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Deficient, congested and unsafe roadways cost Alabama drivers as much as $1,562 annually, and a total of $3.1 billion statewide, according to a new TRIP report. Roads and bridges in need of improvement are causing higher vehicle operating costs, more traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.
The Trip report points out that 15 percent of Alabama’s major urban roads and highways are in poor condition. Nearly a quarter of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
Alabama drivers on major urban roads are seeing more and more traffic delays, forcing them to spend more money on fuel.
If that doesn’t alarm you, this certainly will: the state’s rural non-interstate traffic fatality rate is nearly double the fatality rate on all other roads in the state.
A breakdown of the annual cost per motorist in Alabama’s largest urban areas can be found below:
A total of 23 percent of the state’s bridges are reportedly showing signs of significant deterioration and nine percent are found to be structurally deficient. An additional 14 percent of Alabama’s bridges are functionally obsolete.
The most concerning statistics from the report are the fatality rates. Traffic crashes in the state has claimed the lives of 4,435 people between 2008 and 2012. Alabama’s traffic fatality rate of 1.33 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled is significantly higher than the national average of 1.13.
Like all states, Alabama can’t do a whole lot to improve its roads and bridges until Congress finds a long-term solution to the Highway Trust Fund.
“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Congress can help by approving a long-term federal surface transportation program that provides adequate funding levels, based on a reliable funding source. If not, Alabama is going to see its future federal funding threatened, resulting in in fewer road and bridge repair projects, loss of jobs and a burden on the state’s economy.”