ARTBA Senior Economist Alison Premo Black examines in “The Economic Impacts of Prohibiting Coal Fly Ash Use in Transportation Infrastructure Construction” how states would have to forego potential savings derived from using the supplementary binding agent in new, high performance concrete pavements. Over a 20-year period, she estimates, agencies could realize such savings as:
- $25 billion ($1.2 billion/year average) if all concrete roadways were designed with fly ash concrete materials to last 35 years, compared to the current national average of 20 to 25 years.
- $33.5 billion ($1.7 billion/year) if all concrete roadway repair and reconstruction work used fly ash concrete with a 40-year life span.
- $51.5 billion ($2.6 billion/year) if all concrete roadway repair and reconstruction work used fly ash concrete with a 50-year life span.
- $65.4 billion ($3.2 billion/year) if all concrete roadway repair and reconstruction work used fly ash concrete with a 60-year life span.
The analysis utilized bid tab data from 48 states and Washington, D.C., collected and organized by Nashville-based Oman Systems, Inc. The Federal Highway Administration uses the same data to calculate the National Highway Construction Cost Index. ARTBA-TDF also factored transportation construction market data from the U.S. Census Bureau, FHWA’s National Bridge Inventory and Highway Performance Monitoring System, while conducting extensive surveys and personal interviews with state transportation department officials and fly ash supply company executives to determine state market shares and penetrations.