NJs Poor Road Conditions Cost Drivers $713 per Year


37% of roads in New Jersey are in poor condition costing each motorist $713 per year. A look at how unmaintained infrastructure impacts your wallet.

According to the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, less than 42% of our nation’s roads are in good condition. Overall, our deteriorating roads have forced motorists to spend nearly $130 billion each year on extra vehicle repairs and operating costs.

America’s roads are critical for moving an ever-increasing number of people and goods. However, these vital lifelines are deteriorating.

The number of vehicle miles traveled on roads in “poor” condition has risen from 15% to more than 17% over the last decade.

As the backlog of rehabilitation needs grows, motorists are forced to pay over $1,000 every year in repairs, wasted time, and fuel. Additionally, while traffic fatalities have declined, over 36,000 people are still dying on the nation’s roads every year, and the number of pedestrian fatalities is on the rise.

In fact, in 2019, over 6,000 pedestrians were killed, marking a 60% increase in pedestrian fatalities from 10 years prior and the highest number since 1988.

Federal, state, and local governments will need to prioritize strategic investments dedicated to improving and preserving roadway conditions that increase public safety with the system we have in place, as well as plan for the roadways of the future, which will need to account for connected and autonomous vehicles.

The most well-maintained roads in the country are in Oregon, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Tennessee, and Alabama.

Unfortunately, New Jersey has some of the country's worst and most costly road conditions, as you can see in the figure below.

And roads aren’t the only deteriorating infrastructure costing New Jerseyan’s money.

  • 7.8% of bridges are structurally deficient
  • New Jersey needs approximately $8.6 billion in urgent drinking water system repairs
  • 229 of NJs nearly 1,700 dams are considered to be high-hazard potential
  • The state’s schools have an estimated capital expenditure gap of $1.58 billion

This deteriorating infrastructure impedes New Jersey’s ability to compete in an increasingly global marketplace.

Success in a 21st-century economy requires serious, sustained leadership on infrastructure investment at all levels of government. Delaying these investments only escalates the cost and risks of an aging infrastructure system, an option that the country, New Jersey, and families can no longer afford.

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