Deficient roads cost drivers thousands of dollars each year

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by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on October 2, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 2 at 6:36 PM

AUSTIN -- A new report out Tuesday is critical of many roads across Austin, as well as the entire state of Texas.

The findings reveal that drivers waste time and money because of the poor road conditions. Specifically, research finds that deficient roadways cost each Austin driver more than $1,200 each year, more than $23 billion statewide.

The information was compiled by a national transportation research group called TRIP. Based in Washington, D.C., the organization finds that 23 percent of major roads in Austin are in poor or mediocre condition.

Frank Moretti is the director of research and policy for TRIP. He says bad roads cost drivers money in delays, wasted time, fuel and vehicle repair.  He says additional operating costs add up.

"Because when you're driving on those rough roads, your vehicle is getting beat up," Moretti said.

Moretti says every driver wastes 10 gallons of gas a year sitting in traffic.

He also says you can't put a price tag on injuries or even death.

The report also finds almost half of state and local roads need improvement. What's worse is that under funding scenarios, TRIP officials say the quality of pavement statewide is projected to decrease 30 percent by 2022.

The executive vice president of the organization Texas Good Roads says this study correlates with it's research.

"We are under-investing and motorists are paying a hidden cost today," said Lawrence Olsen.

The report did not identify any specific roads or bridge; it made estimates based on general road conditions.

You can read the report at tripnet.org.

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