Study Finds Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana Urban Area Has Some of the Worst Roads in the Nation

Long Beach area roads are considered some of the worst in the nation, costing area drivers $1,031 in vehicle operating costs annually, according to a report released Thursday.

The findings by the Washington, DC-based national transportation research group TRIP stated that 73 percent of major roads in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana urban area are in poor condition—ranking the region second among urban areas with a population of 500,000 or more.

The area also ranked second in the amount of money drivers have to shell out annually—$1,031—with regard to maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear.

The report, titled “Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother,” examines urban pavement conditions, transportation funding, travel trends and economic development for areas with populations of 250,000 or greater and 500,000 or greater, the release states.

road report

Screen shot of a portion of the report.

“The poor conditions of our roads and highways should be a principal concern of legislators,” Tom Holsman, Associated General Contractors of California’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “The insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund is indicative of how imperative it is that legislators pass a multi-year highway bill that will provide for a long-term solution before the state of our infrastructure deteriorates further.”

The release stated that federal government is a critical source of funding for road and highway repairs, and the expiration of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act on July 21 could threaten the future condition of the country’s roads and highways.

"The long-term preservation and maintenance of our national transportation system depends on federal investment," said Bud Wright, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. "We can do better than the uncertainty of short-term extensions. America needs Congress to fully fund a multi-year surface transportation bill."

According to the release, 28 percent of the nation’s major urban roads in 2013 had pavements with substandard conditions, costing the average urban driver $516 annually. Nationwide, its costs $109.3 billion annually to drive on deteriorated roads.

TRIP officials say that urban roads and highways are expected to see more wear and tear as vehicle travel growth rates return to pre-recession levels and large truck travel is anticipated to grow.

Vehicle travel increased by 1.7 percent from 2013 to 2014 and increased 3.9 percent during the first four months of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014, the release stated. Travel remained largely unchanged from 2008 to 2013.

The amount of large commercial truck travel in the country is expected to increase by 72 percent from 2015 to 2030, officials added.

“Congress could reduce the extra costs borne by motorists driving on rough roads by authorizing a long-term, adequately funded federal transportation program that improves road conditions on the nation’s major roads and highways,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director.

The only region that ranked higher than Southern California in its bracket was the San Francisco-Oakland area, with 74 percent calculated poor roads that cost drivers $1,044 annually.

Rounding out the top three included Concord, California with 62 percent of poor roads that cost drivers $954 annually.

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