Get 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 - Provide a safe transportation system; eliminate injuries, fatalities and property damage.|
|A1: Core Service - Build and improve state-owned roads and highways to appropriate department standards.|
Target #1: 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 2012, of the 2,151 NHS centerline miles there are 1,607 miles (74.7%) that meet national standards and 544 miles (25.3%), including much of the Dalton Highway, which do not meet these standards.
Target #2: 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 publically 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: Overstressing 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.
|A2: Core Service - Preserve or improve condition of highway infrastructure.|
Target #1: Increase Pavement Serviceability Rating (PSR) to 3.4 by October 2017.
Yearly Statewide PSR Average
Analysis of results and challenges: The PSR rating fell back to the 2010 level at 3.1. The smoothness index (IRI) rose from last years' value of 133 inches per mile to 143 inches per mile. Any irregularities in the pavement such as cracks, potholes, frost heaves, etc., creates this measurement of up and down movement in inches per mile of roadway. This is still well within acceptable standards but our goal is to keep this value as low as possible. For our major highways this number is 107 inches per mile, but when the lesser, but more heavily traveled roads, are included the value drops. The average rut depth increased very slightly. Cracking data was collected late in the summer. The data has not been processed at the time of this update. The significance of this cracking data may not be apparent immediately due to this being the first collection and no historical comparison exists. Crack data collection is now programmed as an annual task.
The Pavement Serviceability Rating (PSR) was established as a National Standard in the “1995 Status of the Nation’s Surface Transportation System: Condition and Performance – Report to Congress”. It is a rating system from 0 to 5, where 5 is perfect and 0 is failed.
The rating system is broken down as:
Very Good - > 4.0
Good - >3.5 to 3.9
Fair - 3.1 to 3.4
Mediocre - 2.6 to 3.0
Poor - < 2.5
The ratings for Alaska were conducted for Class 1-4 which are all paved DOT-owned roadways and do not include local streets. They do include arterials and collectors (e.g. College Road in Fairbanks, C Street in Anchorage, and North Douglas Highway in Juneau).
The PSR value is determined from a mathematical formula using the International Roughness Index (IRI) and the rut depth measurements collected annually. The formula is slightly modified for the different classes of roadway equalizing the ratings.
The challenges in reaching the target rating of 3.4 are primarily due to rutting and smoothness factors:
•Rutting is mostly caused by studded tire usage for much of the year.
•Smoothness is affected by surface irregularities such as potholes, unevenness due to heaving of the surface from ice accumulation, depressions caused from thawing, and cracks.
•Permafrost prone areas are a special challenge requiring engineers to design for the delicate balance to keep frozen ground frozen.
•Thermal cracking typically appears at a rate near 50 cracks per mile. This results from a thermal material property of the long “ribbon” of asphalt. It will shrink in cold temperatures in all directions and break in a fairly uniform manner.
|B: Result - Provide a transportation infrastructure that supports and promotes economic growth.|
Target #1: 80% of strategy targets are met or exceeded in the fiscal year towards the end result of providing a transportation infrastructure that supports and promotes economic growth.
Analysis of results and challenges: The department uses a wide variety of strategies to provide a safe transportation infrastructure that supports and promotes economic growth. The infrastructure includes surface, air, and water transportation systems. These strategies range from providing timely, reliable AMHS vessel departures and increased rural airport availability to increasing revenue received by the department. In addition, the department reaches out to public users of the transportation systems to ascertain customer satisfaction with services and gain insight into areas within the department that require additional or special attention. As a result of these myriad strategies, the department has an overall positive economic impact on the state.
|B1: Core Service - Enhance economic activities through key transportation services.|
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: Reduce the number of airports that are closed due to seasonally soft runway conditions or other issues by one (1) per federal fiscal year.
Change in Number of Rural Airports that are Closed Seasonally
Analysis of results and challenges: At the beginning of FFY2012 there were 7 airports (out of 255 total rural airports with which the department is involved) on the seasonal closure list with a target of improving by one (1) per year. By the end of FFY2012 only six (6) airports experienced seasonal closure due to soft runway conditions or other issues. The Kwigillingok airport was improved during FFY2012. . The remaining six (6) airports which experience seasonal closures are: Ambler; Golovin; Koyuk; Nanwalek; Portage Creek; and Red Devil.
Beginning in FFY2013, the delivery of improvements to the seasonal closure list is not expected on an annual basis; rather, it is expected to be one (1) airport every three (3) years, due to the construction time requirements. Improvements to the Ambler Airport are expected to be funded in FFY2013, but are expect to require 2 to 3 years for construction completion. The challenges to addressing the Seasonal Closure on a continued accelerated basis are: 1) other competing priorities; 2) some airports are not eligible for federal funding; 3) extended project development times to acquire Native Allotments; and 4) very high cost for the benefit achieved.
Target #3: Increase the number of runways in remote communities with permanent runway lighting by one (1) per federal fiscal year through FFY13.
