Deteriorating roads and bridges are having an impact on how much drivers in South Central Pennsylvania spend to get out and about, according to a new report by Washington, D.C., research group TRIP.
The study factored in costs due to repairs, wasted time and fuel while stuck in traffic and the cost of traffic crashes.
Taken together, the issues cots the average driver in the Harrisburg/York/Lancaster area $1,646 per year. Philadelphia comes in higher at $1,798. Pittsburgh is lower at $1,418.
“You don’t get into a situation where you have the highest number of structurally deficient bridges in the country and all these rough roads and high-level traffic congestion overnight. And, you don’t turn those problems around overnight. With that said, denial is not helpful,” said Frank Morettu, director of policy and research for TRIP.
To view the report, click here.
A few local statistics from the report:
-41 percent of major roads in the Harrisburg/York/Lancaster urban area are in either poor or mediocre condition.
-The average driver in the area wastes 22 gallons of fuel per year due to congestion.
-That congestion is worsening, causing 45 hours of delay for the average driver.
The report also calls attention to issues with bridges and overpasses throughout the state. TRIP points out 25 percent of Pennsylvania’s bridges are structurally deficient. Another 17 percent are functionally obsolete. These roads are still deemed safe to travel by state inspectors but are in need of repairs.
To see what bridges and overpasses near you are in need of work, click here.
The report comes just as lawmakers begin the scramble to pass a budget by the end of June. Gov. Tom Corbett (R) has proposed a series of measures related to transportation that are expected to generate $1.8 billion over five years.
Some lawmakers have competing proposals.
Among Corbett’s ideas, he wants to lift the cap on the oil company franchise tax, which distributors pay based on the wholesale price of oil. Critics are concerned the cost would be passed onto consumers at the pump. To read more about the governor’s proposals, click here.
“It’s a question of: how will government charge you? Are we going to charge you to fix the problem? Or, are we going to ignore it and allow the costs to incur in (light) of safety and congestion? It’s your choice,” said Transportation Sec. Barry Schoch Wednesday.