Tag Archive for 'trucks'

Ensuring Quality of Diesel Exhaust Fluid Keeps Trucks and Equipment Running Smoothly

TRIP Reports: ILLINOIS MOTORISTS LOSE $18.3 BILLION PER YEAR ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES – AS MUCH AS $2,559 PER DRIVER.

ILLINOIS MOTORISTS LOSE $18.3 BILLION PER YEAR ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES – AS MUCH AS $2,559 PER DRIVER. LACK OF FUNDING WILL LEAD TO FURTHER DETERIORATION, INCREASED CONGESTION AND HIGHER COSTS TO MOTORISTS

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Illinois motorists a total of $18.3 billion statewide annually – as much as $2,559 per driver in some urban areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge, and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Illinois, according to a new report released by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit.

The TRIP report, Illinois Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,”finds that throughout Illinois, more than two-fifths of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition and eight percent of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient. The report also finds that Illinois’ major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce.

Driving on roads in Illinois costs motorists a total of $18.3 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Chicago, Champaign-Urbana, Metro East, Peoria-Bloomington, Rockford and Springfield urban areas.  A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area, along with a statewide total, is below.

The TRIP report finds that 19 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in Illinois are in poor condition and an additional 23 percent are in mediocre condition, costing the state’s drivers an additional $5 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

“This report highlights how expensive it can be for Illinois drivers when the state does not maintain its basic infrastructure,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch. “A stronger transportation system is vital to stronger business and a stronger Illinois. We must act now to improve our economy and quality of life in Illinois through infrastructure investment.”

Eight percent of Illinois’ bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. The condition of state-maintained bridges in Illinois is anticipated to decline through 2023 based on current funding.  Forty-one percent of Illinois’ locally and state-maintained bridges have been rated in fair condition.  A fair rating indicates that a bridge’s structural elements are sound but minor deterioration has occurred to the bridge’s deck, substructure or superstructure.

“Poorly maintained roads are both a financial burden and safety hazard for Illinois motorists,” said Nick Jarmusz, midwest director of public affairs for AAA – The Auto Club Group.  “The investments necessary to rebuild our infrastructure would cost a fraction of what drivers are currently paying in the form of additional vehicle expenses, to say nothing of the increased risk of crashes and injuries.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation projects that, under current funding levels, the percentage of state-maintained roads and bridges in need of repairs will increase significantly in the next five years.

Traffic congestion throughout Illinois is worsening, causing up to 63 annual hours of delay for the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas and costing the state’s drivers a total of $8.5 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

Traffic crashes in Illinois claimed the lives of nearly 5,100 people between 2013 and 2017. Illinois’ overall traffic fatality rate of 1.02 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2017 is lower than the national average of 1.16.  The fatality rate on Illinois’ non-interstate rural roads is approximately two-and-a-half times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.82). The financial impact of traffic crashes costs Illinois drivers a total of $4.8 billion annually.

The efficiency and condition of Illinois’ transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.  Annually, $2.9 trillion in goods are shipped to and from Illinois, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to relocate 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. The design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Illinois support 154,001 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy.

“These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the federal, state and local levels of government,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate funding, Illinois’ transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth, safety, and quality of life.”

 

ILLINOIS KEY TRANSPORTATION FACTS

THE HIDDEN COSTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS

Driving on Illinois roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack some desirable safety features costs Illinois drivers a total of $18.3 billion each year. TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on rough roads, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.

 

ILLINOIS ROADS PROVIDE A ROUGH RIDE

Due to inadequate state and local funding, forty-two percent of Illinois’ major roads and highways are in poor or mediocre condition.   The condition of state-maintained roads and bridges in Illinois is anticipated to decline through 2023 based on current funding.

 

ILLINOIS BRIDGE CONDITIONS

Eight percent of Illinois’ bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components.  The condition of state-maintained bridges in Illinois is anticipated to decline through 2023 based on current funding.  Forty-one percent of Illinois’ locally and state-maintained bridges have been rated in fair condition.

 

ILLINOIS ROADS ARE INCREASINGLY CONGESTED

Congested roads choke commuting and commerce and cost Illinois drivers $8.5 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel. Drivers in the state’s largest urban areas lose up to $1,500 and spend as much as two-and-a-half days each year in congestion.

ILLINOIS TRAFFIC SAFETY AND FATALITIES

Nearly 5,100 people were killed in traffic crashes in Illinois from 2013 to 2017. Traffic crashes in which a lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor imposed $4.8 billion in economic costs in 2017.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The health and future growth of Illinois’ economy is riding on its transportation system. Each year, $2.9 trillion in goods are shipped to and from Illinois, mostly by truck. By 2045, total freight tonnage being shipped in and out of Illinois is projected to grow by 40 percent, with 70 percent of the added tonnage moved by truck.

A report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association found that the design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Illinois supports 154,001 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $6.5 billion annually. Approximately 2.6 million full-time jobs in Illinois in key industries like tourism, manufacturing, retail sales, agriculture are completely dependent on the state’s transportation infrastructure network.

For the full report visit  TRIP

ARTBA Safety Week Challenge to Highway Contractors: Certify Your Employees. Save Lives!

