Connecticut's highways, bridges among the most congested, deteri - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Connecticut's highways, bridges among the most congested, deteriorated in the country

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The Gold Star Bridge in Groton. (Wikicommons photo) The Gold Star Bridge in Groton. (Wikicommons photo)

Connecticut's interstates are among the most congested and its highway bridges are among the most deteriorated in the country, according to a research group.

This as the country's Interstate Highway System turns 60 this week.

TRIP, which billed itself as a Washington D.C.-based transportation research group, published its findings in its report “The Interstate Highway System Turns 60: Challenges to Its Ability to Continue to Save Lives, Time and Money."

It said that the state has the third highest rate of vehicle travel per lane mile and its interstates are the eighth most congested. It said 60 percent of Connecticut's urban interstates experience congestion during peak hours.

TRIP said 7 percent of highway bridges are structurally deficient, which is the fifth highest rate in the nation. Here's a list of the top 10.

The report said the Interstate Highway System faces increasing congestion, unprecedented levels of travel, particularly by large trucks, and insufficient funding to make needed repairs.

“While we celebrate the 60th anniversary of our Interstate Highway System, the record number of motorists using it are all too aware of the need for improvements,” said Amy Parmenter, AAA spokesperson. “If we want to be in a better place down the road, the importance of funding these improvements cannot be understated.”

Jack Condlin, president and CEO of the Stamford Chamber of Commerce, called the state and the rest of the northeast a poster child for congestion.

“When you consider that the Interstate system, which was developed in the 1950’s for the purpose of interstate commerce and possible evacuation routes for national emergencies, neither of these functions are now served by our present system,” he said.

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimated the current backlog of needed improvements to the interstate system to be $189 billion. Experts said the nation's current transportation investment is less than 61 percent of the amount needed to keep the roads and bridges in good condition.

To read the complete report from TRIP, click here.

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