TRIP finds Illinois roads costing state $18B
A Washington, D.C.-based transportation research group found that Illinois' deteriorating roads are costing the state $18.3 billion each year.
TRIP announced its report at a Wednesday press conference, noting that individual motorists are losing up to $2,559 annually because 42 percent of the state's roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
"Driving on rough roads is becoming more than a nuisance," Carolyn Kelly, associate director of research and communication for TRIP, said at the press conference.
The report also found that Illinois' roads are becoming increasingly congested, with Chicago drivers losing 63 hours per year, and that more than 5,000 individuals were killed in traffic accidents from 2013 to 2017. TRIP noted that a lack of adequate roadway safety features likely contributed to the accidents.
"We need to modernize the current system," Sen. Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles) said. "The TRIP report mirrors a study done a few years ago. The report clearly highlights financial strain and it costs people many dollars. The is a safety issue. We have over 2,000 bridges that need to be repaired in the state. We need to act now to make bridges and roads safer and more attractive."
House Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Frankfort) said her constituents have told her that transportation is a priority for them.
"The situation now is that people take side streets to get where they’re going," McDermed said. "I have to be a transportation champion to fix this for my district. This is an issue not only in my district, but it’s everywhere in the state. We need to become part of the 21st century and invest in all the things we need to facilitate global transportation."