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Conditions and Performance Report
Chapter 7—Future Capital Investment Requirements

Conditions and Performance Chapter Listing

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Economics-Based Approach to Transportation Investments

Highway Investment Requirements

Bridge Investment Requirements

Combined Highway and Bridge Investment Requirements

Transit Investment Requirements


Highway Investment Backlog

As defined in this report, the highway investment backlog represents all highway improvements that could be economically justified to be implemented now, based on the current conditions and operational performance of the highway system. To calculate the backlog, HERS has been modified to evaluate the current state of each highway section before projecting the effects of future travel growth on congestion and pavement deterioration. Any potential improvement that would correct an existing pavement or capacity deficiency, and that has a benefit/cost ratio greater than or equal to 1.0 would be considered to be part of the current highway investment backlog. Based on this "Year 0" analysis, HERS estimates that a total of $166.7 billion of investment could be justified based solely on the current conditions and operational performance of the highway system. Note that the backlog represents a one-time cost, rather than an annual value. Note also that this figure does not include rural minor collectors, or rural and urban local roads and streets, since HPMS does not contain sample section data for these functional systems.

Approximately 72 percent of the backlog is in urban areas, with the remainder in rural areas. About 42 percent of the backlog relates to capacity deficiencies on existing highways; the remainder are pavement deficiencies. The backlog figure does not contain any estimate for system enhancements or for the construction of new roads and bridges.

Q   How does the highway backlog cited in this report compare with the value included in the 1993 C&P report?
A  The backlog cited in this report is lower, primarily due to a change in assumptions about widening. In earlier versions of the C&P report, it was assumed that if a State coded that widening was "infeasible" for a certain HPMS sample section, that any new lanes added to that section would be very expensive. For this report, if a State has indicated that widening is "infeasible" for a section, HERS will not add lanes to the section under any circumstances. [See the discussion of "High-Cost Lanes" in Appendix G.] The implication of this change in assumptions is that some projects involving high-cost lane additions that were included in the backlog in the 1993 C&P report are not included in this report.

The values included in the 1993 C&P report were derived from the HPMS Analytical Process (AP) model. Using the same assumptions about widening feasibility, the AP produces estimates of highway backlog that are similar to the HERS-derived values shown in this report.


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