Photo by John Schreiber.
San Diego Freeway. Photo by John Schreiber.

Poor road conditions in the Los Angeles area cost the average motorist about $2,500 a year due to higher vehicle costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays, according to a report released Thursday by a national transportation group.

According to TRIP, poor road and bridge conditions in the state cost drivers a total of $44 billion a year across the state, but roadways in the Los Angeles area were the worst, causing motorists to sit in delayed traffic for an average of 61 hours a year.

The report, “California Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” found that 34 percent of the state’s major urban roads and highways are in poor condition, and more than one- fourth of bridges are “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.”

In the Los Angeles area, 65 percent of major roads are in poor condition, and 24 percent are considered mediocre, according to the report.

The poor conditions cost Los Angeles-area motorists $2,458 a year, including costs such as vehicle repairs and lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays. The report also found that traffic congestion in the area causes 61 annual hours of delay for the average motorist, equating to roughly $1,300 annual in lost time and wasted fuel.

Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty said the report shows the value in investing in the state’s aging infrastructure.

“Our goal is to responsibly manage the state’s valuable infrastructure – – starting with our new ‘fix it first’ policy — because every dollar invested in maintenance saves taxpayers from future repairs that are 10 times more expensive,” he said. “California motorists are currently enjoying highways that are in the best condition in more than a decade, and stable transportation funding would allow us to continue to provide safe and sustainable transportation infrastructure that enhances California’s economy and livability.”

According to the report, 14,878 people died on California roadways between 2008 and 2012. Non-interstate, rural roads had a fatality rate of 2.61 traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012 — four times hither than other roads and highways in the state.

City News Service

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