A new survey from the nation’s asphalt producers and contractors finds U.S. truck drivers and motorists are increasingly frustrated with the state of U.S. roads, preferring well-maintained, safe, and smooth roadways.
The poll of 3,085 people, conducted for the Asphalt Pavement Alliance, comes as Congress faces reauthorization of U.S. transportation and infrastructure funding this fall and a looming revenue shortfall for the Federal Highway Trust Fund this summer.
Specifically, the survey revealed the following motorist and commercial trucker roadway preferences:
- Eighty-four percent of four-wheelers and 73% of commercial truckers want well-maintained roads without the inconvenience of roadway shutdowns by having maintenance performed during off-peak hours and the road open for rush hour.
- When presented with 14 factors for officials to consider when building a road, 56% of car drivers selected safety as one of their top three priorities.
- Most car drivers, 69%, said they are willing to accept periodic maintenance delays if it means they get to enjoy a smooth driving experience.
- Eighty-six percent of car drivers and 78% of commercial truckers feel spending priorities should focus on the maintenance and repair of existing roads, rather than on building new roads.
- A majority, 51% of car drivers and 52% of truckers, support new or additional funding mechanisms to ensure adequate funding for roadway maintenance and construction.
"These results emphasize the need to increase investment in our nation's aging infrastructure and to put a greater emphasis on ensuring a consistent level of drivability for road users," said Mike Acott, president of NAPA.
Smooth pavements result in lower fuel consumption and reduced wear and tear on vehicles, according to the group. “With long-life perpetual pavement designs, asphalt roads can be built with a structure that lasts many decades with only periodic surface renewal and maintenance, making it an ideal choice for drivers, engineers, and U.S. roadways,” the group said.