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Report: Drivers Waste Thousands Each Year Due To Poor Road Conditions, Traffic

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The crumbling roads due to the harsh winter conditions have been costly for drivers, according to a new report.

As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, if you drive in New York City, you waste nearly $2,300 a year.

“Roughly $673 is extra-vehicle operating costs; driving over roads that are rutted, potholed and wasted gasoline,” Will Wilkins with the transportation research group TRIP said at a press conference Wednesday. “Statewide, 45 percent of the state’s local or state-maintained roads are in either poor or mediocre condition.”

The TRIP report said fuel is needlessly wasted when drivers sit in traffic.

“When you invest in roads and bridges, every dollar invested returns $5.20,” Wilkins said.

WEB EXTRA: Read The Full Report (pdf)

Experts said not enough has been invested.

“In January, we had 13,000 flat tire calls in New York, which is a record number,” John Corlett of AAA New York said. “That mostly is a result of people hitting potholes.”

As CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported, funding for the nation’s bridges and roads is only going to get worse. The Federal Highway Trust Fund is going to dry up this year.

The report also said nearly one-third of New York’s state-maintained bridges are in need of replacement.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said it accelerated repairs and replacement of 120 bridges, and the paving of 2,100 miles of roads, but the potholes keep popping up, Brennan reported.

“Hey, it’s winter in New York. A little extra salt, a little bigger pothole. Hey, what are you gonna do?” said truck driver Cliff Abrahamson.

The transportation industry along with construction groups have called on Congress to pass a new transportation bill before the current one expires in September. Without a law on the books, they warned New York could lose a big chunk of its road funding.

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