In 2010, PCA anticipates a 2.4-percent increase in consumption compared to severely depressed 2009 levels. A 6.7-percent gain is predicted for 2011, followed by an 8.4-percent increase in 2012. An 18.8-percent jump is projected for 2013, when highway and street cement consumption comes back on track.
“Delays in an extension of SAFETEA-LU reduced highway cement consumption by one million metric tons in 2010,” Edward Sullivan, PCA chief economist, said. “Lacking a new highway bill until 2013, highway cement consumption will be based on inflation-eroded SAFETEA-LU extensions, declining ARRA stimulus and extremely weak state fiscal conditions.”
“We’ve basically been building in America for the automobile and now we have to start all over again and build for the people.”
Senator Mary Landrieu, (D-La) in NOLA.com
S.C. Gas Tax Proposal
You can state the obvious but getting support for it can be really difficult, especially in an election year.
A commission in yet another state facing crumbling roads has nevertheless suggested the obvious. The South Carolina Tax Reform Commission has recommended drivers pay another nickel a gallon (they now pay the state 16 cents a gallon) for unleaded gas, so that the Palmetto State can raise $150 million a year for road repair. That tax rate, set in 1987, is the lowest in the Southeast states.
But elections and a gubernatorial race loom. After that, the increase would have to pass both houses and the new governor.
Safety Edge Goes Concrete
Safety Edge was designed to help prevent fatal crashes by combating the dangers associated with drivers returning to the road over deteriorated shoulders after they have drifted off. Most commonly used when paving with asphalt, Iowa is the first state to use this technology on concrete roads. The Federal Highway Administration says it’s hopeful Iowa’s action will help bring a needed safety technique one step closer to standard practice.
“Safety is our number-one priority, and we hope more states will use this low-cost, low-risk technology that helps protect drivers,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Safety Edge is also one of five featured technologies in Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez’s Every Day Counts Initiative, which seeks to identify and help quickly deploy innovations aimed at enhancing the safety of our roadways and shortening project delivery.
“This technology is easy to use and extremely cost-effective – and, most importantly, it will save lives,” said Mendez.
Iowa DOT employed Safety Edge on a rural secondary road, County Road E-34. The road is a high-crash corridor, making it an ideal candidate for additional safety investment. Safety Edge prevents pavement edge drop-off, one major cause of roadway departure crashes. The drop-off is the vertical distance between the paved travel lane and the unpaved shoulder. By attaching a simple device to a paving machine to angle the asphalt or concrete, a safer and more durable pavement edge can be created, allowing drivers to more easily regain control after leaving the travel lane.
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