Report: Nation’s Roads Increasingly Deteriorated

The nation’s major urban roads continue to deteriorate costing the average driver more than more $800 a year in some areas, according to TRIP, a national transportation research group based in Washington, D.C. Driving on roads that are increasingly in disrepair can increase consumer costs by “accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation and increasing needed maintenance,” such as AGRR services, the group reports.

“We do get a lot of rock chip and crack repairs around here,” says Melvin Roberson of M.R. Windshield Repair in Oklahoma City, Okla.Oklahoma City ranks high in terms of vehicle ownership cost, according to TRIP.

“Though we don’t do replacements, this is a lot of business around here as well. Bad weather also has an impact. We are having some really bad weather right now and it slows us down since most of our work is mobile,” he adds.

TRIP predicts pavement conditions will worsen under current funding levels. The U.S. faces a $156-billion shortfall in the amount needed to maintain roadways in their current condition through 2032, TRIP claims.

“With state and local governments struggling to fund needed road repairs with federal transportation funding set to be slashed next year, road conditions are projected to get even worse,” says Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director.

To make modest improvements through 2032, the government is facing a $374-billion shortfall, and to make significant improvements, the government is looking at $670 million shortfall, the group claims.

“States depend on investment from the Highway Trust Fund to help preserve and maintain the roads and bridges that carry our families and our economy,” says Bud Wright, executive director for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “We cannot continue to ignore the very real crisis facing our national transportation system without a long-term, sustainable funding source for the Highway Trust Fund.”

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which provides federal funding for roads, is set to expire on September 30, 2014. This could impact the country’s road systems even more, according to the group.

“In the fall of 2014, nationwide federal funding for highways is expected to be cut back by almost 100 percent from the current $40-billion investment level unless additional revenues are provided to the federal Highway Trust Fund,” officials claim. “This is due to cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.”

“On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law P.L. 112-141, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). Funding surface transportation programs at over $105 billion for fiscal years (fiscal-year) 2013 and 2014, MAP-21 is the first long-term highway authorization enacted since 2005. MAP-21 represents a milestone for the U.S. economy—it provides needed funds and, more importantly, it transforms the policy and programmatic framework for investments to guide the growth and development of the country’s vital transportation infrastructure,” according to a summary by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Highway Traffic Administration (HTA).

Whether or not Congress can agree to renew MAP-21 funding in 2014 is apparently in question, especially after the government shutdown in early October 2013 after congressional members were unable to agree on 2014 fiscal-year funding.

“The odds of renewing MAP-21 before it expires next October 1 just increased dramatically, we think,” says Larry Ehl in Transportation Issues Daily. “It’s still a very heavy lift, due to the funding challenge. But the House’s recent legislative action on a water transportation bill, combined with the Senate’s action last May, gives us renewed hope.”

If funding is not renewed and highways continue to deteriorate, AGRR services could continue to grow in demand.

The 20 large cities (500,000-plus population) with the highest pavements in poor condition and the highest vehicle operating cost include:

Rank

Urban Area

 

VOC

Rank

Urban Area

Poor

1

LA–Long Beach–Santa Ana, CA

$832

1

LA–Long Beach–Santa Ana, CA

64%

2

Tulsa, OK

$784

2

San Francisco—Oakland, CA

60%

3

San Francisco—Oakland, CA

$782

3

San Jose, CA

56%

4

Oklahoma City, OK

$782

4

San Diego, CA

55%

5

San Diego, CA

$758

5

Tucson, AZ

53%

6

San Jose, CA

$737

6

New York, NY –Newark, NJ

51%

7

Tucson, AZ

$723

7

Bridgeport—Stamford, CT

51%

8

Milwaukee, WI

$700

8

Milwaukee, WI

48%

9

New Orleans, LA

$687

9

New Orleans, LA

47%

10

New York, NY –Newark, NJ

$673

10

Oklahoma City, OK

47%

11

Bridgeport—Stamford, CT

$669

11

Tulsa, OK

46%

12

Sacramento, CA

$658

12

Seattle, WA

45%

13

Riverside–San Bernardino, CA

$638

13

Honolulu, HI

43%

14

Seattle, WA

$625

14

Sacramento, CA

43%

15

Concord, CA

$623

15

Concord, CA

42%

16

Denver—Aurora, CO

$615

16

New Haven, CT

42%

17

Dallas–Fort Worth –Arlington, TX

$615

17

Riverside–San Bernardino, CA

39%

18

Birmingham, AL

$601

18

Springfield, MA

39%

19

Honolulu, HI

$598

19

Boston, MA

39%

20

Colorado Springs, CO

$589

20

Hartford, CT

38%

 

The 20 mid-sized urban areas (250,000 to 500,000 in population) with the highest percentage of pavements in poor condition and the highest vehicle operating costs include:

Urban Area   VOC Rank Urban Area Poor
Antioch, CA $793 1 Antioch, CA 64%
Reno, NV $771 2 Reno, NV 55%
Jackson, MS $741 3 Santa Rosa, CA 51%
Hemet, CA $738 4 Trenton, NJ 48%
Santa Rosa, CA $709 5 Hemet, CA 48%
Temecula-Murrieta, CA $664 6 Spokane, WA 45%
Trenton, NJ $636 7 Jackson, MS 45%
Spokane, WA $619 8 Temecula-Murrieta 43%
Madison, WI $615 9 Worcester, MA 41%
Corpus Christi, TX $614 10 Stockton, CA 40%
Worcester, MA $600 11 Corpus Christi, TX 40%
Des Moines, IA $591 12 Des Moines, IA 38%
Stockton, CA $584 13 Madison, WI 37%
Baton Rouge, LA $581 14 South Bend, IN 34%
Modesto, CA $560 15 Davenport, IA 34%
Shreveport, LA $549 16 Baton Rouge, LA 32%
Davenport, IA $548 17 Scranton, PA 32%
Scranton, PA $539 18 Fort Wayne, IN 32%
Oxnard, CA $534 19 Modesto, CA 31%
Fort Wayne, IN $530 20 Anchorage, AK 29%

What are your local roads like? Do they have an impact on demand for your services? Please send your thoughts to jreed@glass.com.

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