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TRIP Report: INCREASED DEMAND FOR U.S. FREIGHT SHIPMENTS HAMPERED BY LACK OF ADEQUATE INVESTMENT IN NEEDED HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS

INCREASED DEMAND FOR U.S. FREIGHT SHIPMENTS HAMPERED BY TRAFFIC CONGESTION AND BOTTLENECKS AND LACK OF ADEQUATE INVESTMENT IN NEEDED HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS; FATAL TRUCK CRASHES INCREASING AT A TIME WHEN ADVANCES IN VEHICLE AUTONOMY, MANUFACTURING, WAREHOUSING & E-COMMERCE ARE PLACING UNPRECEDENTED DEMANDS ON THE NATION’S FREIGHT SYSTEM

 The ability of the nation’s freight transportation system to efficiently and safely accommodate the growing demand for freight movement could be hampered by inadequate transportation capacity, institutional barriers to enhancing the nation’s freight facilities, a lack of adequate funding for needed improvements to the freight network, and a shortage of drivers, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit. This is happening as freight movement is being transformed by advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation, increasing e-commerce, and the growing logistic networks being developed to accommodate consumer demand for faster delivery.

TRIP’s report, America’s Rolling Warehouses: Opportunities and Challenges with the Nation’s Freight Delivery System, examines current and projected levels of freight movement in the U.S., large truck safety, and trends impacting freight movement. It concludes with a series of recommendations to improve the nation’s freight transportation system. The chart below shows the states with the highest value of freight by all modes of transportation in 2016, states with the highest share of rural interstate vehicle miles of travel (VMT) by combination trucks, states with the largest average annual number of large truck fatalities per one million population from 2013-2017, and states with the largest projected increase in freight by value between 2016 and 2045.

TRIP’s report found that freight delivery is expected to increase rapidly as a result of economic growth, increasing demand, growing international trade, changing business and retail models, and a significantly increased reliance on e-commerce by businesses and households. Each year, the U.S. freight system moves approximately 17.7 billion tons of freight, valued at $16.8 trillion. Trucks carried 72 percent of freight by value in 2016 and 66 percent by weight. From 2016 to 2045, freight moved annually in the U.S. by trucks is expected to increase 91 percent in value (inflation-adjusted dollars) and 44 percent by weight.

“The new TRIP report again highlights the urgent need for federal action to modernize America’s infrastructure,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Transportation Infrastructure Ed Mortimer. “The future of our country’s ability to compete in a 21st century economy by providing the safe movement of commerce is at stake, and this report helps bring a spotlight to the issue.”

The TRIP report also found that 12 percent of travel on Interstate highways and 21 percent of travel on rural Interstate highways is by combination trucks.

“TRIP’s report makes an important contribution to a growing body of evidence that our deteriorating infrastructure is putting the brakes on our economy,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Association. “The cost of doing nothing is too high and will only get higher if our leaders do not step up and put forward a comprehensive investment package backed by real funding.”

While the amount and value of goods being shipped has risen to unprecedented levels, mounting traffic congestion is increasing the cost of moving freight and reducing the economic competitiveness and efficiency of businesses that require reliable, affordable freight transportation. Traffic congestion resulted in $74.5 billion in additional operational costs to the trucking industry in 2016 as a result of commercial trucks being stuck in traffic for 1.2 billion hours.

“Infrastructure issues lead to increased shipping costs, delayed delivery times, and decreased productivity for U.S. manufacturers,” said Doosan Bobcat North America President Mike Ballweber. “Whether it’s a hauling 7,500-pound skid-steer loader to a customer in Georgia or a shipment of attachments to a dealership in Arizona, we depend on the U.S. freight transportation system to deliver our products efficiently and safely. I encourage our lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to make transportation infrastructure a priority and fund needed repairs and upgrades to our roads, highways and bridges.”

