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Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure. AS 44.42, AS 35, AS 19, AS 02
- Maintenance & Operations of State Transportation Systems
- Measurement Standards / Commercial Vehicle Enforcement
- Transportation & Facilities Constructions Program
|A: Result - Department Result|
|A1: Core Service - Maintenance & Operations of State Transportation Systems|
Target #1: Alaska Marine Highway System meets or exceeds industry standard for on-time departures.
Analysis of results and challenges: The target is for the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) to consistently exceed the on-time departure benchmark of 80.9%. An on-time ferry departure is defined as within 30 minutes of the scheduled departure time.
Numerous events can cause delays in ferry departure times, especially weather and tides. An additional relevant factor is the time it takes to load/unload large and/or low slung vehicles (RV's, trucks w/trailers, heavy equipment) during busy periods. Most of these factors are out of the control of AMHS. Nevertheless, making schedule modifications in the event of continual and systematic delays are within the department's control.
Target #2: Increase by 15 centerline miles per year the national highway system (NHS) non-intermodal routes that meet current department standards.
National Highway System Miles
Analysis of results and challenges: As of FFY 2014, of the 2,235* NHS centerline miles there are 1,644 miles (73.6%) that meet national standards and 591 miles (26.4%), including much of the Dalton Highway, which do not meet these standards.
*Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) expanded the National Highway System in FFY 2013 to include intermodal connectors, urban and rural principal arterial routes and border crossings on those routes. This change in federal legislation has resulted in the classification of an addition of 84 centerline miles of NHS in Alaska.
Target #3: Decrease by 3% on a five year average the deck area of all bridges (regardless of ownership) classified by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
Square Feet of Structurally Deficient & Functionally Obsolete Bridge Deck
Analysis of results and challenges: Because the deficient bridge list is so dynamic, a five year average comprised of the reporting year and four previous years is used as the metric.
It is important to note that the deficient bridge list is dynamic. Factors affecting bridge condition include:
• Age: Alaska’s bridge population continues to age and currently 13% of the publicly owned bridges are older than 50 years, which is nearing the end of their 50 to 75 year design life.
• Damage: Bridges may be damaged by a variety of means including: Over stressing primary members, steel corrosion, timber deterioration and rot, collision, scour, and earthquakes.
• Functionally obsolete by definition: New marine transfer structures designed for low speed, one way traffic may be considered functionally obsolete based on federal definition yet are adequate for their intended service.
• Rehabilitation and replacement: Structurally deficient bridges are typically removed from the list following rehabilitation or replacement. Replacement bridges are typically longer and wider than the bridge being replaced.
• Changes in annual daily traffic (ADT) and functional classification: Changes in ADT and functional classification may affect the determination if a bridge is deficient.
Local Agency bridges are an important component of the state’s transportation system and are included in this metric. However, the department’s ability to remedy deficiencies on non-state owned bridges is limited.
Biennial bridge inspections are required by Federal regulations to assure the safety of the traveling public. Using information from these inspections, staff complete the following:
• Load rate bridges to determine their vehicle live load capacity. These calculations are used to permit overweight vehicles across bridges.
• Load post and close bridges as necessary.
• Develop repair recommendations to address maintenance and structural needs.
• Design repairs to address bridge needs.
• Because many of Alaska’s roads do not have reasonable or, in many locations, any available detour routes, recent bridge projects have focused on maintaining road access by rehabilitating or replacing structurally deficient bridges.
Target #4: By 2020, reduce the 3-year moving average of traffic fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 3% per year.
3-Year Moving Average Percentage Change in Traffic Fatalities per 100 Million Vehicle Miles Traveled
Analysis of results and challenges: Alaska’s 3-year average trend line has shown a less than 1% reduction since 2006. Between 2008 and 2010, the 3-year average fatality rate was 1.25 and increased 2.4% between 2011 and 2012 to a 3-year average of 1.28. Nationally the fatality rate decreased steadily between 1994 and 2013, from 1.73 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 1994, to 1.13 fatalities per 100 million VMT in 2012.
Reducing fatalities is an important indicator of the overall safety of the highway system, but fatality crashes are also a relatively rare outcome and thus the data can be subject to significant changes year-to-year. For example, a single crash event involving a large number of fatalities (such as a crash involving many passengers in a van or bus) would skew the year’s outcome significantly. For this reason, the data is smoothed by using a moving average of three years or more. Currently, the Federal Highway Administration national practice is to use a three-year average.
