With the nation's road repair fund running on fumes, a transportation research and lobbying group has collected data on just how much bad roads are costing American drivers in higher repair bill.
Every spring thaw brings potholes. This year, one of the harshest winters in memory is turning America's highways into a historic pothole-palooza. Now, just as state highway departments are scrambling to patch up the damage, Congress is bickering over how to replenish the federal highway trust fund that states rely on to pay for those projects.
More than a quarter of the nation's major urban roads were in bad shape as of 2013, the latest data available, according to TRIP, which published the report Thursday. The cost of repairing the resulting broken axles, blown tires and battered shock absorbers cost the average urban driver $516 a year.
In cities with populations of 500,000 or more, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, topped the list for the worst road conditions, according to the report. Among smaller cities (with 250,000 to 500,000 people) Flint, Michigan, Antioch, California, and Santa Rosa, California, have the worst road conditions, according to the report.
Those poor road conditions cost drivers in San Francisco an estimated $1,044 per year in maintenance costs, more than double the national average.
All in, TRIP estimates that the nationwide annual cost of driving on bad roads comes to about $109 billion. That's more than the combined federal, state and local spending of $91 billion a year in 2013, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.