Legislators are being urged to create a plan for repairing rural roads and bridges after many reports have surfaced showing alarming statistics on the state of Pennsylvania's roadways.
The state was tied for 12th place for the highest percentage of major rural roads in poor condition. Perhaps even more disturbing are the state's bridges. According to TRIP – a transportation research group – nearly 30 percent of Pennsylvania's bridges are rated 'structurally deficient.'
More than 50 million people live in rural America currently, and that number is expected to grow over the next several years as the 'baby boomers' retire. Pennsylvania has the third-largest rural population in the United States and had the sixth-highest number of traffic fatalities on rural roads, even though it doesn't come in the top 20 when measured by fatalities per 100 million miles of travel.
Rural roads, highways, and bridges don't have enough capacity, don't connect to rural communities, can't accommodate freight traffic adequately, and are unsafe in many ways. Narrow lanes, sharp curves, limited or no shoulders, and other road issues make rural roads have a traffic fatality rate more than three times higher than all other roads.
State highway officials are demanding a viable funding plan that will focus on improving rural roads and deficient bridges in the hope of making them safer for motorists.
For more information on bad road conditions, visit EdgarSnyder.com.