Today TRIP, a Washington, DC-based non-profit transportation research group, released a report examining the impact Pennsylvania’s roads and bridges have on the traveling public.

The report, entitled “Pennsylvania Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility” found that poor roads and bridges cost state’s residents $9.4 billion annually in the form of additional vehicle operating costs as well as lost time and fuel due to traffic congestion.

GPCC President and CEO Rob Wonderling said “the report’s findings reiterate the need for comprehensive transportation infrastructure funding legislation this year in Harrisburg. The recent bridge collapse in Washington state is a tragic reminder of what happens when we fail to adequately invest in our infrastructure. Aside from the risk of injury, the disruption to commerce, access and mobility is devastating to businesses and citizens.”

Other findings from the report include:

  • Fifteen percent of Pennsylvania’s major roads and highways have pavements in poor condition, while an additional 22 percent of the state’s major roads are rated in mediocre condition.  Twenty-one percent are rated in fair condition and the remaining 43 percent are rated in good condition.
  • Twenty-five percent of Pennsylvania’s bridges are structurally deficient – the highest share in the nation. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components.
  • The fatality rate on Pennsylvania’s rural non-Interstate roads was 2.33 fatalities per 100 vehicle miles of travel in 2011, nearly two-and-a-half times higher than the 0.95 fatality rate in 2011 on all other roads and highways in the state.

According to the Corbett Administration, passage of a transportation infrastructure funding bill would cost the average Pennsylvania motorist $43 to adequately maintain and improve our roadways and bridges among other infrastructure needs, including transit.

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is working with a broad coalition of stakeholders including the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, organized labor, and the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition to advance a comprehensive, intermodal transportation funding bill that contains adequate investment in highways, bridges, transit, ports and airports.