Crumbling Down

Roads and bridges are a key part of U.S. infrastructure. These critical assets are important to jobs, growth and safety, and they need to be fixed.
Unbelievably, public spending on infrastructure is at its lowest since 1947. In its last assessment, the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave our national infrastructure a D+ rating, estimating that it would take $3.6 trillion to upgrade by the year 2020. A national transportation research group known as TRIP researches, evaluates and distributes economic and technical data on surface transportation issues for each state. And what did the group find out about our beloved Bluegrass state? A September 2014 report reveals that vehicle travel on Kentucky’s highways increased by 41 percent from 1990 to 2012, while Kentucky’s population grew by 19 percent during those same years. These increases have the added effect of congesting 57 percent of Kentucky’s major urban highways. Traffic congestion costs American motorists $121 billion a year in wasted time and fuel costs.
Further costs ($315 per KY motorist) were discovered in extra vehicle repairs and operating expenses caused by driving on roads in need of fixing.
Seven percent of Kentucky’s major roads are in poor condition, while 32 percent of its bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Motor vehicle crashes cost each Kentuckian $771 in medical costs, lost productivity, travel delays, workplace costs, insurance costs and legal costs. In addition to alleviating congestion and reducing financial costs, the report determined that improving roadways and bridges could save lives and reduce traffic wrecks. Roadway conditions are a significant factor in approximately one-third of traffic fatalities, and there were 746 traffic fatalities in 2012 in Kentucky. A total of 3,844 people died on Kentucky’s highways from 2008 through 2012 and the state’s traffic fatality rate of 1.58 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel was higher than the national average of 1.13. Furthermore, the fatality rate on the state’s rural roads was disproportionately higher than that on all other roads in the state (2.64 fatalities per 100 million miles of travel vs. 0.78). Despite its general invisibility, the disrepair of our transportation infrastructure is a serious matter. Yet, there is still no consensus on how to solve the problem or where to get the massive amounts of money needed to fix it. If you have any questions about this topic or believe that an infrastructure issue caused your accident, contact the Johnson Law Firm toll-free at 606-437-4488 or by filling out this online form.

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