exhibit the characteristics that typically result in fatal or serious-injury crashes. 

Rural Transportation Challenge: Deficient Conditions

The nation’s rural roads, highways and bridges have significant deficiencies. Fifteen percent of the nation’s rural roads have pavements in poor condition, and more than one-fifth of the nation’s rural bridges need rehabilitation, repair or replacement.

  • In 2013, 15 percent of the nation’s major rural roads (arterials and collectors) were rated in poor condition and another 39 percent were rated in mediocre or fair condition.
  • The chart below shows the twenty states with the greatest percentage of major rural roads in poor condition in 2013. Rural pavement conditions for all states can be found in Appendix D.

TRIP 4

  • In 2014, 11 percent of the nation’s rural bridges were rated as 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, school buses and emergency services vehicles.
  • In 2014, 10 percent of the nation’s rural bridges were rated as 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 chart below shows the twenty states with the highest share of rural bridges rated structurally deficient in 2014. Rural bridge conditions for all states can be found in Appendix E.

TRIP 5

Transportation Opportunities in Rural America

America must adopt transportation policies that improve rural transportation connectivity, safety and conditions to provide the nation’s small communities and rural areas with a level of safe and efficient access that will support quality of life and enhance economic productivity. The following recommendations by TRIP for an improved rural transportation system are also based partially on findings and recommendations made by AASHTO, the National Highway Cooperative Research Program (NCHRP), the Council of State Governments (CSG) and the Ports-to-Plains Alliance.

Improve access and connectivity in America’s small communities and rural areas 

  • Widen and extend key highway routes, including Interstates, to increase connectivity to smaller and emerging communities to facilitate access to jobs, education and healthcare, while improving access for agriculture, energy, manufacturing, forestry, tourism and other critical segments of the rural economy.
  • The NCHRP report found that the construction of an additional 30,000 lane miles of limited access highways, largely along existing corridors, is needed to address the nation’s need for increased rural connectivity.
  • Modernize major two-lane roads and highways so they can accommodate increased personal and commercial travel.
  • Improve public transit service in rural America to provide improved mobility for people without access to private vehicles.

Improve rural traffic safety

  • Adequately fund needed rural roadway safety improvements and provide enhanced enforcement, education and improved emergency response to reduce the rate of rural traffic fatalities.
  • Implement cost-effective roadway safety improvements, including rumble strips, shoulder improvements, lane widening, curve reductions, skid resistant surfaces at curves, passing lanes, intersection improvements and improved signage, pavement markings and lighting, guardrails and barriers, and improved shielding of obstacles.

Improve the condition of rural roads, highways and bridges

  • Adequately fund local and state transportation programs to insure sufficient preservation of rural roads, highways and bridges to maintain transportation service and accommodate large truck travel, which is needed to support the rural economy.

The federal government is a critical source of funding for rural roads, highways and bridges. However, current federal transportation funding will expire on May 31, 2015. 

  • If Congress decides to provide additional revenues into the federal Highway Trust Fund in tandem with authorizing a new federal surface transportation program, a number of technically feasible revenue options have been identified by AASHTO.
  • A significant boost in investment on the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs, concluded a new report from AASHTO.
  • The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase from $88 billion to $120 billion and from $17 billion to $43 billion in the nation’s public transit systems, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs.

All data used in this report is the most current available. Sources of information for this report include: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials(AASHTO), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Council of State Governments (CSG) and the U.S. Census Bureau.

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

 

TRIPTen Key Transportation Numbers in West Virginia

 

 

$333

$400

$383

 

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

#2

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

 

35 %

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

$425 million

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

 

2X

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

36%

 

42%

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

364

1,820

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

$2.26

 

34%

 

 

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

23 %

20 %

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

 

$1.00 = $5.20

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

Executive Summa

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

As West Virginia looks to retain its businesses, continue its level of economic competitiveness and achieve further economic growth, the state will need to maintain and modernize its roads, highways and bridges by improving the physical condition of its transportation network and enhancing the system’s ability to provide efficient and reliable mobility for motorists and businesses.  Making needed improvements to West Virginia’s roads, highways and bridges could also provide a significant boost to the state’s economy by creating jobs in the short term and stimulating long term economic growth as a result of enhanced mobility and access.

