Report: Bad Roads Cost N.O. Motorists $2,400 Annually
NEW ORLEANS – Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Louisiana motorists a total of $7.6 billion statewide annually, according to a new report released by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based national transportation research nonprofit. The group said the cost to each driver in the New Orleans area is $2,403 due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support short- and long-term economic growth in Louisiana, said TRIP.
The TRIP report, “Louisiana Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that nearly half of Louisiana’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition, 13% of bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, and more than 3,700 people lost their lives on the state’s roads from 2015-2019. Louisiana’s major urban roads are congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce.
“If the Governor and the Legislature can’t lead on transportation issues to significantly increase funding, Louisiana will continue to rank as one of the worst places for infrastructure and, here in our Capital Region, for traffic congestion,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber. “When will they decide that enough is enough? When will we decide to hold them accountable for their failure to pass structural reforms for transportation? They can do it this year, this legislative session, and they should. Infrastructure is the key to Louisiana’s future job growth, for everyone.”
“It’s painfully obvious to any driver who has traveled Louisiana’s roads that our state has an endless number of infrastructure needs,” said Stephen Waguespack, president and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. “The condition of our roads and bridges has a real impact on our homegrown companies and ultimately, their bottom line. The business community looks forward to working with Congress, the Legislature, local governments and other stakeholders to ensure we advance a common-sense solution to address these problems.”