Crews scheduled a closure pour on the new Interstate 35 bridge in Minneapolis to mark the one-year anniversary of the predecessor structure's collapse that killed 13 and injured 100 more. With a reported 100-year life span, 10 lanes of traffic (up from the original eight), and the ability to accommodate future light-rail transport, the new St. Anthony Falls Bridge, combining cast-in-place and precast concrete box girder construction, exemplifies what project principals note is quality infrastructure.
But with population increases expected to put even more pressure on roads and highways, traffic congestion in the United States wastes 3 billion gallons of fuel and contributes 27.2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, according to a report from Portland Cement Association. The overall economic impact of traffic delays adds up to $80 billion per year.
There is a lot of discussion about high fuel prices, but the real issue is infrastructure spending Û how it affects highway capacity, traffic congestion, fuel use, and even carbon dioxide emissions, says PCA President/CEO Brian McCarthy.
By the year 2032, the U.S. population is expected to reach 363.5 million, adding an estimated 49 million drivers and 58 million vehicles to America's highways. Wasted fuel from traffic delays will more than double to 6.5 billion gallons. Carbon dioxide emissions traced to congestion will increase to 60 million tons. Just to maintain our current levels of congestion while accommodating population growth, says the PCA report, the United States will need 400,000 additional lane miles of highways by 2032.