Congested roadways and poor road and bridge conditions are costing Mississippi drivers $2.25 billion, as high as $1,879 each in some areas, according to the latest report from The Road Improvement Program (TRIP).
TRIP’s “Mississippi Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” shows motorists in the state are incurring increasing vehicle operating costs (VOC) due to “driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor.”
The organization estimates VOC for the entire state at $1.14 billion, with safety-related issues costing $577 billion and congestion reaching $529 billion.
Twenty-two percent of major locally and state maintained roads are in poor condition, TRIP says, with 42 percent in either mediocre or fair condition. The organization also finds that 13 percent of Mississippi’s bridges are structurally deficient and 7 percent are functionally obsolete.
TRIP says the state has $6.6 billion worth of backlogged repairs and improvements needed for its transportation system, citing a report by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) indicating $375 million in new revenue each year is needed to address immediate needs. The majority of that, $300 million, is needed for the state-maintained system. The remainder is needed for local systems.
“The TRIP report once again demonstrates the importance of investing in Mississippi’s transportation infrastructure,” says Scott Waller, MEC executive vice president and COO. “It provides additional details regarding the enormous costs Mississippians already face, and the consequences of failing to act. More importantly, it amplifies the safety issues that exist as a result of poor road and bridge conditions and the importance of protecting our citizens.”
TRIP periodically releases state reports such as this one. They are available at tripnet.org.