TRIP, a national transportation research group that functions as a think tank and is funded by road designers and constructors, equipment manufacturers, insurance companies, and others, recently published a report detailing the state of America’s rural roads. According to the report’s executive summary:
The economy of rural America, which supports the quality of life for the approximately 46 million Americans living in rural areas, rides on the quality and connectivity of the rural transportation system. But roads, highways and bridges in the nation’s heartland face a number of significant challenges: they lack adequate capacity, they fail to provide needed levels of connectivity to many communities, they are not built to adequate standards to accommodate growing freight travel in many corridors, rural roads and bridges have significant deficiencies, they lack many desirable safety features, and they experience serious traffic crashes at a rate far higher than all other roads and highways.
The report goes into great detail discussing these problems, potential fixes, and the benefits that an improved rural road system could mean to the nation’s economy and overall highway safety.
AGC recently weighed in on the significance of the report. AGC President, Stephen E. Sandherr, released an official statement on the report and renewed AGC’s push for increased federal funding for road and infrastructure improvement projects.
As this report makes clear, Washington’s failure to adequately fund repairs to our aging network of roads and bridges is having an even worse impact on our rural roads than the rest of our transportation system. And while these rural roads may not be the ones most commuters use on a daily basis, they play a vital role in assuring the movement of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of agricultural, energy and manufacturing products every day. Neglecting our rural road network needlessly risks lives and forces shipping delays that inflate the cost of fuel, groceries and countless other essential consumer products.
The release also mentions AGC’s ongoing Hardhats for Highways campaign, which allows AGC members to contact their elected officials and push for a new transportation spending bill.