Why good roads and bridges matter to you and our economy

Why good roads and bridges matter to you and our economy

May 14, 2015 | OReGO Team

It’s now May and, while the days are getting longer, the sun may soon set on almost half our nation’s transportation funding as the Federal Highway Trust Fund is on pace for insolvency by sometime this summer. Unless Congress takes action quickly, badly needed road and bridge work across the country will be delayed or cancelled due to a lack of funding. And this has a big impact for Oregon because about 20 percent of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s funding comes from the Federal Highway Trust Fund.

Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers publishes a report card on the state of America’s infrastructure. In the most recent study, published in 2013, America’s national transportation system received a D letter grade. That’s not exactly the kind of report card you want to show off on the refrigerator!

Without a proper funding mechanism in place, America’s — and Oregon’s — crowded, deteriorating roads and bridges will continue to eat away at our personal pocketbooks and our state’s economy. Currently, better than 42 percent of America’s major highways are congested, costing our economy approximately $101 billion in wasted fuel and time annually. Don’t own a car and think good roads don’t matter to you? Imagine a world where the grocery store shelves are empty, where ambulances and firetrucks can’t respond to emergencies quickly and effectively. Whether we’re affected directly or indirectly, a well-maintained road network is an essential component of our daily lives.

Beyond the financial implications, there are serious safety issues that go hand-in-hand with our deteriorating transportation system. Poor road conditions and structurally deficient bridges can lead to serious accidents, injuries and deaths. Recent data from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association found that 439 of Oregon’s bridges are currently structurally compromised but are still used about 1.5 million times per day by cars, trucks, school buses and other vehicles.

That’s why Oregon isn’t waiting around for Congress to take action. The OReGO road usage charge program is pioneering a more sustainable and equitable transportation funding system that will help maintain, preserve and improve Oregon’s roads and bridges. Our personal safety and the state’s economy depend upon it.

Join the OReGO Interest List today and learn how you can help keep Oregon’s highways in good shape and our economy on the move!

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