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New Report Evaluates Current Road and Bridge Conditions

ALBANY -- A new report released by a national non-profit transportation research group called "Trip" says you're losing over $1,000 each year.

Today's findings focus on road and bridge conditions, traffic congestion, and highway safety here in Albany and across the state.

"There's a lot of list we'd like to be on. This is not one of them. We wish we weren't on this list to say we need these investments, but we do," says Albany County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Mark Eagan.

The trip report says New York roads and bridges that carry heavy volume, or which lack all of the desirable safety features, cost state drivers a total of $20.3 billion each year, and trip says a big chunk of that change is coming out of your wallet.

"Each driver in Albany loses an average of $1,600 each year as a result of driving on roads that are either deteriorated, congested, or aren't as safe as they could be," says trip associate director of research and communication, Carolyn Kelly.

Kelly says while these costs are high, they are only expected to get higher, as the state's roads continue to deteriorate, unless more funding becomes available.

"Throughout the state a total of 45% of major roads are either in poor or mediocre condition, and here in Albany 51% of major roads are in either poor or mediocre condition," says Kelly.

As for bridges, the trip report finds 32% need to be repaired, replaced, or rehabilitated.

The trip report also says Albany's drivers are contending with increased traffic every day. Kelly says the average Albany-area driver loses 31 hours each year because they are stuck in congestion, and that kind of lost time and wasted fuel cost the average Albany driver nearly $700 annually.

As for highway safety, a lot of the roads need safety improvements. Kelly says Traffic crashes on New York's roads killed more than 6,000 people in the last five years.

According to trip, the roads and bridges in need of repair are still safe to drive on. Trip says they are maintained and monitored on a regular basis.
 
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