New report documents urgent need for transportation investment

TRIP, a Washington D.C.-based transportation group, today released a report documenting our state’s critical transportation needs. From the press release:

According to the TRIP report, Washington’s Top Transportation Challenges: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility and Economic Vitality,” approximately one-third of the state’s locally and state-maintained urban pavements and more than one-fifth of major locally and state-maintained rural pavements are in poor condition…Driving on rough roads costs Washington motorists a total of $2.9 billion each year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs – $551 annually per driver…

Washington’s bridges are also increasingly deteriorated. Five percent of Washington’s locally and state-maintained bridges are structurally deficient, meaning they have significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components…An additional 21 percent of Washington’s locally and state-maintained bridges are functionally obsolete.

As the report summarizes,

Washington must maintain and improve its transportation system to foster economic growth and to support businesses in the state. In addition to economic growth, transportation improvements are needed to ensure safe, reliable mobility and a high quality of life for all residents. Meeting Washington’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways, bridges and transit will require significant local, state and federal funding.

The TRIP research underscores messages Opportunity Washington and many other business, labor and civic groups have been delivering over the past several years. 

Discussions are ongoing in Olympia right now to address the state’s transportation investments. The Senate has passed a solid transportation package; the House Transportation Committee has adopted its own comprehensive plan. There are no insurmountable differences between them. This is the year to act.

See also regional reports for the Seattle, Spokane, and Tri-Cities metropolitan areas.