Study: Austin drivers spend time, money due to insufficient roads

AUSTIN -- As Central Texas grows, we need more roads and those roads need maintenance.

RELATED: Report: Decrease in federal funding could negatively impact Texas roads

A study released Wednesday by TRIP, a national transportation research group, shows just how much Austin drivers are spending in time and money due to insufficient roads.

Texas lawmakers are hoping to use this study to persuade voters to support an amendment in November. It calls for splitting profits from the oil and gas severance tax and putting half – $1.4 billion into Texas roads and highway.

A new study calculates just how much those potholes and congestion are costing us in time and money. Austin drivers waste about $137 a month or $1,655 a year on gas, time and repairs due to rough or dangerous roads. They spend an average of 44 hours a year waiting in traffic.

"It just costs people a lot more when the roads aren't maintained," said Timothy Pitts, a car mechanic. "If you don't have your alignment right you end up wasting fuel. You end up eating your tires and one of the best ways to knock a vehicle out of alignment is hitting a pothole, a chuckhole, especially on the highway."

According to TRIP, a nonprofit backed by insurance companies and others with an interest in road construction, those potholes could get worse before they get better.

"If we don't do this, we just dug the hole ten feet deeper, because we don't have anything to fall back on if this doesn't go through in November," said State Rep. Joe Pickett.

Pickett wants to take what's in savings from the oil and gas severance tax and split it. That will leave $1.4 billion to help with transportation projects across Texas.

Go here to view the full report from TRIP.

Picture used in video is provided by Getty Images.


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