Major roadways and highways in the Bay Area and throughout California rank among the worst in the country, according to a study released today by a national transportation research group.
According to the study by TRIP, an organization that favors highway construction, California has the second highest share of major roads in poor condition in the nation, trailing only New Jersey.
The study, which is based on Federal Highway Administration data, says 35 percent of California’s roads are in poor condition and 46 percent of New Jersey’s roads are in poor condition.
In a comparison of metropolitan areas, the San Francisco-Oakland and San Jose areas are in a three-way tie with Honolulu with 61 percent of their highways in poor condition, trailing only Los Angeles, where 64 percent of highways are in poor condition.
The study says California faces an estimated annual transportation funding shortfall of nearly $11 billion to improve the state’s roads, bridges and public transportation systems.
It concludes that without a significant long-term increase in transportation funding, road and bridge conditions will continue to deteriorate, congestion will worsen and the condition of the state’s public transportation system will decline.
The report says that with an unemployment rate of 12.5 percent, the fourth highest in the nation, and with the state’s population continuing to grow, California needs to improve its system of roads, highways, bridges and public transit in order to foster economic growth and improve the quality of life.
Will Wilkins, the executive director of TRIP, which is based in Washington, D.C., said in a statement, “It is critical that the state adequately fund its transportation system and that Congress produces a timely and adequately funded federal surface transportation program.”
Wilkins said, “Thousands of jobs and the state’s economy are riding on it.”
A 2007 analysis by the Federal Highway Administration found that every $1 billion spent on highway construction would support about 27,800 jobs.
The report says 75 percent of major roadways in the San Francisco-Oakland area experience significant rush hour delays, costing the average motorist 55 hours per year stuck in traffic.
In the San Jose area, 67 percent of major roadways have significant rush hour delays, costing the average motorist 53 hours per year, according to the report.
The reports says that in the San Francisco-Oakland area, the most deteriorated stretch of state highway is state Highway 112, also known as Davis Street, from Doolittle Drive in San Leandro to state Highway 185 in San Leandro.
The second worst is state Highway 13 from Broadway Terrace in Oakland to Seventh Street in Berkeley.
In the San Jose area, according to the report, the most deteriorated section is state Highway 87 from state Highway 85 in San Jose to U.S. Highway 101 in San Jose.