Report: State’s Urban Roads Among Country’s Worst
The results of a national report on the condition of big-city streets should come as no surprise to Connecticut commuters: We are home to three of the 25 urban areas with the worst roads.
Fifty-five percent of major urban roads in the Bridgeport-Stamford area are in poor condition, ranking it sixth worst among large urban areas with a population of 500,000 or more, according to TRIP, a national transportation research group based in Washington, D.C.
The report said roads in disrepair in the Bridgeport-Stamford region cost drivers nearly $800 more in annual vehicle costs, including maintenance and fuel, tire wear and tear, and vehicle depreciation.
New Haven is 14th on the list with 47% of its major urban roads in poor condition, while Hartford ranks 25th with 38% of its roads in poor condition.
Those pockmarked roads cost New Haven drivers an additional $728 annually while the cost to Hartford drivers is $653 a year.
The TRIP report, Bumpy Roads Ahead: American’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother, covers interstate highways, freeways, and other arterial routes.
CBIA Assistant Counsel Eric Gjede said well-maintained roads and highways are an important part of a vibrant economy.
“Connecticut’s highways and roads are a critical economic driver,” he said.
“Lawmakers attempting to jump start the state’s economy must prioritize our roads when investing transportation resources to ensure our people and products get safely to their destinations.”
The TRIP report found that road conditions nationwide could get even worse as more vehicles are traveling while local and state governments are unable to adequately fund road repairs.
“Connecticut’s businesses and residents didn’t need a story or a report to know that our roads are in poor condition–they ride on them every day and feel the pain,” said John P. Condlin, president and CEO of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce.
Vehicle travel in the U.S. increased by 15 percent from 2000-2015. U.S. vehicle traffic is up 3.1% for the first eight months of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015.
And, the report said, travel by large commercial trucks is expected to increase by 72% through 2030, putting even more strain on the nation’s roads.
Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director, said road conditions nationwide will likely get worse as governments lack funding to do proper maintenance.
“Without 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,” he said.
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