Our roads, bridges and transit systems are too old and need repair or replacement.
- Only half of the nation’s major roads are in good condition, based on an analysis of recent Federal Highway Administration data. The situation is worse in high traffic, urban areas where one in four roads is in poor condition. In some major urban centers, more than 60% of roads are in poor condition. In 2007, these urban roads carried two-thirds of the nation’s vehicle traffic. (link to Rough Roads)
- One out of four bridges either needs significant repair or is too narrow to handle today’s traffic.
- The average age of the nation’s bridges is 43 years. Most bridges need significant repairs by the time they reach 50 years of age.
- Half of the nation's transit buses and rail cars have exceeded their service life or will do so within the next six years.
- As our population, travel, and economic activity increases,there is more wear and tear on the nation's roads, bridges, and public transit systems.
- Since 1990, the U.S. population increased 23 percent and the number of miles driven increased by 41 percent.
- Transit use increased 41 percent since 1995.
What Lies Beneath?
Why must we invest in rebuilding highways from the ground up? A new video, Life Cycle of a Highway, produced by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), vividly illustrates what happens below the surface of highways after 50 years of car and truck traffic have passed over them. Drivers can feel the bumps and potholes, but what they don't see is how rock and soil layers supporting the roadway crumble regardless of what is done to the surface. Eventually, the highway has to be completely rebuilt and the price tag grows the longer the work is delayed. MoDOT is making the video available to all states to use in communicating the need to reinvest in highways. Contact Shane.Peck@modot.mo.gov for more information.