Status of the Nation's Highways, Bridges, and Transit:
2002 Conditions and Performance Report
Part I: Description of Current System
Part II: Investment Performance Analyses
Part III: Bridges
Part IV: Special Topics
Part V: Supplemental Analyses of System Components
The terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, highlighted the need to better understand transportation security. The investment requirement projections described elsewhere in this report do not explicitly consider security-related benefits of investment in the highway and transit networks. Highways and transit, however, impact security in four
The percentage of STRAHNET pavement mileage with acceptable ride quality increased from 93.6 percent in 1995 to 96.3 percent in 2000.
Bridges are an important part of the STRAHNET. In 2000, there were 102,859 STRAHNET bridges. The percent of STRAHNET bridges rated deficient declined from 23.9 percent in 1995 to 21.5 percent in 2000.
Second, highways and transit systems also allow Federal, State, and local officials to respond to emergencies by evacuating populated areas. Highways need excess capacity to accommodate a sudden flow of vehicles in one direction, and to simultaneously allow the quick movement of emergency vehicles in the opposite direction. Transit systems need capacity to deal with the rapid evacuation of metropolitan areas.
Another element of transportation security is the need to improve the integrity of trucks and containers. The Department of Transportation is working with other agencies to create a system to track containers and identify the custodians of the cargo during transportation.
Finally, highways and transit systems are themselves strategic assets. Disruptions can paralyze regional or national economies, making it important to "harden" these structures against threats. The Department of Transportation is working with other agencies to better monitor the critical components of transit systems and better understand how to "harden" sensitive structures like bridges and tunnels.