Road Construction NOT Ahead
Nevada Highway Users Coalition
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Gridlock: What's the problem


• How big is the state’s transportation funding shortfall?
The Nevada Department of Transportation currently estimates the budget shortfall at $5 billion. However, with rising construction costs and rising demand around the world, this estimate is a moving target. The longer we wait, the greater the cost will be.

• How does the Nevada Highway Users Coalition propose generating new revenue?
At this time, the NHUC is focusing entirely on creating public awareness of the state’s looming transportation crisis and is not advocating any specific solution. However, the coalition is paying close attention to all ongoing funding discussions and may advocate specific solutions in the future.

• Where can I get more information?
For additional information about the problems facing Nevada’s transportation infrastructure, visit the Nevada Highway Users Coalition Web site at

• How can I get involved?
Educate yourself about this looming crisis, and then educate your friends, co-workers and neighbors. Join the Nevada Highway Users Coalition. Also, contact your legislators to tell them that funding the state’s transportation infrastructure is a critical need that must be addressed.

Why Should You Care?

• You will spend more time sitting in traffic if we don’t increase the capacity of our roads and highways.

• In recent years, traffic in Nevada has grown 9 times faster than capacity.
• 44 percent of Nevada’s urban highways are already considered congested.
• In just three years there will be at least 100,000 more vehicles on our streets and highways.
• The average motorist in Las Vegas already spends an entire work week sitting in traffic each year. Each of those people wastes an average of 27 gallons of gasoline during that time.

• You are less safe driving on Nevada’s roads than you should be.

• On average, more than one person dies each day on Nevada’s roads.
• Nevadans are 42 percent more likely to die in a traffic accident than people in the average state.
• Nevada recently received an “F” for the safety of its roads from The Road Information Program.

• You will likely spend more money in taxes the longer we wait to address our road problems.

• The Nevada Department of Transportation estimates a $5 billion shortfall in highway funding.
• The cost of raw materials for highway projects has spiked 35 percent in the past five years.
• The primary revenue source for the state’s Highway Fund hasn’t increased since 1992.
• The buying power of the state’s gas tax has shrunk 43 percent since it was last raised.

More People = More Traffic

Since 1990, vehicle travel in Nevada has increased approximately
9 times faster than new highway capacity was added.

  • Nevada’s population has doubled since 1990, totaling 2.4 million in 2005
  • From 1990 to 2005, the number of annual vehicle miles of travel (VMT) in Nevada increased by 103 percent from 10.2 billion to 20.7 billion
  • During the same period, Nevada’s total lane miles of highways increased by only 12 percent
  • Nevada’s population is expected to increase another 84 percent to 4.6 million by 2030
  • By 2030, vehicle travel in Nevada is expected to increase by another 125 percent, to approximately 47 billion annual VMT

(Source: TRIP report)

Deteriorating Road Conditions

Reconstructing roads costs approximately 4 times more than resurfacing them.

  • Pavement failure is caused by a combination of traffic, moisture and climate
  • Road surfaces at intersections are more prone to deterioration because the slow-moving or standing loads occurring at these sites subject the pavement to higher levels of stress
  • Moisture also increases the rate at which roads deteriorate by penetrating into road surfaces and the materials that form the road’s foundation
  • Since 2004, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) has been unable to fund pavement repairs at a level that would maintain current road conditions
  • In 2006, NDOT estimated that the state needed to spend $158 million on projects to maintain current road conditions but was only able to fund $83 million
  • From 2004 to 2009, NDOT estimates that the state needs to spend $1.27 billion on pavement repairs for its most critical roads and highways but will only be able to fund $506 million during this period – a $768 million shortfall

(Sources: TRIP report and NDOT where cited)

Traffic on Nevada's roads and highways continues to increase with the booming population.

  • 44% of our highways are rated “congested” because they carry a level of traffic that is likely to result in delays during peak travel hours (TRIP report)

Highway congestion costs drivers time and money.

  • In major metropolitan areas, the average rush- hour driver spends as many as 93 hours per year in traffic, the equivalent of more than two weeks of work, or a typical family vacation. This annual “traffic tax” represents as much as $1,600 in lost wages according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. (US Dept. of Transportation)
  • Every minute spent stuck in traffic costs each Nevadan between 14 and 42 cents, depending on whether you are on your way to or from work or if driving is an aspect of your employment. (Computation based upon the Parsons Study on Washoe County Traffic Congestion. The mean wage for all occupations was reported by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation)

Congested highways pose a major threat to public safety:

  • The Federal Highway Administration has found that every $100 million spent on needed highway safety improvements will result in 145 fewer traffic fatalities over a 10-year period.

Our elected officials have the power to address this problem and make our roads and highways safer.

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