A new study on transportation infrastructure throughout the United States ranks Connecticut as the fourth-worst state for the condition of its roads and bridges.
"The infrastructure situation in the Nutmeg State is so bad, you could say Connecticut is moving backward," the CNBC study says.
It notes that Connecticut's fiscal crisis forced Governor Dannel Malloy earlier this year to postpone $4.3 billion worth of transportation projects.
The state's Special Transportation Fund faces insolvency by 2020—despite Connecticut having the seventh highest gas taxes in the nation.
This fall, voters will consider a constitutional amendment creating a lock box to protect dedicated transportation funding from being diverted to other uses.
Lawmakers in the 2018 General Assembly session considered several bills to return tolls to state highways after more than 30 years to fund transportation projects but, ultimately, the measures failed.
Then three weeks ago, Malloy ordered state agencies to develop a $10 million study of tolls, although lawmakers would have to approve implementation, and many are opposed.
"As politicians continue to debate, Connecticut roads continue to deteriorate," the cable network says.
The study gave Connecticut's transportation infrastructure an overall grade of D with a total score of 150 out of a possible 400.
It found that 73% of Connecticut roads are in bad shape.
"With nearly three-quarters [of Connecticut roads] in poor or mediocre condition, they are in the second worst shape in the nation behind Illinois," the study noted.
It also said that nearly 8% of Connecticut's bridges are deficient, and that the average work commute here is more than 26 minutes each way.
The shape of Connecticut roads—and the congestion on its highways—continues to vex state business and industry, costing billions in lost productivity.
The failure to properly fund transportation infrastructure also harms the nation's economy, the study says.
"Many of the systems currently in place were built decades ago, and economists say delays and rising maintenance and safety costs are now inhibiting our nation's economic performance," the study concludes.
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates it could cost as much as $1 trillion to bring highways in the United States up to date.
The study also says the poor shape of roads and bridges costs each American family around $3,400 a year in disposable income, including car repairs and gas burned while idling in traffic.
With nearly three-quarters of Connecticut roads in poor or mediocre condition, they are in the second worst shape in the nation behind Illinois.
Massachusetts is ranked the 9th worst for the condition of its roads and bridges, Maine is third, New Hampshire second, and tiny Rhode Island's roads and bridges are the worst in America, the study says.
Some states, however, are finding ways around the transportation infrastructure crisis, CNBC notes.
Top, Bottom States
CNBC's Top Five States for Transportation Infrastructure:
And the bottom five:
- (tie) Maryland and West Virginia
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island