CALIFORNIA’S SURFACE TRANSPORTATION REPORT CARD – OCTOBER 2018 NEWSLETTER
ASCE Region 9 Holds Bay Area Press Conference Releasing Transportation Report Card Ratings
California’s Surface Transportation Report Card was released on October 3rd at press conference in Berkeley that featured San Francisco Section members Kwame Agyare, the Region 9 Director, and Tony Akel, co-chair of the California Infrastructure Report Card Committee. The Report Card grades roads a “D,” bridges a “C-” and transit a “C-.” Across all three categories that comprise the state’s surface transportation network, significant maintenance backlogs and congestion chokepoints account for the dismal grades.
The report finds that 44% of California’s major roads are in poor condition, while 37% are in mediocre or fair condition. In addition, California bridges account for 13 of the top 25 most traveled structurally deficient bridges in the United States. The report also notes that the new statewide transportation funding provided through SB 1 is already helping to modernize California’s transportation network and address the maintenance backlog.
“Safe and reliable transportation is critical to meet the demands of California’s growing population and maintain the state’s status as the world’s fifth largest economy. With $5 billion annually hanging in the balance, the grades could quickly decline if these investments do not come to fruition,” said John Hogan, P.E., co-chair of the California Infrastructure Report Card Committee.
“Our state is plagued by crippling traffic congestion, aging bridges and transit systems, and potholes on neighborhood streets,” added Tony Akel, P.E., co-chair of the California Infrastructure Report Card Committee. “Fortunately, we can turn things around by prioritizing our infrastructure and ensuring its safe for tomorrow’s population.”
Of note, the report finds:
–Approximately 50% of bridges in the state have exceeded their design life and the backlog of recommended maintenance, repair and replacement work continues to grow. –The 30% of bridges in the state that are in fair condition require maintenance to ensure they do not slip down to the “poor” category.–Driving on deficient roads costs Californians $61 billion annually due to congestion-related delays, traffic collisions and increased vehicle operating costs caused by poor road conditions. –Congestion costs California drivers up to $1,774 each year in lost time and wasted fuel.–Southern California and the Bay Area are the second and third most congested urban areas in the nation, respectively.
“We need to do everything we can to ensure that millions for critical transportation funding already being spent to improve our roads, bridges and public transportation continues,” said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin. “The Bay Area has already started to see improvements in our infrastructure and we cannot afford to forfeit these projects. Vote “no” on Proposition 6.”
The Report Card is released as a public service to citizens and policymakers to inform them of the infrastructure needs in their community. Because of the unique opportunity voters have to protect road, bridge and transit funding in the 2018 election, this subset of the Report Card is being released early to inform citizens before they head to the polls. The 2019 Report Card for California’s Infrastructure, grading 14 additional categories of infrastructure (17 overall), will be released in February.
ASCE State and Regional Infrastructure Report Cards are modeled after the national Infrastructure Report Card, which gave America’s infrastructure a grade of “D+” in 2017.
A full copy of California’s Surface Transportation Report Card is available at InfrastructureReportCard.org/California.