Home to the Industry’s Only Internationally-Accredited Safety Program:
www.puttingsafetyfirst.org

As the annual “Construction Safety Week” gets underway, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) Foundation is challenging U.S. transportation contractors to enroll their workers in the Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals™ (SCTPP) program.

The SCTPP was launched to help significantly reduce—or ideally eliminate—the 700 motorist and worker fatalities, and nearly 50,000 injuries that occur annually in and around U.S. transportation project sites.

One of the unique benefits of the program is its broad reach.  It is targeted at elevating safety awareness among non-safety professionals in the industry—planners, designers, owners, field supervisors and inspectors—who are in decision-making roles from project conception through completion.

It aims to bring thousands of more “eyes” to the task of identifying and mitigating potential hazards for workers and motorists commonly found in transportation work zones—skills identified through the certification.

In May 2018, the SCTPP earned the “seal of approval” from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI); which means it is the transportation construction industry’s only internationally-accredited safety program.

Since its late 2016 launch, more 325 professionals from 74 companies and agencies in 37 states and Washington, D.C. have earned the SCTPP credential.

Learn more about the eligibility requirements and how to certify your firm’s key employees: www.puttingsafetyfirst.org.

Safety Week started in 2014, when more than 40 national and global construction firms which comprised the Construction Industry Safety Initiative (CISI) group and the Incident and Injury Free (IIF) CEO Forum joined forces with a single aim: to inspire everyone in the industry to be leaders in safety. Today, more than 80 construction firms across the U.S. and Canada participate in this important initiative. Some of ARTBA’s leading contractor members are Safety Week supporters.

Established in 1985, the ARTBA Foundation is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt entity designed to “promote research, education and public awareness” about the impacts of transportation investment. The Foundation supports an array of initiatives, including educational scholarships, awards, professional development academies, a transportation project safety certification program, roadway work zone safety and training, special economic reports and an exhibition on transportation at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Visit artbatdf.org

Eyes on the Road with PrePass By Evan Lockridge

Podcast #21: Calls to Increase Highway Funding Grow. Will Congress Finally Act and What Could It Cost Trucking?

ARTBA’s Dave Bauer, in Washington Post Op-Ed, Urges Infrastructure Investment

ARTBA President and CEO Dave Bauer wrote the op-ed, below, which was published in the April 21 issue of The Washington Post. Above, inside the “corroded carcass” of the Arlington Memorial Bridge. Photo: Federal Highway Administration.

By David C. Bauer

If placed end to end, the length of structurally deficient bridges in the D.C. area would stretch nearly four miles and cover the area of 18 football fields, according to a new analysis of federal government data we released this month. Nationally, there are more than 47,000 such structures. In the DMV, 145 structurally deficient bridges need an urgent repair, with reconstruction work needed on 2,000 structures, accounting for half of all the bridges in the area. This work would cost an estimated $3.6 billion.

Sadly, this is no joke and speaks to a much larger problem.

The Post reported last month that the D.C. government has received more than 7,000 pothole complaints from January to mid-March; that’s almost four times more complaints than at this point in 2017. The Post and its reporters have also done yeoman’s work highlighting the sorry state of our other major commuter corridors.

A massive, 10-foot-deep sinkhole on forced the closure of the George Washington Parkway on March 22, resulting in traffic gridlock. Anyone regularly driving north or south between Spout Run and the Capital Beltway knows well the horrible pavement conditions. The road and the water infrastructure beneath are crumbling on the 1930s-era road. At night, it’s a white-knuckle experience with reduced visibility and no lighting. At the same time, the National Park Service reduced speed limits to 40 mph on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway because of similarly hazardous conditions.

The agency has plans to rehabilitate both roads but speaks in terms of many years, not sooner. Public safety demands action now.

And let’s not forget the nearly 90-year-old structurally deficient Arlington Memorial Bridge, which is also owned by the Park Service. Thankfully, it is getting a long-overdue rehabilitation but only after last-minute emergency action from Congress and a ban on heavy vehicles from crossing it.

While it’s easy to blame the Park Service, the reality is the agency is operating on a beer budget. The estimated cost to modernize the Memorial Bridge is about $250 million, or close to the agency’s annual road improvement budget for the entire country.

The real story here is the abject failure over many years by elected officials, particularly at the federal level, to make the investments necessary to keep our infrastructure in a state of good repair.

The American people are clamoring for action. A January 2019 Rasmussen Reports survey found that almost 90 percent of likely voters believe “the Democratic leadership . . . and President Trump should work together during 2019 to pass legislation that would improve . . . infrastructure.”

Since the 2016 election, Trump and bipartisan congressional leaders have regularly cited upgrading the nation’s infrastructure as an area for common ground. After more than a decade of federal actions dominated by preserving the status quo, this new dialogue is welcome and sadly overdue. Every day spent talking about the need to fix infrastructure, however, is a day in which the problem gets worse.

So, what’s to be done?

The most pressing priority: Fix the Federal Highway Trust Fund, which is the source, on average, of more than 50 percent of all highway and bridge capital investments made annually by state transportation departments. The fund is in a world of financial hurt.

Without new revenue, starting in 2021, states would face a 40 percent cut in investment. All revenue options, including a Post-endorsed increase in the federal gasoline tax for the first time since 1993, should be on the table.

It is time for our elected officials to stop talking and start solving problems.