TRIP report: One-fourth of Wyoming’s roads substandard, state has high traffic fatality rate
Nearly one quarter of Wyoming’s major roads are in poor condition, with pavement deterioration projected to worsen significantly in the coming years under current funding levels, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based national transportation organization.
In addition to substandard road conditions, 22 percent of the state’s bridges are deficient or obsolete and Wyoming’s traffic fatality rate is among the highest in the nation, the TRIP report reveals. (For more information on the condition of our nation’s bridges, including a state-by-state breakdown by percent of those that are functionally obsolete and structurally deficient, see Better Roads’ “2009 Bridge Inventory.”)
TRIP’s report, “Future Mobility in Wyoming: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that increased investment in transportation improvements in Wyoming could improve road and bridge conditions and safety, and widen key roadways to support long-term economic growth in the state.
During the past decade, Wyoming has used a combination of federal and state funding to improve its surface transportation network, but many sorely needed transportation projects still remain unfunded.
TRIP’s report contains lists of needed transportation projects that currently lack adequate funding to proceed.
The report finds that 24 percent of state-maintained roadways are currently in poor condition. The percentage of roads in poor condition has risen steadily since 2000, when 15 percent were in poor condition, and is expected to continue to climb in the coming years.
Under current funding levels, the Wyoming Department of Transportation projects that 42 percent of state-maintained roads will be in poor condition by 2015. Roads in need of repair cost each Wyoming motorist an average of $230 annually in extra vehicle operating costs – $88 million statewide – including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
The TRIP report also finds that 13 percent of Wyoming’s bridges are structurally deficient and an additional nine percent are functionally obsolete. In addition to deteriorated road and bridge conditions, the state’s traffic fatality rate is the eighth highest in the nation.
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