Everyone has a traffic horror story that’s come with a high cost—a missed meeting, family dinner, or the Little League opening pitch. These are the moments and memories that are lost as we sit imprisoned in our vehicles. Today, the biggest obstacle that stands between us and the places we work, live and play is thousands of miles of crumbling roads, highways and bridges that are creating bottlenecks and gridlock.
The problem has reached a tipping point. Just last month, chunks of falling concrete struck cars traveling under bridges in California and Massachusetts. We are no longer facing a future highway maintenance crisis. We’re living it. In nearly 53 percent of the highway fatalities, the condition of the roadway contributed. Every day we fail to invest, we’re putting more lives at risk.
In February, the American Transport Research Institute released its annual list of top 100 bottlenecks in the country that rob us all of time and money. Time wasted sitting in traffic – rather than at work or with our families – has skyrocketed. The typical commuter spends 42 hours each year sitting in traffic, and motorists now pay an annual average of $1,600 in vehicle repairs, wasted gas and lost time – all as a result of our failing infrastructure. The trucking industry loses 1.2 billion hours of productivity every year because of traffic congestion, which is the equivalent of 425,000 truck drivers sitting idle for an entire year. That adds $74.5 billion in additional operating costs to the nation’s supply chain – costs that ultimately reach the end consumer.