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Bad roads cost California drivers $13.9 billion annually, report says

March 25, 2013|By Ronald D. White
  • The historic Ridge Route Road winds north over the San Gabriel and Tehachapi Mountains from Castaic Junction. It has been largely closed to traffic since a 2005 storm damaged it. Californians are spending $13.9 billion on repairs from driving on bad roads.
The historic Ridge Route Road winds north over the San Gabriel and Tehachapi… (Rick Loomis / Los Angeles…)

The woeful condition of California's road surfaces is costing drivers $13.9 billion a year in repairs and operating costs, according to a new report by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Clark Barrineau, manager of state public relations for ASCE, said that the $13.9 billion figure came from an analysis done by TRIP, a national transportation research group.

Barrineau said that the $13.9 billion represented what the state's drivers were paying for repairs and operation costs that they would not have incurred if they were driving on roads in good condition.

The cost works out to an average of $586 per driver, the report said.

The report assessed the state of the nation's infrastructure in all 50 states, including road and bridge conditions.

California has one of the nation's largest road systems, encompassing 171,874 public road miles, the report said.

About 68% of California’s roads were said to be in poor or mediocre condition.

Similar conditions were reported along the rest of the West Coast. About 65% of Oregon roads and 67% of Washington roads were also described as poor to mediocre.

California also has 24,812 bridges.

The report said 12% of the bridges were "structurally deficient." An additional 16.8% of the bridges were described as "functionally obsolete."

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