According to the TRIP report, traffic fatalities as a result of crashes involving large trucks (10,000 lbs. or greater) increased 20 percent, from 2013 (3,981) to 2017 (4,761) in.  Approximately five-out-of-six people killed in crashes involving a large truck were occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash or pedestrians or bicyclists.  The most frequent event prior to fatal crashes between large trucks and another vehicle is the entering or encroaching into a large truck’s lane by the other vehicle.

“It’s clear that the safe and efficient movement of goods and services depends on a well-funded national transportation system,” said Jim Tymon, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “Without strong investment from our federal partners, state departments of transportation won’t be able to meet the growing demands on the system.”

Advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation have transformed freight delivery, along with increases in e-commerce and the growing logistic networks being developed by Amazon and other large retailers. A lack of adequate parking for large trucks and a shortage of available truck drivers, particularly for long-haul trips, challenge the safety and efficiency of the nation’s freight system.

TRIP’s report concludes with a series of recommendations to improve freight transportation by increasing capacity on the nation’s freight transportation system, particularly at major bottlenecks; improving the reliability and condition of intermodal connectors between major highways and rail, ports and waterways; continued development of vehicle autonomy and the further automation of warehousing; improving roadway safety and providing additional truck parking spaces to ensure adequate and timely rest for drivers; providing funding for freight transportation improvements that is substantial, continuing, multimodal, reliable, and, in most cases, specifically dedicated to freight transportation projects; and, providing a permanent, adequate and reliable funding fix to the federal Highway Trust Fund as a critical step towards funding a 21st Century freight transportation system.

“As consumers demand faster deliveries and a more responsive supply chain, the nation’s freight transportation network is facing unprecedented roadblocks in the form of increasing congestion and a lack of transportation funding to improve the nation’s transportation system,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP.  “Fixing the federal Highway Trust Fund with a long-term, sustainable source of revenue that supports needed transportation investment will be crucial to improving the efficiency and safety of our freight transportation system.”

Executive Summary

The nation’s freight transportation system plays a vital role in the quality of life of Americans, providing the timely movement of raw materials and finished products that are vital to the health of the U.S. agricultural, industrial, energy, retail and service sectors.

The amount of freight transported in the U.S. is expected to increase significantly as a result of further economic growth, changing business and retail models, increasing international trade, and  rapidly changing consumer expectations that place an emphasis on faster deliveries, often of smaller packages or payloads.

The ability of the nation’s freight transportation system to efficiently and safely accommodate the growing demand for freight movement could be hampered by inadequate transportation capacity, a lack of adequate safety features on some transportation facilities, institutional barriers to enhancing the nation’s freight facilities, a lack of adequate funding for needed improvements to the freight network and a shortage of drivers.

The need to improve the U.S. freight network is occurring at a time when the nation’s freight delivery system is being transformed by advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation, increasing e-commerce, and the growing logistic networks being developed by Amazon and other retail organizations in response to the demand for a faster and more responsive delivery and logistics cycle.

This report examines current and projected levels of freight movement in the U.S., large truck safety, and trends impacting freight movement. It concludes with a series of recommendations to improve the nation’s freight transportation system.

U.S. FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION TRENDS

The delivery of freight – merchandise or commodities that are moved by a mode of transportation either for a fee or by a private fleet – is expected to increase rapidly as a result of economic growth, increasing demand, growing international trade, changing business and retail models, and a significantly increased reliance on e-commerce by businesses and households. 

