Tuesday, April 19, 2011

County Bridge Standards and TRIP Report

HB1060 was approved by the governor on April 18 2011.
A professional engineer registered by the State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors pursuant to Section 475.1 et seq. of Title 59 of the Oklahoma Statutes, shall approve projects that may be awarded to contractors by the boards of county commissioners, Transportation Commission or by other federal or state agencies under their normal competitive bidding procedures, excluding prequalification of bidders.  A “county-built” project may be a road or bridge in whole or in part built with its own county forces or entirely let to contract, but all costs associated are payable.
The finished bridge shall achieve a twenty-three-ton or greater rating.  The rating criteria shall be determined by the National Bridge Inventory and approved by the Department of Transportation for bridges twenty feet or more in length.
The finished bridge shall have a minimum roadway width of twenty-four feet and materials used in the construction of the bridge shall meet or exceed the specifications for materials as specified in the current edition of the County Bridge Standards or certified in writing by the engineer or supplier.
A report was recently released by TRIP states in recent years ODOT has been able to accelerate bridge repair and replacement, pavement improvements, and safety upgrades as a result of additional funding provided by the state legislature; however, significant deficiencies still remain. It is imperative that Oklahoma’s transportation system continues to be adequately funded in the future if the state is to continue to improve the system and promote economic recovery and growth.
•From 2006 to 2010, an additional $748 million was made available for road, highway and bridge repairs in Oklahoma as a result of state legislative action taken since 2006.
•An additional $1.1 billion is anticipated to be provided for roadways in the state from 2011 to 2015 as a result of state legislative decisions – a total of approximately $1.8 billion from 2006 to 2015.
•ODOT has been able to significantly increase the number of state-maintained bridges rehabilitated or replaced since 2005. Additional transportation funds have allowed the state to decrease the number of structurally deficient, state-maintained bridges by 32 percent, dropping from 1,168 in 2005 to 797 in 2010. By 2015, the number of structurally deficient, state-maintained bridges is projected to decrease to 504, a 57 percent reduction from 2005 levels.
•In 2005, 149 state-maintained bridges were posted or weight restricted. Additional funds have allowed ODOT to decrease that number to 40 bridges in 2010. By 2014, ODOT projects that the number of posted or weight restricted state-maintained bridges will decrease to zero.
•Pavement rehabilitation and reconstruction has been accelerated in recent years, improving the condition of Oklahoma's state-maintained roadways. While 5,935 miles of roadway were in good condition in 2004, that number is projected to increase to 6,272 in 2010 and 6,556 in 2015.
•The number of miles of Oklahoma's state-maintained roadways in poor condition has decreased in recent years and will continue to drop. Since 2004, Oklahoma has experienced a net reduction of more than five percent in the number of miles of roads deemed to be in poor condition, from 2,995 to 2,819. By 2015, the reduction is expected to be nearly 10 percent, with 2,722 miles of state-maintained highway rated in poor condition.
•Between 2006 and 2015, ODOT will have installed 436 total miles of cable-barrier, which will complete planned installations on Oklahoma’s Interstate system.
•The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided approximately $464.7 million in stimulus funding for highway and bridge improvements and $39.2 million for public transit improvements in Oklahoma.
•ARRA funding has served as a down payment on needed road, highway, bridge and transit improvements, but the boost was not sufficient to allow the state to proceed with numerous projects needed to modernize its surface transportation system. Meeting Oklahoma’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit will require a significant, long-term boost in transportation funding at the federal, state or local levels.
•To ensure that federal funding for highways and bridges in Oklahoma and throughout the nation continues beyond the expiration of SAFETEA-LU, Congress needs to approve a new long-term federal surface transportation program by September 30, 2011.
Despite the recession, population increases and economic growth in Oklahoma over the past two decades have resulted in increased demands on the state’s major roads and highways.
•Oklahoma’s population reached 3.7 million in 2009, an increase of 17 percent since 1990. The state’s population is expected to grow to 3.9 million by 2025.
•Vehicle travel in Oklahoma increased 42 percent from 1990 to 2009 – from 33.1 billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in 1990 to 47 billion VMT in 2009.
•By 2025, vehicle travel in Oklahoma is projected to increase by another 35 percent.
From 1990 to 2009, Oklahoma’s gross domestic product, a measure of the state’s economic output, increased by 62 percent, when adjusted for inflation, higher than the national average of 52 percent.
•In 2008, more than a third of major roads in Oklahoma were in poor or mediocre condition, providing motorists with a rough ride.
•In 2008, 18 percent of Oklahoma’s major roads were rated in poor condition and 17 percent were rated in mediocre condition. This includes Interstates, highways, connecting urban arterials and key urban streets that are maintained by state, county or municipal governments.
•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.
•Roads in need of repair cost each Oklahoma motorist an average of $425 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – $978 million statewide. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
