TRIP report says New York State roads seeing deterioration, lack safety features

Nearly half of major locally and state-maintained roads in New York are in poor or mediocre condition, report says

January 13, 2022 / 2 minute read
New York State roads

New York State roads and bridges are experiencing deterioration, congestion, or a lack of safety features that cost New York motorists a total of $28 billion statewide annually, according to a new TRIP report.

The TRIP report, “New York Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout New York, nearly half of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition, 10% of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 ft or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient, and 5,019 people lost their lives on the state’s roads from 2015-2019.

Driving on deficient roads costs New York State motorists a total of $28 billion each year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time, and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which the lack of adequate roadway safety features, while not the primary factor, likely were a contributing factor, according to TRIP.

The TRIP report finds that 26% of major locally and state-maintained roads in New York State are in poor condition and another 19% are in mediocre condition, costing the state’s motorists an additional $7.7 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Statewide, 10% of New York’ bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports, or other major components. Fifty-four percent of the state’s bridges are rated in fair condition and the remaining 36% are in good condition, the report says.

Annual investment in roads, highways and bridges by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) increased by 37% from 2018 to 2021 from approximately $4.3 billion to $6 billion. The level of NYSDOT highway investment is likely to increase further as a result of the five-year federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which will increase annual federal funding for New York roads, highways, and bridges by 52% from an average of approximately $1.8 billion annually to $2.7 billion. Federal funds currently provide 38% of the revenue used by NYSDOT to fund highway and bridge improvements.

“Additional federal funding from the IIJA will allow New York to move forward with needed improvements to its transportation network that will make the state’s roads and bridges smoother, safer and more efficient while boosting the economy and creating jobs,” Dave Kearby, TRIP’s executive director, said in a statement. “In addition to the federal investment, it will be critical that New York State continue to increase its level of transportation investment.”



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