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Thursday, October 3, 2013
Honolulu Roads 13th Worst in Nation, Cost Drivers $598 per year
By News Release @ 7:15 PM :: 5644 Views :: Honolulu County, Rail

HONOLULU AREA ROADS ARE AMONG NATION’S MOST DETERIORATED, COSTING DRIVERS NEARLY $600 EACH YEAR.

ROAD CONDITIONS EXPECTED TO DECLINE FURTHER IF FEDERAL AND STATE LAWMAKERS FAIL TO ACT. FEDERAL FUNDING FOR REGION’S HIGHWAYS SET TO BE SLASHED IN OCTOBER 2014 UNLESS CONGRESS APPROVES ADDITIONAL REVENUES.

News Release from TRIP October 2, 2013

Washington, DC – Forty-three percent of major roads in the Honolulu urban area are in poor condition, costing area drivers $598 each year in additional vehicle operating costs. The Honolulu urban area ranks 19th among large cities (500,000+) in the annual cost to motorists of driving on rough roads and 13th in the percentage of roads in poor condition. Driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation and increasing needed maintenance,fuel consumption and tire wear.

These findings were released today by TRIP, a national transportation research group based in Washington, D.C. The report, “Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother,” examines urban pavement conditions, transportation funding and economic development.

Additional pavement condition and vehicle operating costs for urban areas with populations of 250,000 or greater can be found in the full report and appendices.

In 2011 more than one-quarter (27 percent) of the nation's major urban roads– Interstates, freeways and other arterial routes – had pavements that were in substandard condition and provided an unacceptably rough ride to motorists, costing the average urban driver $377 annually. The nationwide annual cost of driving on deteriorated roads totals $80 billion.

Rank   Urban Area $ VOC Rank Urban Area  % Poor
1 LA--Long Beach--Santa Ana, CA  $832 1 LA--Long Beach--Santa Ana, CA  64%
2 Tulsa, OK  $784 2 San Francisco—Oakland, CA  60%
3 San Francisco—Oakland, CA  $782 3 San Jose, CA  56%
4 Oklahoma City, OK  $782 4 San Diego, CA  55%
5 San Diego, CA  $758 5 Tucson, AZ  53%
6 San Jose, CA  $737 6 New York, NY –Newark, NJ  51%
7 Tucson, AZ  $723 7 Bridgeport—Stamford, CT  51%
8 Milwaukee, WI  $700 8 Milwaukee, WI  48%
9 New Orleans, LA  $687 9 New Orleans, LA  47%
10 New York, NY –Newark, NJ  $673 10 Oklahoma City, OK  47%
11 Bridgeport—Stamford, CT  $669 11 Tulsa, OK  46%
12 Sacramento, CA  $658 12 Seattle, WA 45%
13 Riverside--San Bernardino, CA  $638 13 Honolulu, HI  43%
14 Seattle, WA $625 14 Sacramento, CA  43%
15 Concord, CA  $623 15 Concord, CA  42%
16 Denver—Aurora, CO  $615 16 New Haven, CT  42%
17 Dallas--Ft Worth --Arlington, TX  $615 17 Riverside--San Bernardino, CA  39%
18 Birmingham, AL  $601 18 Springfield, MA  39%
19 Honolulu, HI  $598 19 Boston, MA  39%
20 Colorado Springs, CO  $589 20 Hartford, CT  38%

Pavement conditions are likely to worsen under current funding by all levels of government. Through 2032, the U.S. faces a $156 billion shortfall in the amount needed to maintain roadways in their current condition, a $374 billion shortfall to make modest improvements in pavement conditions and a $670 billion shortfall to make significant improvements to roadway conditions.

“Everyone who drives on Oahu knows that years of neglect led to our city having some of the worst roads in the nation,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “This latest report from TRIP shows that we each have been hit for about six hundred bucks a year on car repairs directly related to the terrible shape of our roads. This is why, in my first month on the job, I launched an ambitious plan to repave every single road in unsatisfactory condition on this island within five years. Some said we couldn’t do it, but I’m pleased to report that we are ahead of schedule,setting a record pace of road repaving this year, and we will not stop until every city-owned road is fixed.”

A 2010 U.S. Department of Transportation report found that the nation would need to increase annual funding for road and highway improvements by 21 percent to keep them in their current condition, by 51 percent to make a modest improvement in overall conditions and by 91 percent to make significant improvement to their condition.

"The Hawaii Department of Transportation is in the process of an ambitious plan to address the state's aging highway infrastructure. Some of our current major projects include the $42 million H1 Freeway Rehabilitation project. Other major resurfacing projects that are set to begin this year or early next year include Vineyard Blvd., Kalanianaole Highway in East Honolulu, and Kamehameha Highway in Central Oahu," said Hawaii Department of Transportation Director Glenn Okimoto. "The neighbor islands are also seeing much work including the Lahaina Bypass Road on Maui, Keaau-Pahoa Shoulder Lane Conversion project on Hawaii Island, and the Lihue Mill Bridge project on Kauai, just to mention a few."

Federal dollars are a key source of transportation funding in Hawaii. But the lack of adequate funding beyond the expiration of MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act) federal surface transportation legislation on September 30, 2014, threatens the future condition and performance of the nation’s roads and highways. In the fall of 2014, nationwide federal funding for highways is expected to be cut back by almost 100 percent from the current $40 billion investment level unless additional revenues are provided to the federal Highway Trust Fund. This is due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office. Under this scenario, federal funding for highway and transit improvements in Hawaii is estimated to be cut by $195 million for the federal fiscal year starting October 1, 2014, unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues.

Making improvements to the transportation system can have a significant economic impact. A 2007 analysis by the Federal Highway Administration found that every $1 billion invested in highway construction would support approximately 27,800 jobs, including approximately 9,500 in the construction sector, approximately 4,300 jobs in industries supporting the construction sector, and approximately 14,000 other jobs induced in non-construction related sectors of the economy. “With state and local governments struggling to fund needed road repairs and with federal surface transportation funding set to be slashed next year, road conditions are projected to get even worse,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Congress could reduce the extra costs borne by motorists driving on rough roads by approving funding that will support a federal transportation program that improves road conditions on the nation’s major roads and highways.”

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