  • Freight transportation impacts every business and household. It is critical to the nation’s economy, which depends on efficient freight movement to connect businesses, manufacturers, customers and households with the U.S. and the world.
  • The nation’s 327 million residents, 126 million households, 7.7 million business establishments and 90,000 governmental units are all part of an economy that requires the efficient movement of freight.
  • The freight transportation system in the U.S. relies on an extensive system of highways, railroads, waterways, pipelines and waterways. This system includes 958,000 miles of Federal-aid highways, 141,000 miles of railroads, 11,000 miles of inland waterways, more than 19,000 airports, more than 5,000 coastal, Great Lakes and inland waterway facilities, and 1.6 million miles of pipelines.
  • The nation’s freight system moves a daily average of approximately 51 million tons freight valued at approximately $55 billion. The U.S. freight system annually moves approximately 17.7 billion tons of freight, valued at approximately $16.8 trillion.
  • Trucking accounted for the largest modal share of freight movement in 2016, carrying 72 percent of freight by value and 66 percent by weight.
  • The following chart details modal freight movement in 2016 by value and weight.

  • Modern society is likely to become even more reliant on trucking and other types of shipments as international trade continues to increase, domestic demand for freight movement increases, and commercial and retail models increasingly rely on timely and efficient freight deliveries.
  • From 2016 to 2045, freight moved annually in the U.S. is expected to increase by 104 percent in value (inflation-adjusted dollars) and 44 percent by weight.
  • From 2016 to 2045, freight moved annually in the U.S. by trucks is expected to increase by 91 percent in value (inflation-adjusted dollars) and 41 percent by weight. The following chart indicates the anticipated percentage increase in freight by value and weight from 2016 to 2045, by mode.
  • In 2016, the share of overall U.S. freight shipments to or from another country was 11 percent measured by weight and 21 percent measured by value. By 2045, the share of U.S. freight shipments to or from another country is projected to be 18 percent by weight and 39 percent by value.

IMPACT OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGY ON FREIGHT

Freight delivery is being transformed by a convergence of advances in vehicle autonomy, manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain automation, and by increases in e-commerce and the growing logistic networks being developed by Amazon and other large retailers.

  • The development of autonomous trucks is expected to proceed in stages from currently deployed driver assist tools such as cruise control and lane-assist to a level that will allow large trucks to mostly drive themselves with a driver monitoring the vehicle, to full autonomy in certain environments, such as major highways, and finally to full autonomy.
  • Improved automation of manufacturing and warehousing facilities is increasing the competitiveness of domestic manufacturing and increasing the need for timely freight movement to and from sites that are able to operate 24 hours per day.
  • Digitization is significantly improving the efficiency of the nation’s supply chain by allowing freight brokers, carriers, shippers and receivers to exchange real-time data to more efficiently use freight capacity.
  • From 2014 to 2018, U.S. e-commerce increased by 69 percent, from $298 billion to $505 billion, and is expected to increase another 39 percent by 2022, to $706 billion. Since 2016, Amazon has built 20 new distribution centers in the U.S. and continues to expand its logistics system domestically and globally, including the development of truck, aircraft and shipping fleets.
  • Advancements in vehicle autonomy and improvements in vehicle and supply chain automation are anticipated to result in reduced shipping costs.

STATE FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION

The health of a state’s economy and quality of life are impacted greatly by the quality and reliability of a state’s transportation system and its ability to provide efficient, safe freight movement.

  • The following chart ranks the 10 states with the greatest amount of freight shipped to or from sites in their state (including to or from foreign locations) by truck and by all modes, measured by value in millions of dollars. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

  • The following chart ranks the 10 states with the greatest amount of freight shipped to or from sites in their state by truck and by all modes, measured by weight in thousands of tons. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

  • The following chart ranks the 20 states that are expected to realize the greatest percentage increase in freight (by all modes and by truck only) shipped to and from sites within their state from 2016 to 2045, in inflation-adjusted dollars. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

  • The following chart ranks the 20 states that are expected to realize the greatest percentage increase in freight (by all modes and by truck only) shipped to and from sites within their state from 2016 to 2045, in weight. Data for all states is available in the Appendix.

IMPACT OF TRAFFIC CONGESTION ON FREIGHT DELIVERY

Rising levels of traffic congestion are increasing the cost of moving freight and reducing the economic competitiveness and efficiency of businesses that require reliable, affordable freight transportation.   

