ROADS/BRIDGES: Traffic, deteriorating roads cost California drivers billions annually

Aug. 19, 2016

Roads and bridges in poor condition across the state significantly contribute to costs for motorists

California motorists are hit with $53.6 billion per year in additional costs due to congested roads and deteriorating road conditions, according to a recent report by The Road Improvement Program (TRIP).

The report finds that rough roads are responsible for $18.3 billion (34.14%) of the total cost, in the form of accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Congestion-related delays account for $28 billion (52.24%) and traffic crashes make up $7.3 billion (13.62%).

The average per driver varies across the state, but the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area holds the highest, at $2,826 per driver.

TRIP finds 37% of the state’s major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor condition, with 42% being in mediocre to fair condition and 21% in good condition.

Major urban roads are in worse condition, with 50% being in poor condition, 37% in mediocre or fair condition and 12% in good condition. Rural roads are a bit better, with 22% in poor condition, 48% in mediocre or fair condition and 30% in good condition.

The organization reports 25% of California’s bridges show significant deterioration or do not meet current design standards, with 8% being structurally deficient and 17% considered functionally obsolete.