Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested, or lack safety features cost Kentucky motorists a total of $4.7 billion statewide annually, according to a recently released TRIP report.
The TRIP report—titled “Kentucky Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility”—finds that throughout the state, more than one-quarter of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition, 7% of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 ft or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient, and the state has the fourth highest rate of traffic fatalities in the nation. The report says Kentucky’s major urban roads are congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce.
The TRIP report includes statewide and regional pavement and bridge conditions, congestion data, highway safety data, and cost breakdowns for several urban areas.
Driving on deficient roads costs Kentucky motorists a total of $4.7 billion per 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, TRIP says.
The TRIP report finds that 7% of major locally and state-maintained roads in Kentucky are in poor condition and another 21% are in mediocre condition, costing the state’s drivers an additional $1.3 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
Seven percent of Kentucky’s bridges are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition. Bridges that are rated poor/structurally deficient have significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Sixty-five percent of the state’s bridges are rated in fair condition and the remaining 28% are in good condition.