Rough Roads & Aging Bridges Ahead: 45% of U.S. Highways & Bridges Are in Poor Condition; Drones Lead Pot Hole Detection

SITUATION:
150,000 miles or 45 % of federal highways & major roads in the U.S. are not in good condition.
71,000 of nation’s bridges or 12 %t are rated as structurally deficient.
78,000 bridges are rated as functionally obsolete.

SIGNIFICANCE:
Nationwide, 21.8% of roads are in poor condition.
7.6% of bridges need replacement or repair.
4.8 derailments for every 100 miles of train track from 2015 to 2019.
Most common cause of which are broken rails or welds.
Surface transportation system plays robust role in facilitating economic activity.
National Highway System carries more than 40 percent of highway traffic.
75 percent of heavy truck traffic, and 90 percent of all tourist traffic.
Deferred maintenance vs gap between investment needs & funds threaten roads’ & bridges.
National Highway System (NHS) carries more than 40 % of the highway traffic,
75 percent of heavy truck traffic, and 90 percent of all tourist traffic.
$14 T/Year in goods shipped from  U.S. to domestic & international destinations.
87 percent of those goods are carried by trucks or courier.

 SOLUTION(S):
Report includes the following recommendations to address these challenges:

  • Encourage greater private-sector participation in road building 
  • Improve project selection and foster “modal coordination” across systems.
  • Streamline regulatory review and permitting at all levels.
  • Invest in technology. .
  • Move toward user fees to fund roads and bridges
  • Inform and educate the public.
  • Inspection of hard-to-reach assets (bridges, dams, water towers, aboveground pipelines) & confined spaces

STATS:
Who owns these roads and bridges?
Federal government owns only 3.7 percent of all US roads.
States own 20 %, including the entire interstate highway system.
Local governments own & maintain 77% of Urban and rural roadways.
3 million miles of urban and rural roadways.
90% of the tourist traffic.

SOURCES:

Application of Mobile LiDAR on Pothole detection – https://geoawesomeness.com/application-of-mobile-lidar-on-pothole-detection/

https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/cat-item/roads/

https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Roads-Final.pdf

DRONES TAKE FLIGHT IN HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION – https://www.concreteconstruction.net/business/management/drones-take-flight-in-highway-construction_o

Fixing America’s Roads & Bridges: The Path Forward –  https://www.ced.org/reports/fixing-americas-roads-bridges

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ced-unveils-plan-for-improving-americas-roads-and-bridges-300466121.html

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/pubs/hf/pl11028/chapter1.cfm
“Infrastructure crisis across the US: Assessing the conditions of roads, bridges & railways by state – https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/07/16/infrastructure-states-bridges-roads-falling-apart/112127156/

https://www.ced.org/reports/fixing-americas-roads-bridges#section3

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