Montana highways see 34% increase in travel; 11% of bridges need to be repaired or replaced | Instant News



July 15, 2020 A report released yesterday shows that vehicle travel on Montana’s road network is increasing at one of the highest rates in the country. And alongside the summer driving season, the survey noted that Montana’s interstate mortality rate is one of the highest in the country. The report was published by TRIP, a private, not-for-profit organization that researches, assesses and distributes economic and technical data on surface transportation issues. At the request of the Montana Contractors’ Association, the report highlighted Montana’s statistics: the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle-miles of travel on the Montana Interstate in 2018 was 0.86 – the seventh higher in the United States – compared to 1.63 on the non-interstate state. routes. TRIP estimates that additional safety devices on the Montana highway system saved 32 lives in 2018. Vehicle travel on Montana highways increased 34% from 2000 to 2018, the 13th fastest rate in the country. 17% of trips between the states of Montana are made by combined trucks (semi-trailer), the 10th highest share in the United States. 4% of Montana’s Interstate bridges are classified as in poor condition / structurally deficient, the 16th highest share in the United States. 11% of Montana Interstate bridges are in need of repair or replacement. “This confirms what we observe when driving on the Montana highways,” said MCA executive director David Smith. “There is more traffic, especially the traffic of semi-trailers. It also reminds us that we must continue to invest in our infrastructure. “Federal and state gas taxes pay for road construction,” added Smith. “These are taxes paid by users, for the benefit of users. With federal funds paying more than 80% of the cost of building highways, Montana is extremely dependent on federal support. To match federal support, Smith cited the Bridge and Road Safety and Accountability Act (BaRSAA) which increases the Montana fuel tax rate to $ 0.33 per gallon for gasoline and $ 0.2975 per gallon for diesel. The increase of 6 cents per gallon over six years was approved by legislators in 2017. “HB473 has helped us keep pace with the federal government and the funding backlog. Much of this increase goes directly to cities and counties to repair local bridges and roads, “said Smith. TRIP is a national non-profit transportation research organization. Founded in 1971, TRIP informs and promotes policies that improve the flow of goods and people, make surface travel safer, and improve economic development and productivity. https://tripnet.org/



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