Report: Road conditions cost Montgomery drivers $1,218 annually - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Report: Road conditions cost Montgomery drivers $1,218 annually

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

When you drive around Montgomery you may notice some less than ideal driving conditions. It can be frustrating and according to some new research, it can also cost you.

A new report says poor roads and bridges cost each Montgomery driver $1,218 every year.

Experts say that $1,200 is spent every year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time, and fuel due to congestion related delays, and the cost of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor.

TRIP, a national transportation research group, took a look at the insufficient roads and bridges. Statewide they found roads and bridges that are deficient, congested or lack desirable safety features cost Alabama motorists a total of $3.1 billion annually.

Montgomery resident Shatondria Kelley is shocked by the cost.

"I never honestly took the time to think about it. I just drive back and forth to work and school. Now that I think about it, it's not good for our cars or our pockets," Kelley said.

"Montgomery is the capital of Alabama. I'm not depressed, but I am shocked at how poor the conditions can be," added K.C. Stewart, a Montgomery resident.

For Montgomery, research found just under half, about 45 percent, of major roads are either in poor or mediocre condition.

The rough roads tend to take a toll on your vehicles and your time. In fact, researchers found traffic congestion is worsening, causing on average 29 hours of delay annually for Montgomery drivers.

"Drivers do lose a lot of money having to fix their cars, flat tires, bent rims, things of those sorts. It's shocking," Stewart said.

Experts say the state and local municipalities are doing the best they can to improve the roads, but they need federal funding to make ends meet.

Congress just acted to extend both the federal trust-fund spending and the federal transportation legislation. However, according to some, an eight-month extension isn't enough.

"They have only come up with a band-aid, because of that states aren't able to plan for long term projects because they don't know what kind of funding they can expect from federal government," says Carolyn Kelly with TRIP.

Montgomery leaders say they are trying to improve the roadways. They say the city has a five-year plan to improve the roads and bridges, and it's more than just paving roads but providing a complete street improvement.

They hope by making the changes it will promote economic growth and enhance the quality of life for Montgomery residents.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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