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New study finds poor road & bridge conditions costing WNY drivers thousands

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Running into a pothole is not uncommon when you drive down many roads in WNY.

"Last year we received more than 59,000 calls for flat tires alone," said Elizabeth Carey, AAA of WNY Director of Public Relations  

According to a new report by TRIP, a national transportation research group, the average driver in the Buffalo Niagara Falls area loses more than $1,700 a year due to driving on roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested, or lacking a safety feature.

"Your vehicle is depreciating that much more quickly, it's essentially just going to mean you're going to need to replace that vehicle sooner than you'd like to," said Rocky Moretti, TRIP Director of Policy and Research.

City officials have not yet seen the report, but on a yearly average spend between $20-$30 million dollars on street related infrastructure, including new streets & roads.  

Elizabeth Carey with AAA of WNY says harsh winters are partly to blame for the poor road conditions.

"A lot of times it will cause the road to actually buckle and break into different places. So when it starts deteriorating it just gets worse with the cold and the icy conditions, and the changing warm weather cold weather back and forth," said Carey.

The TRIP report found that 15% of major local and state maintained roads in the Buffalo Niagara Falls area are in poor condition and another 25% are in mediocre condition.

The study did not point out specific roads and bridges in WNY but according to the report, a lack of funding is also to blame.

"The transportation agencies in the state don't have adequate resources to make the improvements that are necessary and as road and bridges age the cost of repairing them only increases," said Moretti.

New York State Department of Transportation’s response to the TRIP report:

“New York State’s $100 billion infrastructure program is by far the most aggressive building program of its kind in the United States.  The modernization of our roads and bridges is especially important for our economic competitiveness as we continue to face unique challenges, including the age of our infrastructure, extreme weather and heavy congestion in our urban areas.  The TRIP report is a strong reminder of the need for a renewed and sustained federal partnership in addressing infrastructure needs.”


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