DOT releases damaging road and bridge condition data

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Friday, July 10, 2015

As the July 31 expiration date for the Highway Trust Fund looms, Congress is trying to agree on a new bill. Meanwhile, the nation’s roads are deteriorating. The U.S. Department of Transportation has compiled a table revealing road and bridge conditions for each state.

According to the table, Indiana appears to be in the best shape with only 17 percent of roads in poor or mediocre condition. Conversely, Connecticut and Illinois are tied for the highest percentage of roads in poor/mediocre condition at 73 percent.

Truckers driving through Rhode Island should be aware of bridges. The Ocean State has 433 bridges, or 56.5 percent, that are deemed structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Of the 13,137 bridges in Minnesota, only 11.5 percent are structurally deficient/functionally obsolete, the lowest percentage among all states.

How much is this costing drivers? The table also calculated the annual total extra vehicle repairs and operating costs due to driving on roads that need to be fixed. Drivers in New Jersey are emptying their pockets more than the rest of the country with the average costs coming in at $601 per motorist. Georgia motorists are saving the most with a cost burden of only $60 per driver.

The average per-state percentage of poor road conditions across the nation is 48.82 percent. On average, more than a quarter of bridges per state are deficient or obsolete. Per state, the average cost in extra repairs due to poor road conditions is $300 per motorist.

Bridge data is from a 2013 Federal Highway Administration report. Road conditions stem from the American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure.

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