Interim Joint Committee on Transportation

 

Minutes of the<MeetNo1> 2nd Meeting

of the 2011 Interim

 

<MeetMDY1> July 5, 2011

 

Call to Order and Roll Call

The<MeetNo2> 2nd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation was held on<Day> Tuesday,<MeetMDY2> July 5, 2011, at<MeetTime> 1:00 PM, in<Room> Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Ernie Harris, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.

 

Present were:

 

Members:<Members> Senator Ernie Harris, Co-Chair; Representative Hubert Collins, Co-Chair; Senators Jimmy Higdon, Paul Hornback, Bob Leeper, R.J. Palmer II, John Schickel, Tim Shaughnessy, Brandon Smith, and Johnny Ray Turner; Representatives, Leslie Combs, Tim Couch, Jim DeCesare, David Floyd, Richard Henderson, Melvin B. Henley, Jimmie Lee, Donna Mayfield, Charles Miller, Terry Mills, Lonnie Napier, Rick G. Nelson, Tanya Pullin, Marie Rader, John Short, Arnold Simpson, Fitz Steele, Jim Stewart III, Tommy Turner, Alecia Webb-Edgington, and Addia Wuchner.

 

Guests: Mike Hancock, Secretary, Steve Waddle, State Highway Engineer, Tammy Branham, Office of Budget and Fiscal Management, Jeff Jasper, Transportation Engineer, Russ Romine, Executive Advisor, State Highway Engineer, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet; Joe Crabtree, Director, Chuck Knowles, PE Waterways Research Coordinator, Kentucky Transportation Center; Amy Babey, Acting Chief of Planning, Nate Moulder, Project Manager, United States Army Corps of Engineers

 

LRC Staff: Brandon White, Dana Fugazzi, and Jennifer Beeler

 

Consideration of the Committee's June 7, 2011 Minutes

Representative Collins made a motion to approve the minutes from the June 7, 2011 meeting as submitted. The motion was seconded by Representative Combs and adopted by voice vote.

 

Examination Asphalt vs. Concrete for Road Construction

Steve Waddle, State Highway Engineer, explained that the goal of the Transportation Cabinet when deciding which on the type of pavement is to pick the most cost-effective choice. The primary engineering factors in choosing a pavement type are traffic volume, traffic loading, subsurface conditions, initial cost, and long-term cost. Secondary factors in choosing pavement type are performance history and how well each pavement type has performed, and the type of pavement that exists adjacent to the project. After the engineers look over the primary and secondary factors for each job, they design a project and decide on the pavement type.

 

In response to Senator Harris, Jeff Jasper, Transportation engineer, stated that the life cycle for each type of pavement is different. To determine the maintenance needed for each pavement type, the cabinet looks at the 10, 20, and 30 year predicted wear and what maintenance would be needed. Concrete costs more initially, but it is a rigid pavement that will last longer. Therefore, the engineers look over a 40 year life cycle and try to compare the pavement types and decide which type will have the lowest cost in design and maintenance.

 

In response to Senator Harris, Mr. Jasper stated that over the years there have been changes in the additives that are mixed into the pavement types. The additives add to the strength and long-term durability for each pavement type.

 

In response to Senator Harris, Mr. Waddle said that for each design team there are members of the Transportation Cabinet, Kentucky Transportation Center, district representatives, and those of all design, construction, and maintenance fields.

 

In response to Representative DeCesare, Mr. Jasper stated that there is a certain amount of recycled asphalt that can go back into the new blend. When the old blacktop is brought up from an area, part of it is filtered into the new asphalt getting put down in order to add to the strength of the pavement.

 

In response to Representative Floyd, Mr. Waddle stated that asphalt roads can be constructed much faster and there is less need for traffic control because the time needed to block off those portions of road is less.

 

In response to Representative Combs, Mr. Waddle stated that, if there is no significant difference in pavement type cost, they design a project for both pavement types and then let the project contractor decide which to use. The Cabinet refers to this as an alternative bid.

 

In response to Senator Hornback, Mr. Jasper stated that when concrete is poured there are several layers. This is very deep, so that when one layer is ground up to expose another to make a ride smoother, it will not shorten the life of the concrete.

 

In response to Senator Turner, Mr. Jasper stated that in some cases concrete can be covered with asphalt. One of the main reasons is speediness of the project.

 

In response to Senator Leeper, Mr. Jasper stated that, in 2010, concrete attributed to 2.6 percent and asphalt to 30.1 percent of total construction price.

 

Cabinet's Pavement Management Efforts

Mr. Waddle discussed the pavement conditions on interstates, parkways, state primary and secondary roads, and rural secondary roads. In the last 20 years, the condition of each type of road has decreased slightly. The cabinet is trying to correct that.

