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Decrease in federal funding could negatively impact Texas roads KVUE

AUSTIN -- As the city and the state continues to grow, extra money is needed for roads and bridges to keep up with extra drivers, according to the National Transportation Research Group (TRIP), which studied statewide road conditions.

The report compliments Texas' network of roads, saying it provides mobility, but warns a drop in federal funding in August could cripple growth and negatively impact the economy. TRIP says the balance in the Highway Account of the federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to drop below $1 billion. If that happens, states will likely be forced to postpone numerous projects.

As the roads deteriorate and put stress on Texans' cars, it will also out stress on pocketbooks. The group expects it will cost Texas drivers approximately $25.1 billion a year in lost time, wasted fuel and maintenance to cars and trucks.

"Let's say you're coming up to a pothole. You're gonna have to slam on your brakes or swerve to avoid it," said Timothy Pitts, a technician with Advanced Automotive. "Multiple times, that puts wear and tear on the structs, shocks, brakes, tires -- it puts stress on all the parts of the vehicle on the ground."

TRIP says poorly maintained roads are a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.

From 2009 to 2013, an average of 3,208 people were killed annual in traffic crashes in Texas.

Major highways aren't the only problem areas. The fatality rate on Texas' non-interstate rural roads is more than two and a half times the fatality rate on all other roads in the state.

In addition to improving safety, TRIP says making needed improvements to Texas roads, highways and bridges could also help create jobs and stimulate long-term economic growth.

Go here to view the full report from TRIP.

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