Oregon is just the latest in a list of states that are seeking solutions to their ever increasing infrastructure needs, particularly highway improvements that are vital to the trucking sector and in turn the economy of the entire state. The recovering economy is a boon to the state's industry, commerce and trucking in the region but simultaneously a new report shows that traffic levels in Oregon have reached unprecedented levels.
The report in question the "Economic Impacts of Congestion in Oregon", was published by the Economic Research Group and offers a long-term look at the future of the state up to the year 2040 with specific reference to transportation matters. Currently about one in five jobs in the state are either transportation dependent or related at present, some 350,000 jobs in total.
Looking back to 2010 (and traffic has worsened since) the report states that 5 percent of all travel time in greater Portland was in congested conditions with that figure forecast to grow to 15 percent by 2040. Each household in the region spends about 69 hours annually in severe traffic congestion per the report, so it's not difficult to imagine the annual impact on shipping full truckloads of commercial freight.
The report highlights a recently rejected $206 million plan for state and local improvements to transportation and would help keep trucking services in Oregon as efficient as possible. In lieu of that the report explains how the cost of doing business will accelerate far above the rate of inflation if suitable funding is not found. The study shows that at various traffic measurement points across the state traffic has increased by as much at 9% between 2008 and 2013.
Finally, the report bullet points many of the benefits that fully addressing traffic congestion issues would have over the course of the study by the year 2040