Rock Products

JUL 2015

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6 • ROCK products • July 2015 www.rockproducts.com I N D U S T RY N E W S IN THE KNOW A merica' s r u ra l t ra n s p o r t a t i o n system is in need of repairs and modernization to support econom- ic growth in the nation's Heartland, which is a critical source of energy, food and fiber and home to an aging and increasingly diverse population that is heavily reliant on the quality of its transportation system. A new report released by The Road Infor- mation Program (TRIP) evaluates the safety and condition of the nation's rural roads and bridges and finds that the nation's rural transportation system is in need of improvements to address deficient roads and bridges, high crash rates, and inadequate con- nectivity and capacity. America's rural roads and bridges have significant deficiencies. In 2013, 15 percent of the nation's major rural roads were rated in poor condition and another 39 percent were rated in medi- ocre or fair condition. In 2014, 11 per- cent of the nation's rural bridges were rated as structurally deficient and 10 percent were functionally obsolete. "The 61 million people who live in America's rural heartland deserve a transportation system that is safe, effi- cient and reliable," said Kathleen Bower, AAA vice president of public affairs. "It is up to Congress to pass a fully funded, long-term bill to improve our nation's rural roads before the Highway Trust Fund runs out of money this summer." In addition to deteriorated roads and bridges, the TRIP report finds that traf- fic crashes and fatalities on rural roads are disproportionately high, occurring at a rate nearly three times higher than all other roads. In 2013, non-Interstate rural roads had a traffic fatality rate of 2.20 deaths for every 100 million vehi- cle miles of travel, compared to a fatali- ty rate on all other roads of 0.75 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel. Rural traffic fatality rates remain high, despite a substantial decrease in the number of overall fatalities. "America's rural transportation net- work plays a key role in the success and quality of life for U.S. farmers and ranchers," said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Feder- ation. "But deteriorated and deficient rural roads and bridges are hindering our nation's agricultural goods from reaching markets at home and abroad and slowing the pace of economic growth in rural America. Securing the appropriate resources at the local, state and federal levels will allow for the improvements needed to provide a rural transportation system that will keep goods moving, improve quality of life and quicken the pace of economic growth." The quality of life in America's small communities and rural areas and the health of the nation's rural economy is highly reliant on the quality of the nation's rural transportation system, particularly its roads, highways and bridges. America's rural transportation system provides the first and last link in the supply chain from farm to market while supporting the tourism industry and enabling the growing production of energy, food and fiber. Rural Ameri- America's Rural Roads In Critical Need of Repair

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