Rock Products

AUG 2019

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94 • ROCK products • August 2019 Aggregates Industry Almanac Review of Road Conditions "Repair Priorities 2019" provides a national snapshot and state-by-state evaluation of current roadway pavement conditions, spending trends, and unmet needs. It also rec- ommends crucial actions federal policymakers should take in the next transportation reauthorization bill to get the nation's roads – and spending priorities – back on track. Despite More Spending, Our Roads Are Not Getting Better The nation is falling behind when it comes to the condition of our roads. Between 2009 and 2017, the percentage of the roads nationwide in "poor condition" – a category defined by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on a scale of good, fair, and poor – increased from 14 to 20%. The per- centage of roads in "good condition" increased only slightly: from 36 to 38% over that nine-year period. This is especially concerning given that, in addition to pass- ing two long-term reauthorizations of federal transportation spending during this time, Congress also provided a massive boost of additional one-time funding with the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Even though the stimulus, as it is more commonly known, injected billions of dollars into the surface transportation system, we still failed to make a dent in the backlog of roads in poor condition. We Are Facing a Looming Spending Gap There is a sizable gap between what states and localities are spending on road repair and the amount we would need to spend to keep roads in good condition over time. While previous editions of "Repair Priorities" by Transportation for America and Taxpayers for Common Sense have looked exclusively at what states would need to spend to repair and preserve state-owned roads, the 2019 edition chose to look at all of the nation's publicly-managed roads across jurisdic- tions to better understand the magnitude of the gap. •  $169 billion per year just to keep our good roads "good." As of 2017, we would need to spend an estimated $168.6 billion per year exclusively on road repair just to preserve the nation's roads that are currently in good and fair condition in that acceptable state through routine pave- ment management practices. •  $63 billion per year on top of that to address the backlog of poor roads. We are also facing a substantial financial burden to bring the backlog of roads currently in poor condition into good repair. It is significantly more expensive to rehabilitate roads that have fallen into poor repair than to preserve roads in good condition on an ongoing basis through routine pavement preservation. The report estimates that the total cost to bring the nation's current backlog of roads in poor condition into good repair is approximately $376.4 billion, or $62.7 billion per year

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