Study: Bad roads cost Denver-area drivers thousands of dollars each year

DENVER -- Driving on Denver metro area roads costs motorists thousands of dollars each year, according to a report released Wednesday.

The report from TRIP, a national nonprofit transportation research group in Washington, says each Denver area driver loses $2,162 a year on roads that are deteriorated, congested and lacking in safety features.

RELATED: TRIP report on Colorado roads

The report, "Colorado Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility," looked at road and bridge conditions, congestion, economic development, highway safety and transportation funding in the state.

The organization looked at data across the state.

“Our transportation infrastructure is falling further and further behind,” said Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. “If we want to continue to grow our economy, ensure our quality of life, and create jobs, we must build and invest in a system that provides mobility choices for everyone -- from increased lanes to technology solutions to bicycle and pedestrian options. Transportation is our top priority and we urge lawmakers to join us in finding a long-term, sustainable funding source for our infrastructure needs.”

The report found 80 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in the Denver urban area are in poor or mediocre condition.

“Colorado has experienced unprecedented growth in the last 20 years, but the state lacks a reliable and sustainable long term funding source to meet our resulting transportation infrastructure needs,” said Bob Golden, president and CEO of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce.

“This report makes a direct connection between that lack of investment and the impact to our pocketbooks. Now, more than ever, we need our policymakers to identify a solution to address this challenge. The cost to our businesses and our citizens of doing nothing is far too extreme.” 

Congestion is worsening, causing 49 hours a year of delay for the average driver.

“Business leaders around our state see Colorado trailing states such as Utah and Texas, two of our biggest competitors, on key commerce and tourism opportunities due to outdated, unmaintained and congested roadways,” said Jeff Wasden, president of the Colorado Business Roundtable. “We can no longer kick this can down the road and this report makes that connection in a very real way.”

“These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the state and local levels of government,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director.

“Without adequate funding, Colorado’s transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth and quality of life of the state’s residents.”