  • The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) estimates that traffic congestion on the nation’s major highways resulted in the addition of $74.5 billion in operational costs to the trucking industry in 2016, including 1.2 billion hours of lost productivity as a result of trucks being stuck in traffic.
  • Fifty-three percent of vehicle miles of travel by large trucks (10,000 lbs. or greater) in 2016 occurred on Interstate highways. Forty-six percent of urban Interstates are congested.
  • Twelve percent of travel on Interstate highways and 21 percent of travel on rural Interstate highways is by combination trucks.
  • The following chart ranks the 20 states in 2017 with the greatest share of vehicle miles of travel on all Interstate highways and on rural Interstate highways which is by combination trucks. Data for all states is available in the Appendix.

  • Using a freight congestion index developed by the Federal Highway Administration, in 2019 the ATRI compiled the following list of the nation’s worst freight highway bottlenecks based on the number of trucks using a particular highway facility and the impact of congestion on the average speed of those vehicles.

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation forecasts that between 2012 and 2045, the miles of major U.S. highways that are congested during peak periods will quadruple from 19,200 miles to 78,500.
  • The following map indicates major highways that carry more than 8,500 large trucks per day and/or on which more than 25 percent of daily traffic is comprised of large trucks.

  • The miles of major highway segments with more than 8,500 large trucks per day and where at least 25 percent of vehicles are large trucks is expected to increase by 140 percent between 2012 and 2045, from 5,560 miles to 13,480 miles.

LARGE TRUCK SAFETY

Traffic fatalities as a result of crashes involving large trucks (10,000 lbs. or greater) increased significantly over the last five years.  Approximately five-out-of-six people killed in crashes involving a large truck were occupants of the other vehicle involved in the crash or pedestrians or bicyclists.  The most frequent event prior to fatal crashes between large trucks and another vehicle is the entering or encroaching into a large truck’s lane by the other vehicle.

  • Large trucks account for four percent of all registered vehicles and nine percent of all vehicle miles of travel annually. Twelve percent of traffic fatalities occur in crashes in which a large truck was involved.
  • Approximately three-quarters – 76 percent – of large trucks that were involved in fatal crashes in 2016 weighed more than 33,000 lbs.
  • From 2013 to 2017, fatal traffic crashes involving large trucks resulted in the deaths of 21,114 people. This included 3,582 drivers or passengers of large trucks and 17,532 drivers or occupants of other vehicles, or non-motorists, such as pedestrians or bicyclists.

  • From 2013 to 2017, the number of fatalities in large-truck involved crashes in the U.S. increased 20 percent, from 3,981 to 4,761.
  • Eighty percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks from 2013 to 2017 were multiple-vehicle crashes, compared to 61 percent for fatal crashes involving only passenger vehicles.
  • In 62 percent of fatal large truck crashes from 2013 to 2017, the most critical pre-crash event was either another vehicle’s encroachment into a large truck’s lane (38 percent) or another vehicle entering a large truck’s lane (26 percent).
  • A 2018 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that analyzed 2016 two-vehicle fatal crashes involving a large truck found the following: in 43 percent of the crashes both vehicles were proceeding straight, in nine percent of the crashes the other vehicle was turning left or right regardless of the large trucks maneuver, in 10 percent of the crashes the truck and the other vehicle were negotiating curves, and in seven percent of the crashes either the truck or the other vehicle was stopped in a traffic lane (five percent and two percent, respectively).
  • In large truck-involved fatal crashes in 2016, two percent of large truck drivers had blood alcohol concentrations above .08 f/dL, while the share for drivers of passenger vehicles, light trucks and motorcycles with blood alcohol concentrations above .08 f/dL was 21, 20 and 25 percent, respectively.
  • Fatal large truck crashes are more likely to occur on rural roads, two-lane roads and roads with speed limits 55 miles per hour or higher.
  • The following chart ranks the top 10 states with the largest annual average number of fatalities in large truck involved crashes from 2013 to 2017. It also includes the average number of large truck non-occupant fatalities, which includes non-motorists, and large truck occupant fatalities. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

  • The following chart ranks the top 20 states with the largest annual average number of fatalities in large truck involved crashes per one million population from 2013 to 2017. Data for all 50 states is available in the Appendix.

