The American Society of Civil Engineers recently released an Infrastructure Report Card grading United States roads with a D, saying US roads are too crowded, in poor condition, and chronically underfunded. ASCE reports an $836 billion backlog of highway capital needs, including repairs, expansions, and enhancements. As a part of Infrastructure Week, we’re encouraging America that it’s time to build and invest in our nation’s roads.
The lack of highway repair, expansion and enhancement is costing drivers time and money. In 2014, Americans spent a total of 6.9 billion hours in traffic–an average of 42 hours per driver. The 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard reports congestion costs the average person about $960 a year in time and wasted fuel costs. Roads in poor condition also cost drivers about an average of $680 a year in vehicle repairs.
Investing into our infrastructure has a positive return. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that every dollar spent on road, highway, and bridge improvements returns $5.20 as a result of lower vehicle repair costs, decreased delays, reduced fuel consumption, and lower road and bridge maintenance costs.
So, what are we going to do about this lack of funding that’s actually costing us more? At Transtec, we’re designing optimized pavements that last longer, are more sustainable, safer, and cost less to construct. Over just the past three years, we’ve saved clients more than $370 million on highway projects, all while improving the quality of life for everyone who uses transportation.
In Arizona, we provided an optimized pavement design for the largest highway project in Arizona’s state history. Our design saved over $60 million on the Loop 202 (South Mountain Freeway) project and resulted in increased performance.
In Pennsylvania, we designed an alternative rehabilitation option for I-90, saving $10 million on initial cost. In addition, a life-cycle cost analysis proved our design was the most cost effective over the life of the 40-year analysis period.
In Texas, we saved $55 million on an extensive highway project in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by advancing innovative pavement design concepts and providing maintenance recommendations to minimize risks.
With an average cost savings of about $30 million per project, imagine how much we could save on the funding gap of highway capital needs. And with an estimated rate of return at $5.20, imagine how much money that will be back in your pocket.