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 ride quality of 86.0 percent of the total road mileage
is rated "Acceptable" for 2000, up from 85.4 percent in 1999. Of the
total rural road miles, 89.0 percent are rated as having acceptable ride
quality, while 79.8 percent of total small urban road miles and 76.6 percent
of the total road miles in urbanized areas are rated as having acceptable
On the National Highway System (NHS), 93.0 percent of the pavements meet or exceed standards for acceptable ride quality. Of all vehicle miles traveled (VMT) on the NHS, 91.0 percent were on pavements with acceptable ride quality.
The condition of higher order roads improved, while those of the lower order roads declined. Three indicators are commonly used to describe bridge condition. Bridge component ratings provide a detailed description of elements, but these are more widely used within the engineering community. The number of deficient bridges is widely used by policymakers to describe bridge quality nationwide, but this indicator fails to provide a specific description of bridge elements. The Federal Highway Administration has developed a new indicator that will provide a better measure of bridges impact on mobility: the amount of deck area on deficient bridges.
In 2000, 27.9 percent of the Nation's bridge deck area was on bridges that were classified as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. This percentage decreased on every functional system from 1996 to 2000. Rural Interstate bridges had the smallest amount in 2000 (about 15 percent), while urban collector bridges had the largest amount (39.6 percent).
U.S. transit system conditions are determined by the aggregate number and
type of transit vehicles in service, their average age and condition, the
physical conditions and ages of bus and rail maintenance facilities, and
the conditions of transit rail infrastructure components such as track,
power systems, stations, and structures.
In 2000, the average condition of urban bus vehicles was 3.07, compared with 2.96 in 1997. The percentage of bus maintenance facilities in adequate or better condition decreased from 77 to 71 percent during this same period.
The average condition of rail vehicles declined gradually throughout the 1990s. In 2000, all rail vehicles were estimated to have an average condition level of 3.55, down marginally from a re-estimated condition level of 3.61 in 1997. The average conditions of rail vehicles and rail facilities, except those for commuter rail, have been re-estimated to be lower than was reported in the last edition of this report based on additional information collected by engineering surveys between 1999-2001. This does not reflect a true decline in condition in earlier years for which the condition levels have also been revised. Urban rail maintenance facilities continue to age and their condition continues to decline. In 2000, 64 percent of all urban rail maintenance facilities were in good or better condition compared with 77 percent in the 1997. About 75 percent of this decline was due to methodological revisions.
The average condition of the remaining non-vehicle transit infrastructure in 2000 is estimated to be similar to the average condition which existed in 1997, as reported in the 1999 C&P Report.