California’s Interstate highways are among the most congested and deteriorated in the nation. As the U.S. Interstate system marks its 60th anniversary, California’s Interstates ranking highest in congestion and second highest in disrepair.

According to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization, 85 percent of California’s urban Interstates are congested during peak travel times — the highest rate in the nation. California’s Interstates carry more than 19,000 vehicles per lane mile each day, the highest rate of travel in the U.S. In addition to congestion and crowding, California’s Interstate highways are the second most deteriorated in the nation, with 30 percent of pavement in poor or mediocre condition.

The TRIP report, The Interstate Highway System Turns 60: Challenges to Its Ability to Continue to Save Lives, Time and Money finds that the Interstate Highway System faces increasing congestion, unprecedented levels of travel – particularly by large trucks – and insufficient funding to make needed repairs and improvements. While the nation’s Interstates tend to be in better condition than other roads and bridges, the aging Interstate system will increasingly require more long-term, costly repairs.

“These are not rankings that bode well for the future of our state. The Interstate system has made a significant contribution to California’s economy and quality of life for 60 years, but that contribution is diminishing each year as we continue to ignore needed investment in our transportation infrastructure,” said Will Kempton, executive director of Transportation California.

“The culmination of overdue infrastructure maintenance and lack of capital investment into California’s transportation infrastructure will continue to define our metropolitan cities and paint the state in a negative light among locals,” said Tom Holsman, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of California. “Gridlock is at an epic high and travel in California will only increase in the coming years. It is imperative a viable solution for funding is not only met but sustained.”

While the Interstate Highway System represents only 2.5 percent of lane miles in the U.S., it carries 25 percent of the nation’s vehicle travel. The system is increasingly congested, with truck travel growing at a rate twice that of overall Interstate travel.

“The long-term vision that helped establish the current Interstate system 60 years ago is needed again today,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “In order to maintain personal and commercial mobility, transportation investment and a sustainable, long-term funding source for the federal surface transportation program must remain a priority.”

Source:  Trip Press Release