CHALLENGES IMPACTING THE FUTURE OF U.S. FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION

A lack of adequate parking for large trucks and a shortage of available truck drivers, particularly for long-haul trips challenge the safety and efficiency of the nation’s freight system.  

  • A significant lack of adequate truck parking along major U.S. highways reduces the efficiency and safety of freight movement. Tired truck drivers may continue to drive because they have difficulty finding a place to park, or they may choose to park at unsafe locations such as a highway shoulder, exit ramps or vacant lots.
  • A 2014 survey evaluating the adequacy of truck parking capacity in the U.S. found that 38 states reported having truck parking problems, particularly along major freight corridors and in large metropolitan areas. Truck drivers surveyed said truck parking problems exist in all states and 75 percent of truck drivers surveyed reported having difficulty finding safe and legal parking during mandated rest periods.
  • The American Trucking Associations estimates there is a current shortage of 63,000 truck drivers in the U.S. and the shortage is expected to increase to 174,000 by 2026.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVING U.S. FREIGHT TRANSPORTATION

Achieving a 21st century freight transportation system capable of efficiently and safely meeting the nation’s freight transportation needs will require implementation of a freight transportation plan that addresses the following infrastructure, institutional and financial bottlenecks.

Infrastructure Bottlenecks

  • Increase the capacity of the nation’s freight transportation system, particularly at major bottlenecks, including portions of Interstate Highways and major trade gateways and corridors, rail facilities and ports, and including the addition of general purpose highway lanes as well as the construction of truck-only lanes when viable, such as the planned addition of 40 miles of truck-only lanes on a portion of I-75 in Georgia.
  • Construct additional intermodal connectors and improve the reliability and condition of intermodal connectors between major highways and rail, ports and waterways. The number of intermodal connectors in the U.S. increased 30 percent from 2000 to 2014 from 616 to 798.
  • Approximately two-thirds (68 percent) of intermodal connectors are congested and 56 percent of intermodal connectors have pavements in poor condition.
  • Continue to develop vehicle autonomy and further automate warehousing.
  • Improve roadway safety, particularly along highways and at major intersections, and provide additional truck parking spaces to insure adequate and timely rest for drivers.

Institutional Bottlenecks

  • Further streamline the planning, review and permitting of transportation projects.
  • Facilitate greater multijurisdictional collaboration on multimodal freight transportation solutions.

Funding bottlenecks:

  • Provide funding for freight transportation improvements that is substantial, continuing, multimodal, reliable, and, in most cases, specifically dedicated to freight transportation projects.
  • Provide a permanent, adequate and reliable funding fix to the federal Highway Trust Fund as a critical step towards funding a 21st Century freight transportation system.

All data used in this report is the most current available.  Sources of information for this report include:  The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), The American Trucking Associations (ATA), The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) the Freight Analysis Framework (FAF), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the U.S. Census Bureau. 

 

Statement by ARTBA CEO Dave Bauer on Proposed Changes to FMCSA Hours of Service Rule

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President & CEO Dave Bauer released the following statement regarding the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) proposed changes to the hours of service rule for truckers:

ARTBA applauds FMCSA for proposing long-needed updates to the federal hours of service rule. The proposed revisions will help the transportation construction industry’s short-haul drivers comply with the rule, while better enabling contractors to build projects in a safe, efficient and timely manner.