With a current unemployment rate of 6.1 percent and with the state’s population continuing to grow, West Virginia must improve its system of roads, highways and bridges to foster economic growth and keep businesses in the state. In addition to economic growth, transportation improvements are needed to ensure safe, reliable mobility and quality of life for all West Virginians.  Meeting West Virginia’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require a significant boost in local, state and federal funding.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Twelve percent of West Virginia’s major roads and highways have pavements in poor condition while an additional 24 percent of the state’s major roads are rated in mediocre condition.  Eighteen percent are rated in fair condition and the remaining 46 percent are rated in good condition.
  • The pavement data in this report for all arterial roads and highways is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, based on data submitted annually by the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways.
  • In the Charleston urban area, 15 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are rated in poor condition and 28 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Twenty-six percent of major roads in the Charleston area are rated in fair condition and 31 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Roads rated in poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes.  In some cases, poor roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed. Roads rated in mediocre condition may show signs of significant wear and may also have some visible pavement distress. Most pavements in mediocre condition can be repaired by resurfacing, but some may need more extensive reconstruction to return them to good condition.
  • Driving on rough roads costs West Virginia motorists a total of $400 million annually in extra vehicle operating costs. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
  • Driving on rough roads costs the average West Virginian motorists $333 annually and the average Charleston-area driver $383 in extra vehicle operating costs.

More than one-third of locally and state-maintained bridges in West Virginia show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length. 

  • Thirteen percent of West Virginia’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles. 
  • Twenty-two percent of West Virginia’s bridges are functionally obsolete.  Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

West Virginia’s traffic fatality rate is the second highest in the nation.  Improving safety features on West Virginia’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in the state’s traffic fatalities and serious crashes. Roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes. 

  • West Virginia’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.78 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 was the second highest nationally, behind only Montana at 1.79. West Virginia’s traffic fatality rate was 62 percent higher than the national average of 1.10.
  • Between 2007 and 2011 a total of 1,820 people were killed in traffic crashes in West Virginia, an average of 364 fatalities per year.
  • The fatality rate on West Virginia’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.54 fatalities per 100 vehicle miles of travel in 2011, more than double the 1.19 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design.  The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features.  TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion.  Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes.  A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over the next 20 years.

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

  • Annually, $49.8 billion in goods are shipped from sites in West Virginia and another $54.1 billion in goods are shipped to sites in West Virginia, mostly by truck.
  • Sixty-five percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in West Virginia are carried by trucks and another 11 percent are carried by courier services or multiple mode deliveries, which include trucking.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Businesses have responded to improved communications and greater competition by moving from a push-style distribution system, which relies on low-cost movement of bulk commodities and large-scale warehousing, to a pull-style distribution system, which relies on smaller, more strategic and time-sensitive movement of goods.
  • A 2007 analysis by the Federal Highway Administration found that every $1 billion invested in highway construction would support approximately 27,800 jobs, including approximately 9,500 in the construction sector, approximately 4,300 jobs in industries supporting the construction sector, and approximately 14,000 other jobs induced in non-construction related sectors of the economy.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

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

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

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

TRIP Report: JACKSON , MS AREA DRIVERS WASTE MORE THAN $1,500 EACH YEAR DRIVING ON DEFICIENT ROADS – A TOTAL OF $1.6 BILLION STATEWIDE. SIXTY-EIGHT PERCENT OF JACKSON AREA MAJOR ROADS NEED IMPROVEMENT, MORE THAN ONE FIFTH OF MISSISSIPPI BRIDGES NEED REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT

TRIPMore than two-thirds of Jackson’s major locally and state-maintained roads are in either poor or mediocre condition, more than one fifth of the state’s bridges need repair or replacement, and Mississippi’s drivers experience growing congestion and delays. In addition to deteriorated roads and bridges, Mississippi’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 Mississippi, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization. The TRIP report, Mississippi 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.

 

$1.6 billion

TRIP estimates that Mississippi 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 $1.6 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion and traffic crashes.

$1,506

$1,272

Driving on roads that are congested, deteriorated and that lack some desirable safety features costs the average Jackson area driver $1,506 annually. In the Gulfport/Biloxi area, the average driver loses $1,272 each year.

28%

68%

46%

Twenty-eight percent of Mississippi’s roads are either in poor or mediocre condition.  Sixty-eight percent of Jackson-area major locally and state- maintained urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition. In the Gulfport/Biloxi area, 46 percent of major urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

728

3,638

5th

From 2007 to 2011, an average of 728 people were killed annually in Mississippi traffic crashes, a total of 3,638 fatalities.  Mississippi’s traffic fatality rate of 1.62 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 was the fifth highest level nationally.

 

2X

The fatality rate on Mississippi’s non-interstate rural roads is more than double that on all other roads in the state (2.27 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.99).

 

22 %

A total of 22 percent of Mississippi bridges are in need of repair, improvement or replacement. Fourteen percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient and eight percent are functionally obsolete.

