Report: Connecticut roads among worst in the country - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Report: Connecticut roads among worst in the country

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Some residents have always felt it has been a bit of a bumpy ride while traveling in Connecticut.

A new study titled Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America's Heartland shows Connecticut has some of the worst roads in the nation. A White House report says that more than 40 percent of state roads are in poor condition.

It wasn't long ago when Connecticut residents were dealing with some of the worst pothole seasons in decades. Those problems are still lingering.

Officials at the White House said Connecticut needs to do something on a federal level and needs increased funding for roads to improve infrastructure.

The study shows that Connecticut along with Rhode Island were tied for the worst roads in the country. The study shows that 35 percent of state roads are in bad shape.

Officials with Connecticut Department of Transportation said an annual highway capital plan of more than $1 billion focuses on a "multitude of infrastructure needs."

"Our program is balanced, but is geared toward addressing the most critical and important needs first, with safety issues being our highest priority. While road roughness/rideability indexes would ideally be perfect or better than we are currently rated, it does not reflect a safety issue, nor the overall quality or efficiency of our infrastructure - it's only one measure, among many. There are virtually limitless infrastructure needs, and of course, finite funding resources. We prioritize those resources to best address the most pressing needs of our state," DOT Spokesman Kevin J Nursick said in a statement to Eyewitness News on Tuesday.

Connecticut winters are probably not the cause of the bad roadways, according to the study. Maine has the best roads in New England with only 7 percent of their roads in bad shape.

The White House officials said Connecticut drivers are shelling out more than $600 per year to cover vehicle repair and maintenance costs.

Minority Leader Pro Tempore Len Fasano blamed Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for the state of Connecticut roads.

"White House report shows that Malloy failed to improve transportation in our state," Fasano tweeted Tuesday.

The study shows that "the nation's rural transportation system" is in "need of modernization to address deficient roads and bridges, high crash rates and inadequate connectivity and capacity.

"More than 46 million Americans live in rural and less densely populated areas of the country where their primary mode of transportation is a personal vehicle," stated Kathleen Bower, AAA vice president for public affairs.

Bower said the federal government needs to move fast and "provide a sustainable solution for the federal highway trust fund."

She added by getting federal funding "states can continue to make necessary infrastructure investments that will benefit all travelers."

"Motorists expect and deserve safe, well maintained roads and bridges no matter if they are traveling on the Interstates or rural roads," Bower said. 

Drivers in the state don't seemed surprised about Connecticut's ratings in this study.

"No one ever does anything. Branford's pretty bad, East Haven is pretty bad, the highways are always bad," said Gus Pole of Branford.

Ann Dorio of Berlin said "the back roads, they're the worst because they don't get a lot of attention."

The White House said if Congress doesn't act soon it could have a real impact on the state. About 1,600 ongoing highway or transit jobs could be slowed or stopped and more than 9,000 jobs could be in jeopardy.

While some roads may be bumpy, the state's DOT said the roads are safe.

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