New study finds TN motorists pay billions in car maintenance due to rough roads

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TENNESSEE (WJHL)- According to a new transportation study, Tennessee roads are costing drivers in the volunteer state some big bucks. The study focuses on the need for more money to improve roadways across Tennessee.

A study from Trip, a national transportation research group, finds that some Tennessee roadways are costing motorists over 5 billion dollars annually.

Washington County Highway Superintendent, John B. Deakins Jr., said, “Nobody wants to increase taxes, but if people want to maintain safe roads and safe bridges then you’ve got to pay for them.”

Deakins is also a member of the Transportation Coalition for Tennessee and said, “Some of our material has increased 500% or more.”

Trip’s study goes on to state that these billions of dollars, that roadways are costing drivers, are the result of roads being deficient, congested, and lacking the proper safety features. Deakins said these problems are not only bad for the roads, but it’s also bad for vehicles and those behind the wheel.

Deakins said, “The poorer the condition the roads are in, the more it’s going to cost to keep a car repaired and in good shape.”

Deakins said, for the first time in Washington County, the highway department has had to take out half a million dollars in bonds in order to make necessary repairs. “If we don’t keep our bridges up to standard, we could lose our state funding,” he said.

Arthur Ushka said that under a fresh blanket of snow, in his neighborhood, are potholes and uneven pavement that could cause damage.

Ushka said, “The cracking in the street gets worse… and with the snow and ice, it just compounds the problem.” “I’m concerned because, every time a car drives by, I can hear it hitting the cracks which are right outside my driveway.”

Ushka said temporary fixes just won’t work. “The patching compound is a band-aid and right now I would say it’s worse than what it was,” he said.

The study found that without an increase in funding for roadwork in Tennessee, transportation woes will worsen and experts, like Deakins, agree.

Deakins said, “You can pay now or you can pay later. The longer we wait to make these repairs, the more it’s going to cost.”

To read the study’s complete findings, follow this link: http://tripnet.org/docs/TN_Statewide_Transportation_by_the_Numbers_TRIP_Release_01-19-2016.phpCopyright 2015 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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