A report from The Road Information Program (TRIP), a national transportation research nonprofit, revealed that only 28 percent of the nation’s major roads were in “good” condition—and the number fell to 20 percent when major rural roads were factored in. California has some of the worst roads in the nation, accounting for half the country’s top 10 urban areas with roads in poor shape.
The Golden State’s roads and highways were once the envy of the nation. Today, they are seen as deteriorating infrastructure creating a transportation crisis. The poor condition of these roadways hits Californians right in the wallet as TRIP estimates each motorist pays out as much or more than $1,000 annually for vehicle maintenance costs, crashes, tire wear, lost time and gas that burns off while sitting in traffic on congested roads.
It is not just the troublesome streets, but an estimated 28 percent of the state’s bridges need to be repaired or replaced. Another 17 percent are obsolete.
To move infrastructure projects forward, funding is sorely needed. Failing to appropriate new funding to maintain and rebuild California’s aging highway system is not an option. Money allotted for road and highway construction from the 2006 Proposition 1B has been spent. Measure M authorizes a new one-half cent sales tax starting in 2017 that will help fund 40 major highway and transit projects over years to come, but other projects will need to be addressed soon. California officials have proposed a list of $100 billion in projects for possible federal funding to help rebuild crumbling roads and bridges throughout the state.
So what can a concerned citizen do? Let your voice be heard by your lawmakers. Connect directly with your legislators to let them know about projects important to you and to all Californians. Stay on top of important infrastructure news and information by signing up for our newsletter. Join in the movement and spread the word through social media; share your convictions with others so your voice can be heard more loudly. Together we can make an impact to improve road and highway infrastructure.
The U.S. Department of Transportation says road and highway improvement funding needs to rise by 21 percent just to keep roads in their current condition. Without additional funding, TRIP says roads will continue deteriorating.
Sadly, this is not new to Californians. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) revealed in its 2013 National Infrastructure Report Card that 68 percent of California’s roads were, at that time, in poor or mediocre condition. As traffic continues to increase nationwide, nearly 70 percent of urban roads and highways are congested.
Investing in transportation infrastructure helps keep business running smoothly. Plus, it helps create and sustain jobs. According to the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, California’s transportation system regularly employs up to 350,000 skilled workers. Infrastructure projects support our state’s economic growth.