Deficient and congested roadways and bridges are costing Maine motorists $1 billion per year due to higher vehicle operating costs (VOC), traffic crashes and congestion delays according to the latest report from The Road Improvement Program (TRIP).
In the report, TRIP says 26 percent of major urban locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition, 58 percent are in mediocre or fair condition and 16 percent are in good condition.
Thirty-four percent of Maine’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, with 15 percent being structurally deficient and 19 percent being functionally obsolete.
TRIP has calculated in the Portland urban area the average motorist sees $1,035 in additional costs from VOC, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. Statewide, Maine motorists are hit with a total of $494 million in VOC, $382 million in safety-related costs and $135 million in congestion costs.
“The state’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, with drivers wasting significant amounts of time and fuel each year,” the organization says. “And, more than 700 people were killed in crashes on Maine’s roads from 2010 to 2014.”
“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the state and local levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate investment, Maine’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth and quality of life of the state’s residents.”
TRIP periodically releases state reports such as this one. They are available at tripnet.org.