March 1, 2021


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Examine finds transportation problems charge Maine motorists more than $1 billion a 12 months

3 min read

Maine’s battered and congested road technique charges motorists across the state a complete of $1.3 billion on a yearly basis in servicing, repair service and squandered time and gasoline, according to a new analysis from a national advocacy group.

Bigger working prices, site visitors collisions and delays price Portland-location motorists an average of just about $1,400 a year every, in accordance to a report issued this week by Journey, a nationwide transportation research nonprofit centered in Washington, D.C.

Maintenance and repair to Maine’s streets and bridges are chronically underfunded, and the condition Section of Transportation estimates unmet highway funding is at the very least $232 million a 12 months.

“These circumstances are only likely to get worse, rising the further prices to motorists, if larger expense is not manufactured accessible at federal, state and neighborhood degrees of governing administration,” claimed Excursion Executive Director Dave Kearby in a information launch. “Without sufficient funding, Maine’s transportation method will grow to be increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic progress, safety and high-quality of daily life.”

Pretty much fifty percent the streets in Greater Portland are in very poor or mediocre affliction, the research group described. About 27 bridges, 8 percent of them in the Portland area, are rated structurally deficient, it included.

Lousy roadways and bridges price tag every single Portland-place motorist an common of about $531 a year in excess car or truck operating costs and $293 a calendar year in safety-relevant charges, Journey reported.

Congestion is worse in and all around Portland than everywhere else in the state, scientists located. Far more than three-quarters of the 20 most congested targeted traffic corridors in the state are in Larger Portland, which includes elements of Interstate 295, Congress Road, Route 302 and roadways all around Gorham. Site visitors congestion costs Portland-region motorists an regular of $568 and 28 hrs a 12 months, according to a 2019 report from the Texas Transportation Institute.

Statewide, 23 % of Maine’s significant roads are in weak condition, and 21 p.c are in mediocre condition, in accordance to TRIP’s report.

Site visitors congestion has reduced in Maine for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, slipping by virtually half in the course of a statewide lockdown past April. Quite a few motorists have returned to the roadways since then, but in November, vehicle travel remained 12 per cent under the exact period of time a calendar year previously, in accordance to Excursion researchers.

Declining targeted traffic and frustrated gasoline tax income has put Maine’s underfunded highway budget in a harder posture. A a few-12 months road and bridge perform strategy estimates revenues will be down $30 million in the fiscal year ending in June. The division expects lawmakers to deliver a $150 million transportation bond to voters this yr to pay for assignments.

Maine Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Observe explained in a statement that the moment the condition is via the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout, it will have to take care of the structural profits problems to maintain and make focused enhancements to the state’s transportation system.

“Investing in transportation is vital to transferring Maine forward,” Van Notice said.

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