Position Papers
Published in
Submitted by
Caroline Visser
Related theme(s)
Finances & Economics, Governance
USA and Canada (USC)
United States of America

Rough Roads Ahead: Fix Them Now or Pay for It Later

This report dentifies the conditions of the United States’ major highways, the costs to preserve the highway system, added costs to motorists due to poor pavement, and state solutions to shore up their highways. 

Quick facts: 

  • One-third of the nation’s highways – interstates, freeways and major roads – are in poor or mediocre condition.

  • More than one-quarter of major urban roads, which carry the brunt of national traffic, are in poor condition.

  • Major urban centers have the roughest roads – more than 60 percent of the roads in the greater Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco-Oakland, Honolulu and Washington, DC, areas offer a poor ride.

  • Rough roads add an average of $335 to the annual cost of owning a car – in some cities an additional $740 more – due to damaged tires, suspensions and reduced fuel efficiency.

  • Every $1 spent in keeping a good road good precludes spending $6-$14 to rebuild one that has deteriorated.

More background information is available at: http://roughroads.transportation.org/