Lehigh Valley

Report: Pa. road conditions costing you money

Report: Pa. road conditions costing you money

A national research study shows motorist in the Lehigh Valley are paying an extra $1,300 hundred dollars a year due to bad road conditions.

PennDOT officials say they are trying to fix the roads but they are still not sure where the money will come from.

The report breaks down cost by vehicle operating expenses, congestion and road safety. It shows that 37% percent of state maintained roads are in either poor or mediocre condition.

When you get behind the wheel each day do you ever wonder how much money it's costing you?

"The TRIP report finds that Pennsylvania road and bridges that are deficit, that are congested, or that lack desirable safety features cost the state's drivers a total of 9.4 billion dollars each year," said Carolyn Bonifas Kelly, associate director of research and communication for TRIP.

In the Lehigh Valley the average motorist is paying an extra $1,355 due to the poor conditions.

"If we don't have safe, efficient, ways to get people as well as getting goods back and forth we don't have business," added Michelle Griffin Young, executive vice president of government and external affairs for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The GLVCC has been working with state legislators to increase transportation funding in the state budget. It's something Governor Tom Corbett is looking to do as well.

"The Governor is proposing raising our revenues over a five year period by about 1.8 billion dollars a year," said Barry Schoch, PennDOT secretary. "That is going to enable us to start making improvements that affect congestion, affect safety and affect the very things that are driving up the cost for motorist."

However TRIP, a national research firm, notes that Pennsylvania bridges rank the worst in the nation.
The report shows 42% percent are in need of repair, improvement or be replaced.

Members of the GLVCC support the Pennsylvania State Transportation Advisory Committee's recommendation of $3.5 billion to fix the state's infrastructure.

"It's a question of how will government charge you," said Schoch. "Are we going to charge you to fix the problem or are we going to ignore it and allow the cost to incur in the base of safety and congestion. It's your choice."

Currently there is additional money in Governor Corbett's budget for more transportation funding. It's unclear if the money will be there when the final budget is passed.

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