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Conditions and Performance

Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit:
2002 Conditions and Performance Report

Executive Summary

Executive Summary Table of Contents

Executive Summary Introduction

This document is a summary of the "2002 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions and Performance" report to Congress (C&P report). The C&P report is intended to provide Congress and other decision makers with an objective appraisal of highway, bridge and transit physical conditions, operational performance, financing mechanisms and future investment requirements. This edition of the C&P report is the fifth in the series that combines information on the Nation’s highway and transit systems.

The main body of the report is organized into five major sections. Part I, “Description of Current System” includes the core retrospective analyses in the report, including chapters on the role of highway and transit, system and usage characteristics, physical conditions, operational performance, safety performance and finance.

Part II, “Investment/Performance Analysis” includes the core prospective analyses of the report. As in previous editions, the future investment requirements analysis in this edition of the C&P report focuses on 20-year maintain and improve scenarios for highways, bridges, and transit systems.

The highway investment requirements in this report are developed in part from the Highway Economic Requirements System (HERS), which uses marginal benefit/cost analysis to optimize highway investment. The HERS model quantifies user, agency and societal costs for various types and combinations of improvements, including travel time, vehicle operating, safety, capital, maintenance, and emissions costs.

This edition of the report is the first in which the National Bridge Investment Analysis System (NBIAS) model has been used to develop the bridge investment requirements. Comparably to HERS, NBIAS includes benefit/cost analysis in its calculations. Previous bridge estimates were derived using engineering criteria only.

The transit investment analysis is based on the Transit Economic Requirements Model (TERM). The TERM consolidates older engineering-based evaluation tools and introduces a benefit/cost analysis to ensure that investment benefits exceed investment costs. Specifically, TERM identifies the investments needed to replace and rehabilitate existing assets, improve operating performance, and expand transit systems to address the growth in travel demand, and then evaluates these needs in order to select future investments.

Part III, “Bridges” provides additional detail on the conditions, composition and performance of bridges beyond that covered in Part I, as well as a discussion of the Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program and the National Bridge Inspection Program. Part IV, “Special Topics” explores further some topics related to the primary analyses in the earlier sections of the report. Some of these chapters reflect recurring themes that have been discussed in previous editions of the C&P report, while others address new topics of particular interest that will be included in this edition only. Part V, “Supplemental Analyses of System Components” builds on the analyses developed in Chapters 2 through 10 by focusing more closely on particular components of the Nation’s highway and transit systems.

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