 

In response to Senator Shaughnessy, Secretary Hancock stated that a rural secondary road is a road with a four digit number. For example, Route 1235 would be considered a rural secondary route.

 

Mr. Waddle discussed the Cabinet's goal to maintain all of its roadways at a condition of 92 percent or better. The pavement preservation need of the roadways is $918 million. After the Kentucky Transportation Center issued a customer survey, 87 percent of people surveyed stated that maintenance spending on pavement surfaces should be a moderately high to high priority within the state.

 

In response to Senator Leeper, John Wilcox, Division of Maintenance, stated that the determination of whether a pavement is in poor condition involves consideration of the pavementís smoothness and the traffic volume.

 

In response to Senator Leeper, Mr. Wilcox stated that the Cabinet keeps records on inspections using a pavement management system.

 

In response to Representative Mills, Mr. Wilcox stated that the Cabinet has started pre-treating the roadways with a salt brine application before a significant snowfall. If there is pre-treatment, there is a better chance of removing the snow. This is a much cheaper option than salt.

 

In response to Representative Couch, Secretary Hancock stated that the budget that for maintenance resurfacing projects is about $100 million a year.

 

Recently Announced Major Projects to Repair Storm Damage

Mr. Waddle briefly discussed how many roads were damaged by the 2010-2011 winter. There are 20 different proposed projects needing resurfacing due to the storm damage. Thirteen of the projects are priority 1, and 7 are priority 2.

 

In response to Representative Collins, Secretary Hancock stated that the use of reflectors within the center line is being done more sparingly.

 

In response to Senator Schickel, Secretary Hancock stated that the projected cost to cover all the resurfacing projects due to the winter storm would be $13.6 million statewide.

 

Explanation of Recent Fuel Tax Increase Triggered by Rise In Average Wholesale Price of Gasoline

Tammy Branham, Executive Director, Office of Budget and Fiscal Management gave a brief overview of the motor fuel tax. The current tax is 9 percent of the average wholesale price of a gallon of gasoline plus 5 cents, or 2 cents per gallon of special fuels levied on each gallon of fuel received in Kentucky. She stated the 9 percent gas tax is variable, adjusted quarterly, and capped at 10 percent growth from the last quarter of a fiscal year. She stated that 48.2 percent of the revenues are statutorily dedicated to the Revenue Sharing Program. She also stated that there is no risk of losing gas tax revenue due to falling prices, unless the average price of gasoline falls to around $3.00.

 

In response to Representative Floyd, Ms. Branham stated that there was currently a debt service payment made of $63 million. There is a semi-annual payment.

 

Memorandum of Agreement with the Kentucky Transportation Center and the US Army Corps of Engineers Including the Planning Center of Expertise for Inland Navigation

Joe Crabtree, Director, Kentucky Transportation Center gave a brief overview of the Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC).

 

Chuck Knowles, PE, Waterways Research Coordinator explained the current Kentucky Transportation Centers Inland Waterways Research project. The vision is to become a national center of excellence for inland waterway transportation research to enhance the safety, security, sustainability, and economic competitiveness of the nation's marine highways.

 

Mr. Knowles stated that recently the KTC and the USACE have come to a partnership agreement. The agreement requires sharing of data, knowledge, and technologies. They will engage business and community stakeholders to identify relevant waterways issues and provide high-value innovations and services that address these issues. They will identify economic development and environmental stewardship opportunities.

 

Mr. Knowles said that, relating to waterways research, KTC has met with barge/towing industry leaders. KTC is finalizing a waterways research agenda based on business and community input. It is preparing to conduct a non-highway modes study of other states to identify leading and innovative opportunities.

 

Amy Babey, Acting Chief of Planning, USACE stated that navigation is one of the primary missions of the corps. Keeping the navigation channels open and identifying navigational purposes are keys to commerce and transportation in the Commonwealth.

 

 

Report of the Subcommittee on Kentucky Waterways

Senator Leeper thanked the co-chairs for allowing the Subcommittee on Kentucky Waterways to be reauthorized to bring attention to what Kentucky can do with the waterways and infrastructure improvements. Senator Leeper presented the report from the subcommittee's July 5th meeting where the committee heard testimony regarding the 2011 Spring Flood and the effects it had on the Commonwealth. Representative Collins made a motion to approve the report from the July 5, 2011 meeting. The motion was seconded by Representative Henderson and adopted by voice vote.

 

Before adjournment, Chairman Harris informed the members that the committee will not meet in August, but that the next meeting will be held on September 6, 2011, in Frankfort.

 

With no further business before the Committee, the meeting adjourned at 2:40 p.m.