WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Navigating roads in New York during winter can be tricky enough, but a recent study suggests that doing so can cost drivers throughout Westchester County as much as $2,300 a year.
A recent study by TRIP, a national transportation research group said that deficient roads and bridges throughout New York State costs motorists an additional $20.3 billion statewide annually due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.
The TRIP report finds that a total of 45 percent of major roads in New York State are in either poor or mediocre condition, costing the state’s drivers a total of $4.9 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
In addition, the report found that 28 percent of New York’s state maintained bridges are currently in need of replacement, reconstruction or rehabilitation.
“Funding for the highway system that helps make America a mobile and prosperous nation is about to run dry. Later in 2014, the federal Highway Trust Fund will be officially insolvent, a fact which will hasten the well underway deterioration of our state’s roads and bridges. Despite that fact, the looming crisis has not translated into political action,” John A. Corlett, AAA New York State’s Legislative Committee Chairman said in a statement. “It is time for Congress and the Administration to lead. Transportation funding may not be a popular issue on Capitol Hill, but elected officials must demonstrate the leadership needed to rescue our transportation system from obsolescence.”
Once the federal Highway Trust Fund drops below $1 billion, New York and other states will see delays in federal reimbursement, which in turn will slow the state's ability to complete construction projects, the TRIP report said.
“These conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the state and federal levels,” Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director said in a statement. “Unless Congress acts this year to adequately fund the Federal Highway Trust Fund, New York is going to see its federal funding decrease dramatically starting this summer. This will result in fewer road repair projects, loss of jobs and a burden on the state’s economy.”
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