“Specifically, we support expanding the ‘short-haul’ exemption from 100 to 150 air miles, which provides regulatory relief to the vast majority of industry drivers delivering materials or equipment to project sites. We also support the agency’s proposal to let non-driving activities satisfy the agency’s 30-minute rest requirement. This provision will help industry drivers who spend much of their work day loading and unloading materials or equipment, or helping with other project tasks, instead of staying behind the wheel for hours on end.

“Correcting this misapplication of federal requirements is the type of regulatory reform that all sides should support. ARTBA appreciates the Trump administration’s continued efforts to improve a federal regulatory structure that has often impeded the efficient delivery of transportation infrastructure projects.”

For more information visit www.artba.org

Cemen Tech Expands North American Dealer Network

Cemen TechExpands North American Dealer Network

Major new dealer partnerships in the U.S. open up new territories to high-quality volumetric concrete equipment and expertise.  

Cemen Tech, the global leader in volumetric concrete mixing, has announced agreements with two major construction equipment dealerships in the U.S. to sell and service the company’s full line of volumetric concrete mixing equipment. The new dealers are:

“The demand for direct control over concrete scheduling, quality, and quantity, is growing as more customers understand the practical benefits of volumetric concrete mixing,” says Connor Deering, CEO/President ofCemen Tech. “Each of these new partnerships represents regional demand and a connection to established businesses serving road and bridge construction, transportation, and industrial and commercial construction — all large-scale markets benefiting from volumetric concrete mixing.”

Reynolds-Warren serves Georgia, a state benefiting from increasing levels of infrastructure investment and overall growth. The dealership specializes in asphalt and roadbuilding equipment — a natural fit for Cemen Tech.

“Concrete plays a critical role in Georgia’s growing transportation infrastructure — we see a great opportunity for customers to optimize their concrete operations, especially in maintenance/repair operations and local roadwork,” says Dan Dwyer, vice president, Reynolds-Warren.

 

“Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming each fit the current mold of growing western states with steady construction demand and job growth, and Komatsu Equipment Company serves all major construction markets in the region.

“We see large-scale deployments of this technology benefiting our larger construction, governmental and industrial customers while providing other customers serving more specific markets such as landscaping and utility construction new ways to serve clients and grow their business,” says Joel Cook, Vice-President of Sales, Komatsu Equipment Company.

To find a Cemen Tech dealer, and for more information on the company’s line of volumetric concrete production solutions, visit www.CemenTech.com or www.ACCU-POUR.com.
About Cemen Tech Inc.

Cemen Tech, Inc. has 50 years manufacturing and engineering experience in the volumetric mixing industry.  As the industry leader, the company strives to provide the highest quality concrete mixers to its customers.  Cemen Tech currently operates in over 60 countries, services mixers across the globe, and supplies equipment to the United States military. Cemen Tech believes that people, businesses, and communities around the world should have the infrastructure to access clean water, to transport goods and services, and to reliable housing. Their products provide the foundation and stability to meet the needs of a growing world in an environmentally conscious way. www.CemenTech.com

Special ARTBA Report: America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) of 2019 FAST Act Reauthorization – Highway Title


Special ARTBA Report:

America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) of 2019

FAST Act Reauthorization – Highway Title

Summary Analysis

We have a major development to report from the Nation’s Capital relating to the future of the nation’s highway program.  Senate Environment & Public Works Committee leaders July 29 released details of their proposed reauthorization of the federal highway program.  Here are three key takeaways from the “America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act” (ATIA) of 2019:

  1. It represents the first program reauthorization in nearly 15 years that would significantly increase investment in traditional core highway accounts;
  2. The proposal is bipartisan; and
  3. It proposes the creation of several new grant programs.

Read ARTBA’s initial summary of the bill. 

The America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 FAST Act Reauthorization – Highway Title ARTBA Summary Analysis

The bipartisan leadership of the Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee July 29 introduced reauthorization legislation that for the first time in nearly 15 years would significantly increase investment in traditional core highway accounts and create several new initiatives and pilot programs. The nearly 470-page “America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) of 2019” provides funding from FY 2021 through FY 2025.

