Nearly two-thirds of Hawaii’s major roads are deteriorated and almost half of the state’s bridges are in need of repair or replacement, while a majority of urban roads are congested. Traveling on roads that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features costs the average Honolulu driver more than $1,500 annually, a total of $1.1 billion statewide. This is according to a new report released by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based national transportation research organization.
According to the TRIP report, “Providing Safe and Efficient Mobility in Hawaii: The Cost to Drivers of Deficient Roads, Highway Congestion and Traffic Crashes,” an increase in local, state and federal transportation funding will be required in order to make needed repairs to deteriorated roads and bridges and to alleviate congestion and enhance traffic safety. The TRIP report includes lists of the sections of roadway and bridges that are most deteriorated and in need of repair or replacement.
The TRIP report states that, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), a total of 47% of lane-miles of Hawaii’s major roadways are rated in poor condition and an additional 14% are rated in mediocre condition. Seventeen percent of lane-miles of major roadways are rated in fair condition and an additional 22% are rated in good condition. These include roads that are maintained by HDOT as well as individual counties.
In Honolulu, 62% of major roads are in poor condition, the third highest share among cities with a population of 500,000 or more. Driving on roads in need of repair costs each Honolulu motorist an average of $701 each year in the form of accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. The TRIP report includes a list of the 25 sections of roadway throughout the state that are the most deteriorated and in need of repair or replacement.
In addition to deteriorated road conditions, 13% of the state’s bridges were structurally deficient and an additional 32% were functionally obsolete in 2011. HDOT estimates that the current cost to replace or rehabilitate all structurally deficient bridges in the state totals $500 million. The TRIP report identifies the 25 structurally deficient bridges in the state that are most in need of repair or replacement.
“Unless Hawaii is able to secure additional transportation dollars, many needed projects will remain stranded on the drawing board because of insufficient funding,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP. “It is critical that Hawaii adequately fund its transportation system. Funding must be robust at the state and local level, and Congress must move forward on immediate reauthorization of the federal surface transportation program. Thousands of jobs and the state’s economy are riding on it.”