•In the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, where 42 percent of major roads are rated in poor condition and 23 percent are rated in mediocre condition, driving on roads in need of repair costs motorists $662 each year in extra vehicle operating costs. This is the seventh highest cost per driver among U.S. urban areas with a population of 500,000 or more.
•In the Tulsa metropolitan area, where 36 percent of major roads are rated in poor condition and 26 percent are rated in mediocre condition, driving on roads in need of repair costs motorists $610 each year in extra vehicle operating costs. This is the twelfth highest cost per driver among U.S. urban areas with a population of 500,000 or more.
•The functional life of Oklahoma’s roads is greatly affected by the state’s ability to perform timely maintenance and upgrades to ensure that structures last as long as possible. It is critical that roads are fixed before they require major repairs because reconstructing roads costs approximately four times more than resurfacing them.
Despite the recent improvement in the condition of state-maintained bridges, Oklahoma ranks second nationally among states with the highest share of its bridges rated structurally deficient. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length and are maintained by state, local and federal agencies.
•Twenty-two percent of bridges in Oklahoma were structurally deficient in 2010 (twelve percent of state-maintained bridges were rated structurally deficient in 2010). A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. These properties have a major bearing in qualifying a bridge for federal bridge replacement or rehabilitation funds.
•Seven percent of bridges in Oklahoma were functionally obsolete in 2010 (nine percent of state-maintained bridges were functionally obsolete in 2010). Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.
•Bridges that are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete are safe for travel and are monitored on a regular basis by the organizations responsible for maintaining them.
Oklahoma’s rural traffic fatality rate is nearly three times higher than the fatality rate on all other roads in the state. Improving safety features on Oklahoma’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in traffic fatalities in the state. Roadway characteristics are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic accidents.
•Between 2005 and 2009, 3,821 people were killed in traffic accidents in Oklahoma, an average of 764 fatalities per year.
•Oklahoma’s traffic fatality rate was 1.57 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2009, 38 percent higher than the national average of 1.14 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel.
•The traffic fatality rate in 2009 on Oklahoma’s non-Interstate rural roads was 2.71 traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, which is nearly three times the traffic fatality rate of 0.96 on all other roads and highways in the state.
•A disproportionate share of fatalities takes place on Oklahoma’s non-Interstate rural roads. Approximately 60 percent of fatalities take place on rural roads, although they account for only 35 percent of vehicle travel in the state.
•Several factors are associated with vehicle accidents that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway design.
•TRIP estimates that roadway characteristics, such as lane widths, lighting, signage and the presence or absence of guardrails, paved shoulders, traffic lights, rumble strips, obstacle barriers, turn lanes, median barriers and pedestrian or bicycle facilities, 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 accidents while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
•The Federal Highway Administration has found that every $100 million spent on needed highway safety improvements will result in 145 fewer traffic fatalities over a 10-year period.
Increases in population and vehicle travel in Oklahoma have led to additional traffic congestion in the state’s urban areas.
•In 2008, 29 percent of Oklahoma's urban Interstates and other highways or freeways were considered congested, carrying a level of traffic that is likely to result in significant delays during peak travel hours.
•The average rush hour trip in the Oklahoma City metro area takes approximately nine percent longer to complete than during non-rush hour. In the Tulsa area, rush hour trips take seven percent longer to complete than during non-rush hour.
•Drivers in the Oklahoma City area lose $575 each year due to lost time and wasted fuel as a result of congestion. Each Tulsa area driver loses $407 per year due to congestion.
The efficiency of Oklahoma’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses are increasingly reliant on an efficient and reliable transportation system to move products and services. Expenditures on highway repairs create a significant number of jobs.
•Annually, $117 billion in goods are shipped from sites in Oklahoma and another $135 billion in goods are shipped to sites in Oklahoma, mostly by trucks.
•Eighty percent of the goods shipped annually from sites in Oklahoma are carried by trucks and another six percent are carried by parcel, U.S. Postal Service or courier services, which use trucks for part of the deliveries.
•A 2007 analysis by the Federal Highway Administration found that every $1 billion invested in highway construction would support approximately 27,800 jobs, including approximately 9,500 in the construction sector, approximately 4,300 jobs in industries supporting the construction sector, and approximately 14,000 other jobs induced in non-construction related sectors of the economy.
•The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 on the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

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