The $287.3 billion in spending authority over the life of the bill would yield a $37.9 billion increase above the existing levels of highway investment, plus inflation. Specifically, the measure would increase highway investment by 17 percent in FY 2021, with modest increases in subsequent years.

To put this into context, the increase in annual average funding would be substantially higher than increases seen in the 2012 MAP 21 and 2015 FAST Act laws, as illustrated in the chart below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 FAST Act Reauthorization – Highway Title ARTBA Summary Analysis

The bipartisan leadership of the Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee July 29 introduced reauthorization legislation that for the first time in nearly 15 years would significantly increase investment in traditional core highway accounts and create several new initiatives and pilot programs. The nearly 470-page “America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) of 2019” provides funding from FY 2021 through FY 2025.

The $287.3 billion in spending authority over the life of the bill would yield a $37.9 billion increase above the existing levels of highway investment, plus inflation. Specifically, the measure would increase highway investment by 17 percent in FY 2021, with modest increases in subsequent years.

To put this into context, the increase in annual average funding would be substantially higher than increases seen in the 2012 MAP 21 and 2015 FAST Act laws, as illustrated in the chart below.

Chart available at: Read ARTBA’s initial summary of the bill. 

Federal-aid Highway Formula Programs: These make up the bulk of the funding at $249.4 billion. This includes the National Highway Performance Program, Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, Highway Safety Improvement Program, Railway/Highway Grade Crossings, Congestion Mitigation & Air Quality Program, Metropolitan Planning Program, National Highway Freight Program, and the Transportation Alternatives Program. As of now, while apportionment formulas remain intact from the FAST Act, neither a programmatic or state-by-state breakdown has been released.

Freight Formula & INFRA Grants: The ATIA continues where the FAST Act left off by including substantial funding dedicated to freight improvements. The $13.93 billion over five years would include an overall seven percent investment boost for these programs from FY 2020 to FY 2021. It would expand eligibility for freight and intermodal rail projects to as much as 30 percent of the programs and makes the lock, dam, and marine highway projects eligible if they are connected to the National Highway Freight Network. The INFRA grant program has a set-aside of $500 million for “Critical Rural Interstate Projects.”

Bridge Investment Program: It would create a new bridge discretionary grant program, administered by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, to improve the nation’s bridge conditions by leveraging state, local and private funding sources, similar to the public transit New Starts program. Half of the $6.53 billion over five years comes from the Highway Trust Fund and the other half from the General Fund. One-quarter of the funding must be used on large projects (over $100 million).

The Transportation Infrastructure Finance & Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program: It provides federal credit assistance in the form of direct loans, loan guarantees, and standby lines of credit to finance surface transportation projects of national and regional significance. ATIA would continue TIFIA investments at $300 million annually but expand eligibility to a certain airport and transit-oriented development projects, as well as the acquisition of plant and wildlife habitat relating to other projects.

It would also require the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide most TIFIA applicants with “a specific estimate of the timeline for the approval or disapproval” of its application, preferably within 150 days of the submission of the letter of interest. Similarly, it would require the agency to establish an expedited decision timeline for public agency borrowers meeting certain criteria. To improve the transparency of the process, ATIA would require U.S. DOT to post reports online recapping the status of applications and approvals. It would also allow the agency to spend up to $10 million per year to administer the TIFIA program starting in FY2021, compared to $8.4 million in FY 2020.

Public-Private Partnerships (P3s): To increase transparency relating to P3s undertaken to finance, build, and maintain or operate a surface transportation project, public agency sponsors would need to meet new requirements for each project with an estimated cost of $100 million or more that includes federal-aid dollars. Within three years of opening, the state or local agency would be required to provide U.S. DOT with the following:

1. A report reviewing the private partner’s compliance with the project’s agreement; and

2. Certification that the partner is meeting the terms of that agreement or notification that the partner failed to meet one or more of the terms.

