US road network must be rebuilt and expanded, report says

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According to a report released by TRIP, a national non-profit transportation research organization, America’s road network will need to be rebuilt and expanded to meet the country’s growing transportation needs.

The report, Restoring the Interstate Highway System: Meeting America’s Transportation Needs with a Reliable, Safe & Well-Maintained National Highway Network, examines the use, condition and benefits of the Interstate system, as well as the findings of a report by 2019 Prepared by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) at the request of Congress under the FAST Act on the State and Use of the Interstate System and Actions Needed to Restore and Upgrade the System.

According to the TRB report, the Interstate system has a persistent and growing backlog of physical and operational impairments due to age, heavy use and deferred reinvestment, and is in need of rebuilding and repair. major modernization. The TRB report concludes that the annual investment in the interstate road network is expected to increase approximately two and a half times, from $ 23 billion in 2018 to $ 57 billion per year over the next 20 years.

The TRIP report found that since 2000, trips on the Interstate system have increased at almost triple the rate at which new lane capacity is being added. As a result, 47% of interstate urban freeways are considered congested during rush hour. Combined truck trips on the Interstate increased 45% from 2000 to 2018, nearly double the trip growth rate of 25% for all vehicle trips during the same period.

The design of the Interstate, which includes separation from other roads and railways, a minimum of four lanes, paved shoulders and center gates, makes it more than twice as safe as any other road. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled on the Interstate in 2018 was 0.58, compared with 1.32 on non-Interstate roads. TRIP estimates that additional safety features on the Interstate Highway System saved 5,930 lives in 2018.

The TRIP report finds that while the smoothness of the pavement on most segments of the interstate network is acceptable, the crumbling foundations of most of the highway segments need to be rebuilt and that resurfacing continues rather than resolving issues. underlying fundamental problems provides diminishing returns and results in shorter periods of pavement evenness. . As the foundations of the aging system continue to deteriorate, most interstate highways, bridges and interchanges will need to be rebuilt or replaced. According to the TRIP report, the pavements of 11% of interstate highways are in poor or poor condition. More than a quarter (27%) of interstate bridges are in need of repair or replacement.

Based on the findings of the TRB Interstate report, TRIP provided a set of recommendations for the restoration of the interstate road network, which includes: fundamental reconstruction of interstate highways, bridges and interchanges; improvement of road safety characteristics; the correct sizing of the system, including the upgrading of certain road corridors to interstate standards; adding the additional road capacity needed on existing routes; the addition of additional corridors; and modifying certain urban segments to maintain connectivity while addressing economic and social disruption.

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SOURCE: TRAVEL


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