59 %

35 %

Vehicle miles of travel in Mississippi increased 59 percent from 1990 to 2011 and are expected to increase another 35 percent by 2030.

$470 million

If a lack of adequate revenue into the Federal Highway Trust Fund is not addressed by Congress, funding for highway and transit improvements in Mississippi could be cut by $470 million for the federal fiscal year beginning October 1, 2014.

 

$1.27

51%

 

From 2007 to 2011, the federal government provided $1.27 for road improvements in Mississippi for every one dollar paid in federal motor fuel fees.   From 2007 to 2011, federal revenues accounted for 51 percent of state spending on Mississippi’s roads, highways and bridges.

 

$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 reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced roadway maintenance costs, and reduced emissions.

Mississippi 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 $1.6 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 Jackson area driver $1,506 annually and the average Gulfport/Biloxi area driver $1,272 annually.

“This study is further evidence that Mississippi’s roads and bridges are deteriorating at an alarming rate,” said House Transportation Chairman Robert Johnson. “The effects of weather and heavy traffic on our roadways is becoming a public safety issue that the legislature cannot ignore. Improving our transportation infrastructure is not only vital for public safety concerns, it directly impacts Mississippi’s ability to attract new businesses and retain existing industries. Our future economy depends on it.”

Growing traffic congestion, particularly in the state’s urban areas, threatens to choke commuting and commerce. The average commuter in the Jackson metro area loses 25 additional hours each year stuck in traffic due to traffic congestion and the average commuter in the Gulfport/Biloxi metro area loses 24 additional hours each year stuck in traffic due to traffic congestion.

Traffic crashes in Mississippi claimed the lives of 3,638 people between 2007 and 2011. The state’s 2011 traffic fatality rate of 1.62 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel (VMT) is significantly higher than the national average of 1.10 fatalities per 100 million VMT and was the fifth highest among all states, behind only Montana (1.79), West Virginia (1.78), South Carolina (1.70) and Arkansas (1.67). The traffic fatality rate in 2011 on Mississippi’s non-Interstate rural roads was 2.27 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, more than double the 0.99 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 Mississippi 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 Mississippi will require a significant boost in state and federal funding for road, highway and bridge improvements.”

Executive Summary

Mississippi’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. Mississippi’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 Mississippi 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 Mississippi’s roads, highways and bridges could also provide a significant boost to the state’s economy by creating jobs in the short term and stimulating long term economic growth as a result of enhanced mobility and access.

With a current unemployment rate of 8.5 percent and with the state’s population continuing to grow, Mississippi 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 Mississippians. Meeting Mississippi’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require a significant boost in local, state and federal funding.Signed into law in July 2012, MAP-21(Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21Century Act), will fund surface transportation programs in Mississippi at an average of $469 million annually for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

Signed into law in July 2012, MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), will fund surface transportation programs in Mississippi at an average of $469 million annually for fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

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

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

An inadequate transportation system costs Mississippi residents a total of $1.6 billion every year in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC), congestion-related delays and traffic crashes.

  • TRIP estimates that Mississippi 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 $1.6 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to traffic congestion and traffic crashes.
  • TRIP has calculated the annual cost to Mississippi residents of driving on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lack some desirable safety features both statewide and in the state’s largest urban area. The following chart shows the cost breakdown for these areas.

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

  • Mississippi’s population reached nearly 3 million in 2012, a 16 percent increase since 1990. Mississippi had 1,926,603 licensed drivers in 2011.
  • Vehicle miles traveled in Mississippi increased by 59 percent from 1990 to 2011 – jumping from 24.4 billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1990 to 38.9 billion VMT in 2011.
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Mississippi is projected to increase by another 35 percent.
  • From 1990 to 2011, Mississippi’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 47 percent, when adjusted for inflation.

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

•           Eight percent of Mississippi’s major roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 20 percent of the state’s major roads are rated in mediocre condition. Twenty percent are rated in fair condition and the remaining 52 percent are rated in good condition.

  • The pavement data in this report for all arterial roads and highways is provided by the Federal Highway Administration, based on data submitted annually by the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • In the Jackson urban area, 45 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are rated in poor condition and 23 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Twelve percent of Jackson’s major urban roads are rated in fair condition and 21 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Twenty-nine percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in the Gulfport/Biloxi area are rated in poor condition and 17 percent are rated in mediocre condition. Sixteen percent of major urban roads in the Gulfport/Biloxi are rated in fair condition and 38 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Roads rated in poor condition may show signs of deterioration, including rutting, cracks and potholes. In some cases, poor roads can be resurfaced, but often are too deteriorated and must be reconstructed. Roads rated in mediocre condition may show signs of significant wear and may also have some visible pavement distress. Most pavements in mediocre condition can be repaired by resurfacing, but some may need more extensive reconstruction to return them to good condition.
  • Driving on rough roads costs Mississippi motorists a total of $627 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 Jackson motorist $741 annually in extra vehicle operating costs. In the Gulfport/Biloxi area, the average driver loses $531each year as a result of driving on deteriorated roads.