Yearly Increase in Runways in Remote Communities with Permanent Runway Lighting
Analysis of results and challenges: Not all communities in Alaska have adequate runway surfaces, geography and lighting to allow night time aircraft operations. The department’s goal is to make rural communities accessible for medevac and other emergency aircraft on a 24 hour per day basis where possible. A concerted effort has been taken to provide permanent lighting, portable runway edge lights or portable helicopter landing zone lighting in rural communities. All DOT&PF owned and operated Community Class or higher airports currently have permanent lighting, portable runway edge lights or portable helicopter landing zone lighting. The department’s goal has been to increase the number of permanently lighted runways in remote communities by a minimum of one each federal fiscal year, through replacing temporary emergency runway or helicopter landing zone lighting with permanent runway lighting systems. The department greatly exceeded the project completion goal for FFY2012 through installing runway lighting systems at the following 5 airports: Akiachak, Akutan, Chefornak, Kipnuk and Ouzinkie.
Annual reporting on this performance measure for installation of permanent runway lighting systems will end after this FFY2012 report, since most of the DOT&PF airports were permanent lighting installation is feasible have been improved with permanent runway lighting. However, the installation of permanent runway lighting to achieve improved 24 hour access to remote communities remains a department priority. A few DOT&PF airports where permanent lighting is feasible will remain without permanent runway lighting, until issues associated with improving these airports can be resolved. The most immediate issues include the required acquisition of Native Allotments at Kwigillingok, Stony River and Crooked Creek as well as the completion of an Environmental Impact Statement by the FAA at Angoon. These issues must be resolved before these airports can be improved with permanent lighting. Other challenges to addressing the airport lighting goal on a continued accelerated basis are: 1) other competing priorities; 2) some airports are not eligible for federal funding; and 3) a very high cost for the benefit achieved. In some cases, lighting the airport may actually decrease aviation safety, due to terrain obstructions near the airport that present a hazard to nighttime aircraft operations.
|B2: Core Service - Enhance economic activities through increased State revenue.|
Target #1: Increase AMHS Vessel Car Deck Utilization by at least 1% over the previous year.
Alaska Marine Highway System Vessel Car Deck Capacity Utilization
Analysis of results and challenges: The analysis converts capacity data into vehicle miles by taking the sum of each trip's vehicle capacity and multiplying it by the distance the ship travels. This produces the capacity number. Next, the analysis considers the actual sum of lineal feet of vehicle that were on board and multiplies that number by the distance they traveled. This produces the utilized number. Finally, the utilized number is divided by the capacity number to produce the utilization percentage.
AMHS remains committed to consistent scheduling and strives for the earliest possible schedule releases. It is anticipated that car deck utilization will increase.
Target #2: Increase revenue collected at rural airports by 5% over prior state fiscal year.
Revenue Collected at Rural Airports
Analysis of results and challenges: It has become clear that this is a metric that is influenced significantly by the market and demand (or lack of), which is outside the control or influence of the department.
Statewide Aviation did not meet its target for FY2011 or FY2012. While minor regulatory rent increases for all rural airport land use agreements became effective 1/1/2011, other factors impact land-use rents and fees received. Factors included 1) market changes and struggling aviation businesses nationwide and in the State, 2) the reduction of several aviation-use bid leases reaching the eleventh year of their term, requiring reduction of the bid rent to standard rate established under 17 AAC 45, 3) a 30-50% employee turnover during both FY11 and FY12, which limited rent adjustment and significantly impacted application processing, and 4) continued and increased FAA scrutiny of airport land use, which requires FAA pre-approval of the application-to-contract process and related execution of non-aviation and mixed-use land-use agreements. Decreased staff also limited our collection and contract compliance efforts.
A continuing FAA concern is that a 2006 market survey indicated that many regulatory rural land lease rental rates appear to be well below market rate. Through 2015, statewide leasing regulations gradually increase rural airport land lease rental rates - especially non-aviation land use rental rates. 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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements to: a) charge fair market rent for non-aviation land use; and b) develop airports that are self-sustaining. It is important to note that the phased in implementation of rate increases at the rural airports over several years provides airport businesses the opportunity to plan ahead and develop budgets accordingly.
|B3: Core Service - Improve efficiency.|
Target #1: 80% or above in customer service satisfaction with department services.
Customer Satisfaction (very satisfied & somewhat satisfied)
Analysis of results and challenges: In January 2010, the department contracted with a private firm to conduct a survey to find out how the department does providing transportation services in Alaska, including roads, airports and ferry service. 1,239 people across the state participated in this survey. Even though the department has done well, resources are being directed to mitigate those problem areas identified in the survey (e.g., congestion relief, road smoothness, durable materials and rut repair). Areas of highest strength included directional signs, warning signs, road design, brush cutting and guardrails.
The department customer service satisfaction survey is conducted every other year.
This measure will continue to gauge the department's success in addressing the survey issues.
|C: Result - Carry out safe operations.|
Target #1: 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 2011 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 2011 was not released until the end of October of 2012.
