MISSOURI MOTORISTS LOSE $7.8 BILLION PER YEAR DRIVING ON ROADS THAT ARE ROUGH, CONGESTED & LACK SOME SAFETY FEATURES– AS MUCH AS $2,031 PER DRIVER. LACK OF FUNDING WILL LEAD TO FURTHER DETERIORATION, INCREASED CONGESTION & HIGHER COSTS TO MOTORISTS
Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Missouri motorists a total of $7.8 billion statewide annually – as much as $2,0311 per driver- 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 long-term economic growth in Missouri, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research group.
The TRIP report, “Missouri Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that throughout Missouri, one-half of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition and 13 percent of locally and state-maintained bridges are structurally deficient. The report also finds that Missouri’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce.
Driving on Missouri roads costs the state’s drivers a total of $7.8 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) 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. The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Columbia-Jefferson City, Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield areas. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area, along with a statewide total, is below.
The TRIP report finds that 24 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in Missouri are in poor condition and 28 percent are in mediocre condition. Nineteen percent of the state’s major roads are in fair condition and the remaining 29 percent are in good condition. Driving on rough roads costs the state’s motorists a total of $3 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.
Traffic congestion throughout Missouri is worsening, causing up to 45 annual hours of delay for drivers in the largest urban area and costing the state’s drivers $2.4 billion each year in lost time and wasted fuel.
Thirteen percent of Missouri’s bridges are structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. This is the eleventh highest rate in the nation.
Traffic crashes in Missouri claimed the lives of nearly 4,200 people between 2012 and 2016. Missouri’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.28 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is higher than the national average of 1.18. The fatality rate on Missouri’s non-interstate rural roads is nearly two and a half times that on all other roads in the state (2.15 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.88). The financial impact of traffic crashes costs the state’s drivers a total of $2.4 billion annually.
“TRIP’s study shows bad roads cost Missourians money and time in big and small ways that add up to considerable expense, stress, and frustration,” said Scott Charton, communications director for SaferMo.com. “Missouri voters have the opportunity on November 6 to do something to fix our roads by voting “YES” on Proposition D, which will provide more than $400 million annually in new road and bridge funding across Missouri, including a 66 percent increase in state funding for local priority projects. Missourians can take a positive step for safer roads and safer streets by supporting Prop D.”
The efficiency and condition of Missouri’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $495 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Missouri, mostly by trucks, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to relocate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system. The design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Missouri support more than 79,000 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy.
“Driving on deficient roads comes with a $7.8 billion price tag for Missouri motorists – as much as $2,031 per driver,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Adequate funding for the state’s transportation system would allow for smoother roads, more efficient mobility, enhanced safety, and economic growth opportunities while saving Missouri’s drivers time and money.”
MISSOURI KEY TRANSPORTATION FACTS
THE HIDDEN COSTS OF DEFICIENT ROADS
Driving on Missouri roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack some desirable safety features costs Missouri drivers a total of $7.8 billion each year. TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on rough roads, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.
MISSOURI ROADS PROVIDE A ROUGH RIDE
Due to inadequate state and local funding, 52 percent of major roads and highways in Missouri are in poor or mediocre condition. Driving on rough roads costs the average Missouri driver $695 annually in additional vehicle operating costs.
MISSOURI BRIDGE CONDITIONS
Thirteen percent of Missouri’s bridges are structurally deficient (the eleventh highest share in the nation), meaning there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Most bridges are designed to last 50 years before major overhaul or replacement, although many newer bridges are being designed to last 75 years or longer. In Missouri, 40 percent of the state’s bridges (9,913 of 24,487) were built in 1969 or earlier.
MISSOURI ROADS ARE INCREASINGLY CONGESTED
Congested roads choke commuting and commerce and cost Missouri drivers $2.4 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel. In the most congested urban areas, drivers lose up to $1,080 and nearly two full days each year in congestion.
MISSOURI TRAFFIC SAFETY AND FATALITIES
From 2012 to 2016, 4,163 people were killed in traffic crashes in Missouri. Traffic crashes imposed a total of $7.1 billion in economic costs in Missouri in 2016 and traffic crashes in which roadway features were likely a contributing factor imposed $2.4 billion in economic costs.
TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The health and future growth of Missouri’s economy is riding on its transportation system. Each year, $495 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Missouri, mostly by truck. Increases in passenger and freight movement will place further burdens on the state’s already deteriorated and congested network of roads and bridges.
The design, construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Missouri supports 79,083 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $2.9 billion annually. Approximately 1.3 million full-time jobs in Missouri in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation network.