More than one-fifth of locally and state-maintained bridges in Mississippi 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.

  • Fourteen percent of Mississippi’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.
  • Eight percent of Mississippi’s bridges are functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

Significant levels of traffic congestion cause significant delays in Mississippi, particularly in its larger urban areas, choking commuting and commerce.

  • According to the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the average driver in the Jackson urban area loses $594 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average commuter in the Jackson urban spends an additional 25 hours per year stuck in traffic as a result of traffic congestion.
  • TTI estimates that the average driver in the Gulfport/Biloxi urban area loses $522 each year in the cost of lost time and wasted fuel as a result of traffic congestion. The average commuter in the Gulfport/Biloxi urban spends an additional 24 hours each year stuck in traffic as a result of traffic congestion.

Mississippi’s traffic fatality rate on rural, non-Interstate routes is more than double that on all other roads and highways in the state. Improving safety features on Mississippi’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 3,638 people were killed in traffic crashes in Mississippi, an average of 728 fatalities per year.
  • Mississippi’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.62 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 is higher than the national average of 1.10, the fifth highest level nationally.
  • The fatality rate on Mississippi’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.27 fatalities per 100 vehicle miles of travel in 2011, more than double the 0.99 fatality rate in 2011 on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • The cost of serious traffic crashes in Mississippi in 2011 in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor was approximately $573 million.
  • In the Jackson urban area, the cost of serious traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor is approximately $171 annually per motorist. The cost of serious traffic crashes in the Gulfport/Biloxi area in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor is approximately $219 per motorist.
  • 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 Mississippi’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, $91 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Mississippi and another $104 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Mississippi, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy-seven percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Mississippi are carried by trucks and another four 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.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number one site selection factor in a 2011 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • A 2013 report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association found that the $1.4 billion spent annually on road, highway and bridge construction and maintenance in Mississippi supports approximately 37,000 full-time jobs, including approximately 18,400 jobs in transportation construction and related activities and approximately 18,600 jobs induced in non-construction related sectors of the economy.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

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

  • The MAP-21 program, approved by Congress in July 2012, greatly increased funding flexibility for states and streamlined project approval processes to improve the efficiency of state and local transportation agencies in providing needed transportation improvements in the state.
  • MAP-21 does not provide sufficient long-term revenues to support the current level of federal surface transportation investment. Nationwide federal funding for highways is expected to be cut by almost 100 percent from the current investment level for the fiscal year starting October 1, 2014 (FY 2015) unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues. This is due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.
  • If the funding shortfalls into the federal Highway Trust Fund are addressed solely by cutting spending it is estimated that federal funding for highway and transit improvements in Mississippi will be cut by $470 million for the federal fiscal year starting October 1, 2014, unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues.
  • From 2007 to 2011, the federal government provided $1.27 for road improvements in Mississippi for every one dollar paid in federal motor fuel fees.
  • From 2007 to 2011, federal revenues accounted for 51 percent of state spending on Mississippi’s roads, highways and bridges.

Sources of information for this report include the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), 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: Maine’s Top 50 Transportation Challenges and Improvements Needed to Address Them

TRIPNew Report Identifies Maine’s Top 50 Transportation Challenges And Needed Fixes, Including Deteriorated And Congested Roadways, Deficient Bridges And Needed Safety Improvements

Deficient roads, highways and bridges in Maine are posing mounting challenges to the state’s residents, visitors and businesses and addressing these challenges will require numerous projects to reconstruct highways, repair and replace bridges improve safety features and improve access on the state’s transportation system.  This is according to a new report released recently by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research organization.

The report, Maine’s Top 50 Transportation Challenges and the Improvements Needed to Address Them,” identifies and ranks the state’s top 50 transportation challenges. Those transportation challenges include 12 sections of major roads or highways that need significant repairs or reconstruction; 19 major bridges in the state that have significant deficiencies and need to be rebuilt or reconstructed; an expansion of a marine terminal; and 18 sections of the state’s transportation system that need improvements to address multiple challenges by improving safety, increasing access or improving road or bridge conditions.  The report also offers solutions for fixing each of the transportation challenges.

thThe top transportation challenges in the state, as identified by the TRIP report, are as follows. Additional details for all 50 transportation challenges can be found in the report’s Appendix.

