President Trump called for a national, bipartisan effort to restore declining infrastructure in his State of the Union address, and many who operate trucks for a living applauded the proposal.
Readers of Fuel Oil News who market and deliver fuel oil and propane for a living are probably keen to see highways and bridges restored, along with redesigns of sections of highway to resolve chronic bottlenecks. Fuel delivery trucks travel local roads to make deliveries, but they travel highways too. And of course fuel dealers also operate tank trailers that travel highways.
But who can blame listeners to the State of the Union address for wondering, When will these infrastructure restorations happen? And when will any happen that help my truck operations?
A lot of trucks get stuck in traffic bottlenecks. And a lot of the bottlenecks that trucks get stuck in are in the Northeast, where much of the fuel oil industry operates.
Connecticut is home to six locations that rank in the top 100 most-congested bottlenecks for trucks in the U.S., according to the 2019 Top Truck Bottleneck List, recently issued by the American Transportation Research Institute.
The Maryland-Washington, D.C. area, New York State, and Pennsylvania each have five locations that rank in the top 100 most-congested truck bottlenecks. Substantial fuel oil and propane markets exist in these areas too.
ATRI says it assesses the level of “truck-oriented congestion” at 300 locations on the national highway system. Its analysis is based on truck GPS data from nearly 1 million heavy-duty trucks, using customized software applications and analysis methods, along with terabytes of data from trucking operations to produce a congestion impact ranking for each location. ATRI’s truck GPS data are used to support the U.S. DOT’s freight mobility initiatives.
“Restoring our national infrastructure to greatness will further ignite our economy, make us more competitive abroad, and give Americans more time to spend with family and less time stuck in traffic,” said American Trucking Associations’ President and CEO Chris Spears. American Trucking Associations is a national trade association for the trucking industry.
“Trucks deliver ninety-one percent of all goods coming into or out of New York City so when traffic congestion brings trucks to a standstill, everyone pays the price,” said Kendra Hems, president of the Trucking Association of New York. “ATRI’s analysis provides direction on where infrastructure investment will have the greatest payoff for our citizens and our economy.”
“The Keystone State depends on trucking to deliver the goods, everything from the food we eat to the clothes we wear and the fuel we put in our cars,” said Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association President and CEO Kevin Stewart. “Using ATRI’s bottleneck analysis, we can target infrastructure investment to those areas most affected by congestion.”
“ATRI’s research shows us where the worst points are, but they are far from the only ones. This report should be a wakeup call for elected leaders at all levels of government that we must act quickly to address our increasingly congested highway system,” Spear said. “Without meaningful investment in our nation’s infrastructure, carriers will continue to endure billions of dollars in congestion related costs, which results in a self-inflicted drag on our economy.”
A redesign of a section of I-84 in Waterbury, Conn., has worked wonders on traffic flow, as this (non-truck) driver can attest. Let more such improvements be coming.