A recent report released by Washington, D.C. based The Road Information Project ("TRIP") regarding their review of New York State's roadways included the following disturbing statistics:
- 25% of NYS's bridges are "functionally obsolete"; another 12% of the bridges are "structurally deficient";
- More than 45% of NY's major roads are graded as either "mediocre" or "poor";
- Nearly half of NY's city, or "urban" highways are congested.
The unnecessary road repairs and traffic-related delays costs each NYS driver over $400 per year - aside from the effect it has on NY business' bottom line. (This is to say nothing of the increased likelihood of New York car accidents resulting from the roads' poor conditions.)
It gets worse.
The NYS Department of Transportation estimates that updating the State's roads will cost $175 billion - that's right - billion - over the next two decades. And the State doesn't have nearly enough money to cover the cost. In case you were wondering what happened with the gas taxes and automobile fees that were being collected since 1990, guess what happened to that money - the State spent it, using that money to pay back other day-to-day expenses that were incurred through other "questionable" spending policies. It is also rather safe to assume that part of the problem lay in the fact that the DOT had no commissioner heading the agency for over 1-1/2 years.
Let's hope the State figures out some solutions to this problem before the hole they've dug becomes even harder to climb out of.