The seasonal number of fatalities per month peaks each summer, when there is more economic and recreational activity. A second peak occurs in early winter, with long periods of darkness and poor driving conditions. Also coinciding with the early winter months are three major holiday weekends within a 45 day window (Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s) which adds additional behavioral elements. Additionally, people are relearning to drive in these winter conditions, while February and March produce some hazardous road conditions in Alaska, they have been our two least fatal months over the last five years. The fatality peak is in the summer, most notably July and August with a steady decline until December. February is our safest month with only nine fatalities occurring over the last five years in that month, while July has been the most deadly with 40 fatalities over the period.
In Alaska, the overall number of fatalities has been dropping since 2004 (101 traffic fatalities). The second highest year since then was 2007 with 82 fatalities and the lowest year was 2013 with 51 fatalities. There were 51 fatalities in 2013 resulting in a fatality rate of 1.05 per 100 million VMT, the lowest on record. The causes and effects of this decline are hard to link, but contributing factors are thought to be a result of various factors such as higher seat belt usage, higher enforcement in highway safety corridors, safer cars being built, and highway safety improvements (rumble strips, guardrail, etc.).
Target #5: Increase AMHS Vessel Car Deck Utilization by at least 1% over the previous year.
Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) Vessel Car Deck Capacity Utilization
Analysis of results and challenges: AMHS remains committed to consistent scheduling and strives for the earliest possible schedule releases. It is anticipated that car deck utilization will increase.
Target #6: Increase revenue collected at rural airports by 5% over prior state fiscal year.
Revenue Collected at Rural Airports
Analysis of results and challenges: Statewide Aviation exceeded its target for FY2014. Revenues have increased due to regulations adopted in 2009 containing stepped rent increases through 2015 and resource development interests in some areas of the state. Some increases are due to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requiring that non-aviation use tenants pay fair market rent and increased demand at the road systems airports resulting in competitive bid rents (higher than regulation published rates).
The State of Alaska's rural aviation system is large, complex, diverse, and geographically dispersed making it challenging for the department to reach its goal of fully developing, and maintaining and operating a sustainable system. Through an upcoming strategic planning effort, the rates and fees study, initiated by the FAA and Statewide Aviation, the department will continue to explore tenable revenue enhancement options that support, enable, and sustain aviation as a lifeline to rural Alaska and as an economic engine for the State. Alaska has no national equal in terms of the scope and scale of our State owned aviation system.
Increasing non-aviation rates is required to:
1) Offset the rising costs of operations, maintenance, and management costs of the rural airports; and
2) Meet FAA requirements to charge fair market rent for non-aviation land use to develop airports that are self-sustaining.
Target #7: Reduce the number of occupational injuries and illnesses in the department to less than the national average.
Number of Occupational Injuries & Illnesses within DOT&PF Compared to National Average
Analysis of results and challenges: At present the department incident rate uses an average of recorded injuries over the 2012 calendar year and covers four of the Bureau of Labor Statistics North American Industry Classification System Codes (NAICS). Each of these classification codes are assigned nationally to a specific employee class, based on typical job functions for that class. It is important to note, typical job functions will vary across the classification index and do not always match identically. The numeric sequence for the codes changed in 2011 from a six digit sequence to a three digit number. The codes used in this analysis are as follows:
Support activities for road transportation in three regional elements and the Measurement Standards and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (MS/CVE) Division previously used (NAICS 488490) and are now using (488).
Aviation functions previously used (NAICS 488119) and is now (481).
Facilities support functions previously used (NAICS 561210) and is now (238).
All other statewide functions, i.e., Highway, Street & Bridge Construction previously used (NAICS 237310) and is now (23).
The department began tracking and recording data in this fashion in 2008; previous data was not compatible when the Bureau of Labor Statistics' classification codes changed. The national averages for each Calendar year are not available until all data is compiled and released. Data from 2012 was not released until the end of November of 2013.
The challenges for this department continue to include the inhospitable weather and terrain that employees work in with some employees working alone in more isolated areas. Other challenges include lower wages than the private sector which makes hiring qualified employees difficult, the diversity of jobs within the department i.e. maintenance and operations, construction, aviation, and skilled tradesman where each has their own set of work practices. Each of the above mentioned operations are measured nationally under separate North American Index Coding System (NAICS) criteria because of the differences in operations and work practices. It is also important to note that all aspects of safety and health are managed and monitored to reduce risk to lower our Incidence Rate.
