TRIP: Poor road and bridge conditions cost Wisconsin drivers $6 billion annually

Motorists in Wisconsin are hit with $6 billion in additional costs due to poor bridge and road conditions, according to a recent report by The Road Improvement Program (TRIP).

WI Statewide TRIP_InfographicThe report shows 42 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor to mediocre condition, with 39 percent in fair condition. Fifty-six percent of the major roads in Milwaukee are in poor to mediocre position.

The report also finds 5 percent of Wisconsin’s bridges are functionally obsolete and 9 percent are structurally deficient. In Milwaukee, 24 percent of bridges are functionally obsolete.

Total vehicle operating costs (VOC) for drivers in the sate have reached $3.2 billion each year, with congested-related expenses totaling $1.7 billion and safety issues hitting $1.1 billion.

“An efficient transportation infrastructure with adequate capacity is the circulatory system of a healthy economy,” says Steve Baas, senior vice president for governmental affairs and public policy at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC).   “Road congestion throughout our region clogs the arteries of commerce and threatens the life and health of our business climate.”

“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the local, state and federal levels,” says TRIP Executive Director Will Wilkins. “Without additional transportation funding Wisconsin transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, the state will miss out on opportunities for economic growth and quality of life will suffer.”

TRIP periodically releases state reports such as this one. They are available at tripnet.org.