Executive Summary

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

However, increasing roadway and bridge deterioration, traffic safety concerns, and growing congestion threaten to stifle economic growth and negatively impact the quality of life of the state’s 1.3 million residents. Due to insufficient transportation funding at the federal, state and local level, Maine faces numerous challenges in providing a road, highway and bridge network that is smooth, well-maintained, as safe as possible, and that affords a level of mobility capable of supporting the state’s economic goals

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

Numerous segments of Maine’s 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 Maine’s residents, visitors, businesses and state and local governments.  This report looks at the condition and use of Maine’s system of roads, highways and bridges and provides information on the state’s top 50 transportation challenges and the improvements needed to address these challenges.

Deficient roads, highways and bridges, and crowded or congested routes in Maine 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. 

  • Maine’s top 50 transportation challenges as ranked by TRIP include: Twelve sections of major roads or highways that need significant repairs or reconstruction, 19 major bridges in the state that have significant deficiencies and need to be rebuilt or reconstructed; one improvement to a maritime facility, and 18 sections of the state’s transportation system that need improvements to address multiple challenges by improving safety, increasing access or improving road or bridge conditions.
  • TRIP ranked Maine’s top transportation challenges by giving each segment or facility an overall score, based on a scale that included points for the following categories: current volume of daily travel or ridership; the challenge posed to the public based on the significance of the problem or deficiency; the importance of the route or facility to regional, interstate or international travel patterns; the importance of the route or facility to the regional economy; and, the cost to repair the deficiency.
  • The following list details the top 10 transportation challenges in Maine. Further details about each challenge, as well as the full list of 50 challenges, can be found in the Appendix.

1.    Needed Reconstruction of a portion of Route 3 in Bar Harbor. Addressing this challenge will require reconstructing 4.8 miles of Route 3 in Bar Harbor from approximately one half-mile west of Sand Point Road to Route 233. Estimated cost is $14 million. Route 3, the Acadia All-American Road, is perhaps the most significant highway in Maine for the tourism industry, providing access to Acadia National Park and over 1,000 beds for lodging. It carries approximately 10,317 vehicles per day. The current design and construction of the road lead to constant cracking at the margins. Safety will be greatly improved with better road geometrics, improved access and improved facilities for pedestrian and bicycle. This completes Route 3 improvement projects from the head of the island near Trenton to Bar Harbor.

2.    Needed Replacement of Union Street Bridge in Bangor. Addressing this challenge will require replacing the Union Street Bridge over I-95 in Bangor. Estimated cost is $8.7 million. This is a critical bridge over I-95 on Union Street (Route 222), providing access to Bangor International Airport and the University of Maine at Bangor.

3.    Needed Reconstruction of a portion of Route 302 in Portland area. Addressing this challenge will require reconstructing Route 302 from Stack Em Inn Road and extending west 5.19 miles. Estimated cost is $7.4 million. Route 302 is the major highway from Portland to Fryeburg, Maine and Conway, New Hampshire. It is a major route for commerce, supplying raw products and finished goods to market, as well as a significant commuter route for the labor force in the Greater Portland labor market. This route also serves the tourist rich areas of Fryeburg, Maine and Conway, New Hampshire. There are no practicable alternative routes without adding substantial time and cost.

4.    Needed Replacement of Pine Point Crossing Bridge in Scarborough. Addressing this challenge will require replacing the Pine Point Crossing Bridge over the Pan Am Railroad. Estimated cost is $3.3 million. This bridge, located on Pine Point Road (Route 9), provides primary access to the Coastal Beaches surrounding the Cumberland-York County boundary. The bridge carries an important highway supporting tourism economy. Loss of the bridge will have negative economic impact especially to businesses along this section of Route 9. There are no practicable alternative routes without adding substantial time and cost.

5.    Needed Replacement of Bar Mills Bridge from Buxton to Hollis. Addressing this challenge will require replacing the deteriorated Bar Mills Bridge over the Saco River at the Buxton – Hollis town line. Estimated cost is $8.3 million. The replacement of this bridge will improve safety and access and provide a more direct connection from Buxton to Hollis.

6.    Needed Capacity Expansion of the International Marine Terminal (IMT).  Addressing this challenge will require property acquisition to increase the capacity of the terminal, providing direct rail access to the terminal, and other infrastructure improvements. Estimated cost is $9 million. The International Marine Terminal (IMT) in Portland was selected by the Icelandic Steamship Company, Eimskip, to serve as their North American logistical hub, and only port of call in the US.  They have been carrying freight to and from Portland since March 2013.  Maine businesses will benefit from competitive access to important markets in Eastern Canada, Scandinavia and Northern Europe.

