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Transportation Research Board pens Interstate Renewal Plan

American Concrete Pavement Association directors have approved a resolution formally supporting a recently released Transportation Research Board (TRB) report stating the case for annual investment of $45 billion to $70 billion to cover rebuilding of Interstate highway pavements and bridges. The funding range in “Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future” applies only to the Interstate portion of the overall Federal-aid highway system.

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The report is posted at http://nap.edu/25334. Authors illustrate the outsized traffic load Interstate highways shoulder within the 4.1 million-mile national surface transportation system: One percent of the rights of way, 25 percent of total vehicle miles traveled.

The report and plan stem from the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (FAST Act), which called for TRB to conduct a study on actions needed to upgrade and restore the Interstate and Defense Highway System. An action plan developed from the findings has 10 key recommendations to Congress, including innovative concepts and actionable measures that are favorable to state transportation agencies, taxpayers, highway users, and the transportation-construction industry.

The plan is seen as viable and credible in part because of TRB’s world-class reputation in transportation research, ACPA affirms. TRB is one of seven program units of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which provides independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and engages in other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions.

The oversight committee also adds credibility because it was comprised of 14 prominent professionals representing the public and private sectors and academia. Among those are the Honorable Norman Mineta (former U.S. Representative and U.S. Secretary of Transportation) and TRB Chairman Norman Augustine. ACPA hopes that the well-crafted study factors into the next transportation reauthorization legislation.