The public agency would need to make this information publicly available, omitting any proprietary or confidential business information.

The bill would require a value-for-money analysis as a condition for federal assistance to certain P3 projects, including those considered “major projects” at an estimated cost of $500 million or more.

Project Delivery & Process Improvement: The measure would codify President Trump’s “One Federal Decision” Executive Order (EO). The EO, originally announced in 2017, was one of the administration’s central reforms to the project review and approval process. Specifically, “One Federal Decision” consolidates all permitting decisions for major infrastructure projects into one single environmental document with a schedule set by the federal “lead” agency. The aim is to reduce delay caused by having multiple agencies with conflicting schedules involved in the permitting process by requiring agency coordination and a single final document, as opposed to multiple decisions. ATIA would also codify “One Federal Decision’s” goal of completing the environmental review process within an average time of two years. Additionally, it would require all authorization decisions for a major project be completed within 90 days of the issuance of a record of decision.

ATIA reforms beyond “One Federal Decision” would include a requirement for U.S. DOT to produce an annual report detailing progress made on improving project delivery, such as savings and identification of problem areas. Further, U.S. DOT would be required to annually submit information to the Executive Director of the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC) regarding the median time elapsed between the intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for a major project and the issuance of a record of decision. This information would be made available on FPISC’s “dashboard,” which tracks the permitting process for major projects.

Planning & Performance Management: ATIA would update the planning process by reducing existing “fiscal constraint” requirements for long-term transportation plans by eliminating the requirements for projects beyond a four-year time frame. Fiscal constraint requirements often complicate long-term planning because funding could not be predicted beyond the scope of the current reauthorization bill. Under ATIA’s reform, projects in a long-term plan beyond the four-year window would not be constrained by a requirement that they are completed with the level of funding currently available.

Climate Change: ATIA would introduce a variety of new programs and grants aimed at addressing climate change. Specifically, it would make funds available to develop charging stations for alternative fuel vehicles and to encourage electrification of port facilities and the reduction of truck idling. Additionally, ATIA would establish grant programs focused on making infrastructure more resilient, congestion management and encouraging carbon capture and sequestration technologies.

The legislative text can be found here, as well as a summary document issued by the committee here and a section-by-section summary here.

ARTBA staff will distribute further information as it becomes available, along with updates on the progress of the reauthorization process in the coming months. Please contact ARTBA Senior Vice President of Congressional Relations, Dean Franks at dfranks@artba.org or 202.683.1006 with questions.

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Copyright ©2019 ARTBA 5

ARTBA Reports: Transportation Spending Measure Advances in House

The House Appropriations Committee June 4 advanced a $137.1 billion FY 2020 spending bill covering transportation and housing. The bill would provide $86.6 billion to the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), a slight increase over current funding levels.

The measure was approved in a 29-21 vote, mostly along party lines. The Trump administration had requested an $11 billion reduction in spending. A comparison of this bill to the previous year’s spending levels on highway, transit, and aviation construction programs can be viewed below.

A bipartisan duo, Reps. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), tried and failed to strike three riders that Womack said would “place an unacceptable burden on the trucking industry.” One would prevent U.S. DOT from establishing uniform hours of service rules for truckers, another would require U.S. DOT to publish trucking company safety violations, and the third would prohibit changes to the 30-minute rest break rule. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) also offered an amendment unsuccessfully that would remove a provision from the bill preventing U.S. DOT from taking back funds from California’s high-speed rail project.

House Democrats say they will put a roughly $1 trillion package of five unrelated annual spending bills on the floor next week. The remaining bills, including the transportation measure, are likely to be considered by the full House later this month. Republicans say the appropriations bills should not move forward until the House, Senate and White House agree on top-line spending levels for FY 2020, the approach the Senate has thus far taken.

ARTBA will continue advocating for FAST Act authorized funding levels and increased General Fund spending as this process moves forward.