Your Aug. 6 Pre-Trip: ATRI to gauge industry concerns

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. The American Transportation Institute (ATRI) recently launched a survey to gauge the trucking industry’s main concerns, Transportation Infrastructure News Daily Reports. The survey asks industry stakeholders to prioritize their concerns and then suggest strategies that could potentially address those worries. The survey is available at ATRI.

2. It has been one year since Idaho increased the speed limit on the state’s freeways to 80 from 75 miles per hour, and there have been 48 fatal accidents between May 22 and Aug. 5 compared to 32 during the same timeframe last year, KMVT reports. According to Idaho state police, the increase in deaths is not because of the increased speed limit, KMVT said. Police told the news station that “speed itself is not causing all of these crashes,” but high speeds combined with distracted driving is the problem. A retired truck driver told KMVT that today 80 MPH is nothing. “Having been in the trucking business and former truck driver, time is of the essence to most trucking companies and when the area permits most truckers will push the limit. You’ll find that most people will push the limit anyway, it doesn’t matter what the speed limit is,” the driver told KMVT.

3. A closed section of I-65 North in Indiana is causing major congestion and traffic nightmares along the detour routes, WLFI 18 reports. According to the report, the congestion was caused after emergency bridge work over the Wildcat Creek closed a portion of 65 North. The nearly 25,000 cars and trucks that pass through every day are being rerouted. WLFI has more.

4. Road repairs in Utah could cost individual drivers as much as $640 a year, Utah Public Radio reports. The state, along with many other states across the country, struggles to maintain its transportation infrastructure, which could end up slowing down the economy. Abby Albrect, executive director of the Utah Transportation Coalition, told UPR that failing infrastructure slows goods and services and leaves people sitting in traffic longer, which adds to the “deficit of our economy.” She explained that a tax increase, which would cost each resident about $40 extra per year, would provide major infrastructure improvements.

5. Philly is getting ready to welcome Pope Francis next month, and that could mean massive road and bridge closures, the Philly Voice reports. Mayor Michael Nutter laid out some of his plans for the Sept. 26-27 papal visit. Those plans include a traffic box in which vehicles can exit but not re-enter until the papal visit concludes. It also means the Ben Franklin Bridge will be closed to all but pedestrian foot traffic, according to the report. The Voice has more.

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