7.    Needed Replacement of Durham Bridge between Durham and Lisbon. Addressing this challenge will require replacing the Durham Bridge (Route 9) over the Androscoggin River. Estimated cost is $6.8 million. This is an essential bridge over the Androscoggin River. Route 9 provides a major commuter route through high-population regions, from southern and western Kennebec through the rural areas of Cumberland County west of I-295. Route 9 is important as a commuter route for work force from rural areas to the service centers communities along its length from Gardiner to Portland. There are no practicable alternative routes without adding substantial time and cost.

8.    Needed Reconstruction of a portion of River Road in Westbrook and Windham. Addressing this challenge will require reconstructing three miles of River Road from Westbrook town line to 0.17 miles south of the intersection of Chute and Depot Road. Estimated cost is $4.8 million. River Road, an important commuter route, holds significant regional importance as a “bypass” alternative to congestion on Route 302 between Portland and Windham. It is an important route for goods and services that support regional businesses. Alternative routes are available, but with increased travel times and cost.

9.    Needed Reconstruction of a portion of Route 2 in Old Town and Milford. Addressing this challenge will require reconstructing 0.75 miles of Route 2 from Bradley Road to 0.29 miles north of Ferry Road. Estimated cost is $3.5 million. Route 2 provides a major non-interstate link from Houlton to Bangor and is a critical link from the forests of the region to the lumber and paper mills of the area, including those in Old Town, Bucksport and Lincoln.

10. Needed Construction of the Approach to the International Bridge at Fort Kent. Addressing this challenge will require constructing the approach associated with replacing the International Bridge on Route 1 in Aroostook. Estimated cost is $5.2 million. Route One connects the border crossings at Ft Kent, Madawaska, and Van Buren. This corridor, which carries approximately 8,100 vehicles per day, is the principal highway link to Route 11, Route 161, and to I-95 in Smyrna and Houlton. It is the transportation backbone of the natural resource based economy, serving as the gateway to the vast undeveloped forest of the “Maine Woods” and supplying raw products to paper and lumber mills throughout northern Maine. Route One also serves as a critical corridor for the logging, agricultural, winter sport and tourism industries. It also provides improved access to Canadian seaports.

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

  • From 1990 to 2012, Maine’s population increased by eight percent, from approximately 1.2 million to approximately 1.3 million.
  • From 1990 to 2011, annual vehicle-miles-of-travel (VMT) in the state increased by 20 percent, from approximately 11.9 billion VMT to 14.2 billion VMT. Based on travel and population trends, TRIP estimates that vehicle travel in Maine will increase another 15 percent by 2030.
  • Every year, $30.9 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Maine and another $41.1 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Maine, mostly by trucks. Eighty-one percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Maine are carried by trucks and another 13 percent are carried by parcel, U.S. Postal Service or courier services, which use trucks for part of their deliveries.

Maine’s extensive transportation system has some road and bridge deficiencies, lacks some desirable safety features and experiences severe congestion in key areas, resulting in significant costs to the state’s motorists.  Improvements to the condition and efficiency of the state’s transportation system will enhance quality of life, roadway safety and economic development.

  • Maine’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.
  • Maine’s system of 22,874 miles of roads and 2,408 bridges carries 14.2 billion vehicle miles of travel annually.
  • In 2011, nine percent of Maine’s major roads were in poor condition and an additional 24 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 Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) on the condition of major state and locally maintained roads and highways in the state.
  • Fifteen percent of Maine’s bridges are rated 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, school buses and emergency services vehicles.
  • Eighteen percent of Maine’s bridges are 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.
  • Maine’s urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, hampering commuting and commerce while reducing economic opportunities and quality of life in the state. Unless Maine’s transportation system is improved and enhanced, congestion will worsen dramatically in the coming years.
  • Roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of traffic fatalities. There were 136 traffic fatalities in 2011 in Maine. A total of 794 people died on Maine’s highways from 2007 through 2011.
  • 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.
  • Maine’s traffic fatality rate of 0.95 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2011 was lower than the national average of 1.10.
  • 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.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number one site selection factor in a 2011 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • A 2007 analysis by the Federal Highway Administration found that every $1 billion invested in highway construction would support approximately 27,800 jobs, including approximately 9,500 in the construction sector, approximately 4,300 jobs in industries supporting the construction sector, and approximately 14,000 other jobs induced in non-construction related sectors of the economy.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs, and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Sources of data for this report include the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), 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 Maine Transportation Institute (TTI), and the U.S. Census Bureau.  All data used in the report is the latest available.

