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Archive for the ‘Roads’ Category

Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
Figure ES-2. Vehicle-Miles Traveled per Capita in the United States, 1946-2013

U.S. PIRG EDUCATION FUND
Americans drive no more in total now than we did in 2005, and no more on average than we did at the end of Bill Clinton’s first term as president. The recent stagnation in driving comes on the heels of a six decade-long Driving Boom that saw steady, rapid increases in driving and congestion across the United States, along with the investment of more than $1 trillion of public money in highways…But even though the Driving Boom is now over, state and federal governments continue to pour vast sums of money into the construction of new highways and expansion of old ones—at the expense of urgent needs such as road and bridge repairs, improvements in public transportation and other transportation priorities.

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21st Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems

Friday, September 19th, 2014
Table ES1: Performance of State-Owned Highways, 2009–2012

REASON FOUNDATION
Reason Foundation’s 21st Annual Highway Report tracks the performance of the 50 state-owned highway systems from 1984 to 2012. Each state’s overall rating consists of 11 category rankings. The rankingsinclude highway expenditures, Interstate and rural primary road pavement conditions, bridge conditions, urban Interstate/freeway congestion, fatality rates and narrow rural arterial lanes. The study is based on spending and performance data submitted by the state highway agencies to the federal government. It also reviews changes in highway performance since 2009, the prior report’s focus.

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Video: Rebuilding Colorado After the 2013 Flood

Friday, September 19th, 2014
Video: Rebuilding Colorado After the 2013 Flood

The floods of 2013 left Colorado’s road network in shambles, but by uniting toward a common goal, the state rebuilt its infrastructure to be even better, even more resilient, than before. This inspiring video traces the path of the Colorado Department of Transportation as it worked with citizens and stakeholder groups to get Colorado moving again.

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Measuring Travel Time at Florida Freeways and Arterials

Friday, September 12th, 2014
Figure 2.5.  BlueTOAD speed map at Jacksonville, FL

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Travel time is an important performance measure used to assess the traffic operational quality of various types of highway facilities. Previous research funded by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) on travel time reliability developed, implemented, and evaluated tools for estimating travel time reliability for freeways and arterials. Previous research efforts have also compared the model-estimated travel times to field-measured travel times.

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Goodyear, Arizona: I-10 & Loop 303 Ramps Finally Open

Friday, September 12th, 2014
Goodyear, Arizona: I-10 & Loop 303 Ramps Finally Open

All four major ramps of the I-10 and L303 traffic interchange are now open.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Bud Wright, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Bud Wright, Executive Director, AASHTO

Frederick G. “Bud” Wright is Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a non-profit, non-partisan association which advocates transportation-related policies and provides technical services to support states in their efforts to efficiently and safely move people and goods. He has almost four decades of experience in both the private sector and as a top executive at the Federal Highway Administration.

“I think the most important thing for us right now is to preserve the investment that we have already made…You build a home and you don’t just walk away from it for the next hundred years. You’re going to have to make investments to not only maintain it, but to upgrade it.”

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Illinois Highway Materials Sustainability Efforts

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
Figure 1. Reclaimed material use, 2013.

ILLINOIS CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has many years of experience using a variety of reclaimed and recycled materials in highway construction. Major material use in highway construction is in the form of aggregates, concrete, and hot-mix asphalt (HMA). It should be no surprise that reclaimed and recycled material use is aligned with usage of these basic construction materials. This report presents the quantity of materials used in 2013, along with specific reporting as required in Illinois Public Act 097-0314. Specific reporting on use of shingles, along with efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and to achieve cost savings through the use of recycled and reclaimed materials, in asphalt paving projects is presented.

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Lansing, MI: Sustainable Construction on Moores River Drive

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
Lansing, MI: Sustainable Construction on Moores River Drive

The Moores River Drive Project began in April of 2014. As a part of the project, the existing seawall will be removed and replaced with a sloping embankment along the shoreline. A pathway will also be installed along the embankment. Moores River Drive east of Waverly Road will be reconstructed from a four-lane boulevard to a two-lane road. Mt. Hope will be converted from a four-lane road to a three-lane road with bike lanes. The project will be complete in October 2014.

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Oregon DOT: Blasting Rock on U.S. 26 Mt. Hood

Monday, September 8th, 2014
Oregon DOT: Blasting Rock on U.S. 26 Mt. Hood

Test blast for rock blasting on the U.S. 26 Mt. Hood Safety project on Sept. 4, 2014. Cutting back the slopes from the road will require several more days of blasting and closures of U.S. 26 and nearby trails. To learn more visit www.US26MtHoodSafety.org

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No, Americans Are (Still) Not Driving More

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Written by Shane Phillips
The U.S. Department of Transportation is reporting that driving is at a six-year high, but beware the hype. As James Brasuell at Planetizen notes, these numbers are not adjusted for population and thus don’t account for the growing number of residents living in the country. As always, the better question to ask is how much the average American is driving, and the answer to that is the same as it’s been for years: less and less.

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