TRIP report: Deteriorated urban roads cost motorists up to $1,025 a year

Updated Nov 15, 2016

damaged cracked road cracks asphaltIn its latest road condition report, The Road Improvement Program (TRIP) says deteriorated roads in large and mid-sized urban areas in the U.S. are costing motorists up to $1,025 in vehicle operating costs (VOC).

“With state and local governments struggling to fund needed road repairs and with federal surface transportation funding falling short of the amount needed to make needed improvements, road conditions are projected to get even worse,” says Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. â€śWithout adequate investment at the local, state and federal levels, our nation’s crumbling pavements will be more than just a nuisance for drivers – they’ll be a roadblock to economic growth and quality of life.”

In the report, TRIP finds that 32 percent of the major urban roads, including interstates, freeways and “other” arterial routes”, have pavements in “substandard condition” with “unacceptably” rough rides. Thirty-nine percent of the roads are in mediocre or fair condition and 28 percent are in good condition.

The organization says that, accounting for major rural roads, 20 percent of all the major roads in the U.S. are in poor condition, with 39 percent in mediocre or fair condition and 40 percent in good condition.

TRIP segmented the findings into large urban areas, defined as having a population of 500,000 or more, and mid-sized urban areas, categorized with between 200,000 and 500,000 people.

Topping the large areas is San Francisco-Oakland, California, with 71 percent of the roads in poor condition; followed by Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, California (60 percent); San Jose, California (59 Percent); Detroit, Michigan (56 percent); and Milwaukee, Wisconsin (56 percent).

The areas with the highest VOCs in this category include Oklahoma City, Oklahoma ($1,025); Tulsa, Oklahoma ($998); San Francisco-Oakland, California ($978); Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, California ($892); and Detroit, Michigan ($865).

Mid-sized areas are led by Concord, California, with 75 percent; Madison, Wisconsin (66 percent); Victorville-Hesperia-Apple Valley, California (61 percent); Antioch, California (60 percent); and Flint, Michigan (56 percent).

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Highest VOC areas in this category include Concord, California ($1,014); Madison, Wisconsin ($974); Antioch, California ($883); Jackson, Mississippi ($862); and Victorville-Hesperia-Apple Valley, California ($854).

TRIP periodically releases state and national reports such as this one. They are available at