 

TRIP’s Top 40 Transportation Projects to Support Economic Growth and Quality of Life in Maryland

 

Executive Summary

Maryland’s transportation system has played a significant role in the state’s development, providing mobility and access for residents, visitors, businesses and industry. The state’s roads, highways, rails, ports and public transit systems remain the backbone of the Old Line State’s economy. Maryland’s transportation system also provides for a high quality of life and makes the state a desirable place to live and visit. The condition and quality of its transportation system will play a critical role in Maryland’s ability to continue to recover from the recession, capitalize on its economic advantages and meet the demands of the 21st Century.

To achieve sustainable economic growth, Maryland must proceed with numerous projects to improve key roads, bridges, highways and public transit systems. Enhancing critical segments of Maryland’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.

In this report, TRIP examines recent transportation and economic trends in Maryland and provides information on the transportation projects in the state that are most needed to support economic growth. Sources of data include the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), and the U.S. Census Bureau. All data used in the report is the latest available.

TRIP has identified and ranked the 40 transportation projects that are most needed to support Maryland’s economic growth. These projects are located throughout the state.

•            The most needed transportation improvements in Maryland include projects to build, expand or modernize roads, highways bridges and mass transit facilities These improvements would enhance economic development opportunities throughout the state by increasing mobility and freight movement, easing congestion, and making Maryland an attractive place to live, visit and do business.

•            TRIP ranked each transportation project based on a rating system that considered the following: short-term economic benefits, including job creation; the level of improvement in the condition of the transportation facility, including safety improvements; the degree of improvement in access and mobility; and the long- term improvement provided in regional or state economic performance and competitiveness.

•            Maryland’s 10 most needed transportation projects to support economic development in the state as determined by TRIP follow. Additional details on these and the other projects that make up the 40 most needed projects in Maryland for economic recovery and growth are included in the report’s Appendix.

1.Widening I-95/I-495 in Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties. This $5.8 billion project extends from the American Legion Bridge to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and would include widening, the addition of HOV/HOT lanes and bridge rehabilitation and replacements. This project would relieve congestion and improve mobility and movement in the area immediately around Washington, DC. The initial phase of this project would likely be an $800 million project from the American Legion Bridge to I-270, which would include widening, the use of reversible lanes, HOT/HOV lanes and rehabilitation or replacement of the American Legion bridge. Job creation will be spurred in the short term by these projects, while long-term benefits include improved accessibility and greater regional productivity.

2.Replacing the Governor Nice Bridge in Charles County. This $885 million project would replace the existing Governor Nice bridge, which does not meet current standards and is reaching capacity during peak travel times. By 2025, traffic on the bridge is projected to increase by 45 percent on weekdays and 33 percent on weekends. This project will create construction jobs in the short term, while reducing travel times and fuel costs and promoting regional economic development in the long-term.

3.Widening and bridge rehabilitation and replacement on I-695 in Baltimore.

This $1.2 billion project would continue the efforts to widen I-695 and replace or rehabilitate deficient bridges. Completion of this project would alleviate congestion in the Baltimore area on the primary route for moving people and goods through the region and beyond. It would also reduce travel time and gasoline costs for Maryland citizens and visitors. The initial phase of this project would likely be the $85 million rehabilitation or replacement of three bridges.

4. Construction of the Purple Line from Bethesda to New Carrolton. This $1.9 billion project includes a two-track light rail line with dedicated running way, 21 stations and two maintenance facilities. The Purple Line is estimated to serve 60,000 riders per day in 2030. It will also provide faster, more reliable transit in congested corridors and connect directly to existing rail and bus service.

5.Widening and Interchanges on MD 5 in Prince George’s County. This $1.1 billion project would widen and add interchanges to 10.5 miles of MD 5 between US 301 and I-95/I-495. It will relieve congestion and improve operations along the MD 5 corridor while improving east-west movement in Prince George’s County. The project will create jobs in the short-term and will accommodate increased traffic volumes stemming from anticipated development along the MD 5 corridor in the long-term.

6.Widening MD 295 from four lanes to six. This $220 million project would widen more than three miles of MD 295 from MD 100 to I-195 in Baltimore. It would also provide a new interchange at Hanover Road with widening and relocation of Hanover Road from MD 295 to MD 170. Congestion will be eased and access would be improved to the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, one of the state’s economic engines.

7.Red Line Light Rail Transitway from Woodlawn to Bayview Medical Center.

This $2.2 billion project would add 14 miles of two-track light rail line with dedicated running way, 19 stations and a maintenance facility. The new line is projected to serve 57,000 riders per day in 2030, provide faster, more reliable transit in congested corridors, and connect directly to existing rail and bus services. It will provide key connectivity in this east/west corridor and to existing Metro, light rail and MARC transit services.