The challenges for this department include the inhospitable weather and terrain that employees work in with some employees working alone in more isolated remote areas. Other challenges include the diversity of jobs within the department i.e. maintenance and operations, construction, aviation, and marine operations 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 three actual safety professionals: one in Northern Region, one as the state-wide Program Coordinator for Safety and Health, and one in the Alaska Marine Highway System. The safety professional positions are important to ensure 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.
|C1: Core Service - Improve employees’ awareness of workplace safety requirements.|
Target #1: Reduce the number of occupational injuries and illnesses to less than the national average in the Alaska International Airport System (AIAS).
Number of Occupational Injuries & Illnesses within Aviation Class Code
Analysis of results and challenges: AIAS safety management had included a full time safety employee as well as an active management role in targeting and eliminating hazards. This is a new target for this year, comparing injuries and illnesses to a national average benchmark. There are no comparisons compiled yet for current or previous years.
Target #2: Reduce the number of occupational injuries and illnesses to less than the national average within each of the three Regions and the MS/CVE Division.
Number of Occupational Injuries & Illnesses within Region/MSCVE Class Code
Analysis of results and challenges: Specific job functions are varied but include some similar tasks to those nationally. We are seeing a significant turnover in the workforce that brings with it an infusion of younger employees with high level of motivation to succeed. The most impressive aspect in the measure this year was due to a drop of over 30% in the number of recordable injuries in our Northern Region. This is the region with the highest number of employees and the harshest conditions. Challenges will include a continued forward progression to maintain and improve safe operations.
Target #3: Reduce the number of occupational injuries and illnesses to less than the national average in Statewide Operations.
Number of Occupational Injuries & Illnesses within Statewide Class Code
Analysis of results and challenges: Much of the department’s functions are unlike those of any other transportation element nationally. Inclement weather conditions, isolated and remote operational elements as well as diverse system, division and regional elements add to this dynamic. Each of these areas is consistently reviewed, monitored and adjusted as conditions warrant preserving the highest level of safety to all employees. Challenges include a decreased number of dedicated safety personnel within the department responsible for finding and correcting discrepancies before they escalate into incidents.
Target #4: Reduce the number of occupational injuries and illnesses to less than the national average for Facilities functions.
Number of Occupational Injuries & Illnesses within Facilities Class Code
Analysis of results and challenges: In recent years Statewide Facilities functions have focused on improving the overall safety of employees by increasing safety awareness at all levels of operations. Challenges include continuing to provide essential functions within limited budget, time constraints as well as a shrinking workforce. To achieve a sustained superior incident rate facilities management will maintain its focus on excellence.
|D: Result - Reduce the risk of accidents or road damage from unsafe commercial vehicles and/or loads.|
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.
|D1: Core Service - Reduce number of illegal oversize/overweight Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs) on highways.|
Target #1: Increase the number of roadside (mobile enforcement) commercial truck inspections by 2% over the previous year.
Analysis of results and challenges: Commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in Alaska are subject to safety and size & weight inspections. A total of 7,589 CMVs were inspected during FFY12, of those a total of 3,504 were conducted at roadside locations throughout the State. This represents a 12% reduction from FFY11 (3,983), thus not meeting the goal to increase roadside inspections by 2% each year. MSCVE has mitigated further inspection reductions by hiring new officers in late-2012. The new officers were trained to conduct roadside safety inspections and traffic stops, including performing size & weight inspections. Challenges to maintaining current levels of inspection activity include the uncertainty of funding. In light of recent federal funding cuts to this Division, MSCVE will consider the financial basis for future safety and enforcement activities.
|E: Result - Reduce design and construction project management costs.|
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 measure decreased from 21% in 2011 to 20% in 2012.
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.
|E1: Core Service - Minimize administrative and engineering costs associated with projects.|
Target #1: Maintain the percentage of administrative and engineering costs below 30% of total project costs for Central Region.
Analysis of results and challenges: Central Region continues to exceed the measure for the percentage of total project administration costs. However, a slight upward trend is continuing. Several factors contribute to this trend 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 safety management.
Target #2: Maintain the percentage of administrative and engineering costs below 30% of total project costs for Northern Region.
Analysis of results and challenges: Northern Region has consistently met the target percentage of administrative and engineering costs compared to total project costs for the past eight years.
Northern Region continues to emphasize a culture of efficiency by maintaining in-house subject matter experts to keep our employees well trained. We promote strong communication and sharing of lessons learned on a continual basis. The integration of environmental analysts as part of each Design squad has proven to be efficient and has contributed towards meeting our goals.
Challenges in continuing to meet this target include an increase in the number of employee retirements coupled with increased federal regulatory requirements.
Target #3: Maintain the percentage of administrative and engineering costs below 30% of total project costs for Southeast Region.
Analysis of results and challenges: Southeast Region has consistently met the target percentage of administrative and engineering costs compared to total project costs for eight years in a row.
Challenges in continuing to meet this target include an increase in the number of employee retirements coupled with increased federal regulatory requirements.
Current as of December 13, 2012