RICHMOND, Va. -- "One-third of Virginia's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition," according to a new TRIP report put out today by the national transportation research nonprofit based in Washington, DC.
TRIP looked at the condition, reliability, safety, and funding needs of Virginia's roads, highways, and bridges for the study.
“Businesses rely on efficient and effective transportation infrastructure to move goods and services to markets. The TRIP report highlights the importance of transportation investments to ensuring continued economic growth and supporting our goal of being the best state for business," Keith Martin, the executive vice president for public policy and government relations at the Virginia Chamber, said.
TRIP reported that in 2022 the number of vehicle miles of travel in Virginia rebounded from pandemic lows to just 2% behind 2019's levels. And during the first six months of 2023, that number was 3% higher than the first six months of 2022. That would put the number greatly over 2019's pre-pandemic numbers.
Those higher numbers, according to the report, lead to congested roads, highways, and bottlenecks slowing commutes and commerce in Virginia. In fact, according to TRIP, the average Richmond driver loses 34 hours to congestion every year and that amounts to $791 in lost time and fuel consumption.
And the cost to Richmond residents doesn't stop there. TRIP said that in the Richmond Metro area, 48% of major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. That costs the average Richmond driver $596 annually in extra vehicle operating costs like repair costs and tire wear.
Across the Commonwealth the total of those extra vehicle operating costs is $3.2 billion.
Overall in the state, the study said 13% of roads were in poor condition and 23% were in mediocre condition.
“Virginia is putting increased state and federal transportation dollars to good use and making needed improvements to its transportation network,” said Dave Kearby, TRIP’s executive director. “But, the state’s ability to provide a smooth, reliable, and safe transportation system depends on long-term, consistent and sufficient funding. A safe and reliable transportation system that is maintained in good condition and offers improved mobility and accessibility to meet the needs of Virginia residents, businesses, and tourists alike, is critical to keeping Virginia mobile and moving the state forward.”
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