8.Widening US 29 Northbound. This $104 million project would widen the northbound section of US 29 from Seneca Drive to MD 175 from two lanes to three. This project will improve safety and reduce congestion on a major commuting route through Columbia between Washington and Baltimore. The southbound section is currently three lanes.

9.Interchange construction at MD 97 at MD 28 in Montgomery County. This $142 million project would construct an interchange at MD 97 and MD 28 in Montgomery County to relieve congestion and provide needed bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The project will support access to and from the Intercounty Connector and regional corridors of I-95 and I-270.

10.Interchange construction at MD 210 and Kerby Hill Road/Livingston Road. This $126 million project would convert the intersection of MD 210 and Kerby Hill Road/ Livingston Road into a grade-separtated interchange. Completion of the project would improve safety and operations along the corridor during peak hours and help improve north-to-south movement in southern Prince George’s County. The project will create jobs in the short term and will accommodate anticipated growth and development along the MD 210 corridor.

Transportation projects that improve the efficiency, condition or safety of a highway or transit route 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 transit capacity produce significant economic benefits by reducing congestion and improving access, thus speeding the flow of people and goods while reducing fuel consumption.

•            Transportation projects that maintain and preserve existing transportation infrastructure also provide significant economic benefits by improving travel speeds, capacity, load-carry abilities and safety, and reducing operating costs for people and businesses. Such projects also extend the service life of a road, bridge or transit vehicle or facility, which saves money by either postponing or eliminating the need for more expensive future repairs.

•            Site Selection magazine’s 2010 survey of corporate real estate executives found that transportation infrastructure was the third most important selection factor in site location decisions, behind only work force skills and state and local taxes.

•            A 2007 analysis by the Federal Highway Administration found that every $1 billion invested in highway construction would support approximately 27,800 jobs, including approximately 9,500 in the construction sector, approximately 4,300 jobs in industries supporting the construction sector, and approximately 14,000 other jobs induced in non-construction related sectors of the economy.

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

While Maryland’s diverse economy has been impacted by the recession, the state’s transportation system will need to accommodate projected future growth.

•            From 1990 to 2010, Maryland’s population increased by 21 percent, from approximately 4.8 million to approximately 5.8 million. Maryland’s population is expected to increase to 6.7 million by 2030.

•            From 1990 to 2010, annual vehicle-miles-of-travel (VMT) in the state increased by 38 percent, from approximately 40.5 billion VMT to 56.1 billion VMT. Based on travel and population trends, TRIP estimates that vehicle travel in Maryland will increase another 30 percent by 2030, reaching approximately 73 billion VMT.

•            Maryland’s unemployment rate nearly doubled from 3.3 percent in February 2008 to 6.5 percent in February 2012. The national unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in February 2012.

•            In 2012, Maryland is projected to have a 3.6 percent rate of economic growth, measured in real GSP, which is factored for price changes. This rate of growth is higher than the forecast 3.4 percent increase in national real GSP in 2012.

•            Maryland has benefited from a diverse economy, which includes significant employment in the following sectors: transportation, government services, food production (including fishing and agriculture), manufacturing and biotechnology.

Maryland’s economy is served by an extensive surface transportation system that has some deficiencies and experiences severe congestion in key areas. Roads carry the majority of freight shipped in the state.

•            Maryland’s system of 31,461 miles of roads and 5,195 bridges, maintained by local, state and federal governments, carry 55.3 billion vehicle miles of travel annually.

•            Forty-four percent of Maryland’s major roads are deficient, with 26 percent rated in poor condition and an additional 18 percent rated mediocre in 2008. An additional 15 percent of the state’s major roads were rated in fair condition and 41 percent were rated in good condition.

•            Seven percent of Maryland’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 are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks, school buses and emergency services vehicles.

•            In 2011, 18 percent of Maryland’s bridges were rated as functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

•            Every year, approximately $131 billion in goods are shipped annually from sites in Maryland and another $205 billion in goods are shipped annually to sites in Maryland, mostly by truck.

•            Eighty-one percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Maryland are carried by trucks and another 13 percent are carried by parcel, U.S. Postal Service or courier services, which use trucks for part of the deliveries.

The full report can be viewed at: http://www.tripnet.org/docs/MD_TRIP_Report_April_2012.pdf

An appendix listing the 40 projects can be viewed at:

http://www.tripnet.org/docs/MD_Appendix_April_2012.pdf

Sources of data for this report include the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), 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 and the U.S. Census Bureau. All data used in the report is the latest available