To achieve the desired results all employees need to be trained and monitored to ensure this goal is met. Currently the department has one full time safety professional in Northern Region. The safety professional position is important and ensures that hazards are identified, training and facility inspections occur, and that advice and consultation are provided to all employees to help mitigate/abate hazards, thus reducing injuries and illnesses.
Target #8: Beginning in FFY2013 the target is to reduce the number of airports subject to seasonal closure due to seasonally soft runway conditions or other issues by one (1) airport every three (3) federal fiscal years (FFY).
Change in Number of Rural Airports that are Closed Seasonally
Analysis of results and challenges: At the beginning of FFY2013 there were 5 airports (out of 252 total DOT&PF rural airports) on the seasonal closure list with a target of improving by one (1) per three (3) federal fiscal years. The remaining five (5) airports which experience seasonal closures are: Ambler; Golovin; Koyuk; Nanwalek; and Red Devil.
Ambler Airport is currently being funded for improvement to eliminate seasonal closures and improve the airports capacity. In FFY2013 approximately $7.1 million and in FFY2014 approximately $17 million in federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding was received to improve Ambler airport. The rehabilitation construction work was awarded in July 2014. Due to FFY2014 funding limitations, in FFY2015 an additional approximately $2.4 million in AIP funding is expected to be received to complete this improvement. The construction mobilization is expected to occur during the spring of 2015. The construction work for this airport rehabilitation work is expected to be completed by October 2016.
The challenges to reducing the number of airports with Seasonal Closures on a continuing basis are: 1) other competing priorities; 2) extended project development times to acquire native allotments; 3) increasing construction cost inflation; 4) decreasing federal AIP funding availability and 5) very high cost for the benefit achieved.
Target #9: Beginning in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2014 the target is to fund a minimum of three (3) aeronautical surveys of rural airports each FFY.
Number of Aeronautical Surveys Awarded
Analysis of results and challenges: In FFY2014, the department has awarded contracts for eight (8) aeronautical surveys at the following airports:
3. Sand Point
The awarding of contracts for these eight (8) aeronautical surveys exceeds the department’s target of three (3) aeronautical surveys by five (5) surveys for FFY2014.
|A2: Core Service - Measurement Standards / Commercial Vehicle Enforcement|
Target #1: 99% commercial motor vehicle weight compliance at fixed and mobile inspection sites.
Analysis of results and challenges: Division inspection efforts focus on maintaining the high level of compliance at weigh stations and improving compliance at the roadside inspection locations. Weight compliant motor vehicles do not contribute to premature deterioration of Alaska's roads and bridges.
The department continues to place emphasis on inspections through expanded mobile enforcement coverage, authorized traffic stops by selected and trained commercial vehicle enforcement officers, and conducting joint operations with the Alaska State Troopers and local police departments. Measurement Standards & Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (MS&CVE) only interacts with privately owned vehicles or their drivers on size and weight; however the division is authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to use up to 5% of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) budget to fund other agencies to assist in mandated safety efforts. MS&CVE routinely enters into contracts with local law enforcement agencies throughout the State to supplement enforcement efforts and to increase and encourage safe operations of commercial vehicles and privately owned vehicle operating around commercial vehicles.
|A3: Core Service - Transportation & Facilities Constructions Program|
Target #1: Maintain the percentage of administrative and engineering costs below 30% of total project costs.
Percentage of Administrative & Engineering Costs for DOT&PF
Analysis of results and challenges: This percentage decreased from 22.9% in FFY2013 to 22.3% in FFY2014.
The aim of this measure is to get more capital dollars into construction or into other related fieldwork by maintaining overhead costs at an acceptable level. This will benefit the private sector and the travelling public. Percentages are calculated by summing up all administrative and engineering costs, i.e. all costs that are not direct construction payments, right-of-way acquisition/relocation payments, or utility relocation payments, and dividing those administrative and engineering costs by the total of all project costs.
Several factors can contribute to a higher percentage of administration costs including a very competitive construction bidding climate that has reduced the cost of contract construction while at the same time the department has increased oversight responsibilities for storm water permitting requirements and work zone management. Nationally, erosion and sediment control allowances vary from about 1% to 10% of construction costs.
Current as of December 5, 2014