TRIP: Rural road system faces funding backlog made worse by pandemic
The rural road system in America faces a more than $200-Billion-dollar backlog in needed repairs, according to a new report. Rocky Moretti, with the National Transportation Research Nonprofit (TRIP) says the funding issue is being made worse by the pandemic. Moretti tells Brownfield Ag News, “Because of reduced driving because of the pandemic which is reducing gas tax and toll revenues, it’s actually anticipated that state and local governments over the next several months are going to see a total of $50 Billion dollars of reduced transportation revenues.”
Moretti says the rural road system is important not only to farmers and rural residents but the whole country, “But it’s also absolutely vital to the nation’s supply chain. And we’re seeing this during the coronavirus pandemic that the critical importance of that rural transportation system is actually heightened by the challenges the nation’s facing.”
Moretti says four out of 10 rural roads (minus interstates) are in poor to fair shape, half of rural bridges are fair or poor and traffic fatalities on rural roads are double that on all other roads. He tells Brownfield Congress has two critical chances to improve funding – through pandemic stimulus funds and when the long-term surface transportation program is up for renewal at the end of September.