May 28, 2020
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Photo: Caltrans

Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack “desirable safety features” cost California motorists a total of $61 billion annually, or as much as $2,995 per driver per year in some of the state’s urban areas, due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.

That’s the conclusion of a new report issued by TRIP issued on Aug. 15, which also said 68 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in California are in “poor” or “mediocre” condition, with 1,603 of 25,657 locally and state-maintained bridges that are 20 feet or longer considered “structurally deficient” as well.

TRIP added that driving on deteriorated roads costs California motorists a total of $22.1 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, which translates in an average extra yearly cost of $843 per driver – costs that include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

I-10 highway, Michael R. Perry

The group’s report also noted that “traffic congestion in California is worsening,” with 85 percent of California’s urban interstates “routinely clogged,” which costs drivers a total of $29.1 billion each year in lost time and wasted fuel.

TRIP issued also issued 12 regional reports as well to highlight specific concerns among the different regions of California and as a way to address the statewide repeal effort being aimed at Senate Bill 1: the Road Repair and Accountability Act passed by the state legislature in April 2017 that increased California’s gasoline and diesel taxes, implemented a “transportation investment fee” on vehicles, and initiated an annual fee on zero emission vehicles.

It is estimated that SB 1 will increase state revenues for California’s transportation system by an average of $5.2 billion annually over the next decade if it remains in place, TRIP said.

editor@aashto.org

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