Deficient roads and bridges in California cost each local driver $2,500 annually, and $44 billion statewide, according to a new report released by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization. The high cost is due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.
The report finds that 34 percent of major urban roads and highways in California are in poor condition. More than a quarter of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
Worst of all, California’s rural non-interstate traffic fatality rate is more than four times the fatality rate on all other roads in the state.
The TRIP report finds 41 percent of California’s roads to be in fair or mediocre condition. Only 25 percent of the state’s roads are found to be in good condition.
28 percent of California’s bridges do not meet modern design standards and 11 percent are structurally deficient. An additional 17 percent of the state’s bridges are functionally obsolete.
Transportation officials point out that there’s only so much they can do to repair infrastructure without a long-term Highway Trust Fund fix.
[gtblockquote type=”right” quote_text_size=”22″ quote_text_style=”normal” quote_text_color=”#9F0226″] “The longer we delay, the more expensive the cost of repair will be.”[/gtblockquote]“California’s roads and highways are among the most heavily traveled in the nation and this report reflects the fact that our transportation system is simply worn out,” said Will Kempton, executive director of Transportation California. “Unfortunately, local and state agencies don’t have adequate resources to keep these facilities in good condition. However, it would be cheaper to pay to fix our aging system than paying the extra costs of driving on rough roads, and the longer we delay, the more expensive the cost of repair will be.”
Traffic crashes in California claimed 14,878 lives between 2008 and 2012. However, the state’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.88 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is lower than the national average of 1.13.