Wis. road conditions costly for motorists

Posted at 7:11 PM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 20:15:45-04

It's a mess along many roads in Southeast Wisconsin. The crumbling and congested streets are costing drivers a lot of time and money.

According to the non-profit research group, TRIPP,  the big bumps and rough roads are costing Milwaukee drivers big bucks.

The organization says on average, each driver  is shelling out about $2100 dollars a year, because of poor road conditions.

"Drivers are losing money on vehicle depreciation, car maintenance, and increased tire wear as a result of driving on rough roads,” said Carolyn Bonifas Kelly with TRIPP.

Count Zakkiyya Lihford among one of the many frustrated drivers in the Milwaukee area.

“What a lot of people have to do is go around the potholes.  They are that bad. Sometimes you can't go around them so you have to go in them,” Lihford said.

As millions of dollars are being spent on major projects across the city, including the zoo interchange, a recently released report shows more money is needed to sufficiently improve road conditions.

Steve Bass with Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce agrees.

"You can hate having a higher registration fee or higher gas tax, but you are going to pay one way or another.
Either higher costs, or decreased safety, or there will be some other revenue source in the mix,” Bass said, during an interview with TODAY’S TMJ4.

The report also shows drivers are struggling by sitting in more frequent and longer duration traffic jams. The clogged up roads are becoming a new reality for Milwaukee motorists.

That reality has recently made national headlines. Wisconsin’s roads were ranked the third worst in the nation, according to a report by the American Society of Civil Engineers, something that that Wisconsin Department of Transportation refutes.

The average American driver spends 38 hours a year stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, according to a study by Texas A&M University.

Right now, the study by TRIP is just that, a study. It shows there is not enough transportation funds slated for state, local and federal projects. Lawmakers are looking at creative ways to generate the much needed revenue.

In the meantime, if you live in the city of Milwaukee and see a pothole on your street, you can click here to report it.  If you live in other areas, contact your village, town, or city. If the pothole is on a state or county highway, contact the county highway department. 

If you've already reported a pothole, and it hasn't been repaired in a reasonable amount of time, you can also reach out to Call4Action by calling 414-967-5495, or by clicking here.