The Road Improvement Program (TRIP) says in its latest condition report the poor conditions of Colorado’s bridges and roads cost motorists there an aggregated $6.8 billion each year in vehicle operation, safety and congestion issues.
The report, “Colorado Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” shows 41 percent of the major locally and state-maintained urban roads are in poor condition. TRIP says 43 percent of these roads are in mediocre or fair condition and 15 percent are rated as good. Six percent of the bridges, the report indicates, are structurally deficient.
These conditions, TRIP says, result in additional vehicle operation costs of $2.3 billion, safety costs of $1.6 billion and congestion-related expenditures of $2.9 billion.
“Investing in our transportation infrastructure is absolutely critical to creating jobs and fostering a healthy economy,” says Loren Furman, senior vice president of state and federal affairs for the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry. “Transportation is, without a doubt, the number one priority for our members.”
“Business leaders around our state see Colorado trailing states such as Utah and Texas, two of our biggest competitors, on key commerce and tourism opportunities due to outdated, unmaintained and congested roadways,” says Jeff Wasden, president of the Colorado Business Roundtable. “We can no longer kick this can down the road and this report makes that connection in a very real way.”
TRIP periodically releases state and national reports such as this one. They are available at tripnet.org.