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Marylanders Shell Out Big Bucks For Rough Roads

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Congestion and deteriorating roads in Baltimore City and across the region are costing Maryland drivers hundreds of extra dollars a year.

Rochelle Ritchie has more from the results of a new study.

According to the study, Baltimore drivers are spending more than $1,000 a year due in part to poor road conditions.

It’s not hard to find disgruntled drivers in Baltimore.

“It actually cracked my rim,” one driver said.

They are upset about road conditions.

“It’s good to test drive a tank through them. Otherwise your car doesn’t work too good,” another driver said.

All across the city constructions crews repair streets damaged from years of wear and tear.

But the money to do such jobs could run out.

“By 2017 there will not be enough money in the transportation trust fund to even maintain what we had,” said Kathy Synder, Maryland Chamber of Commerce.

A new study by TRIP, a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit organization, says Baltimore area drivers spend an extra $1,800 a year in wasted fuel, lost time in traffic and maintenance–all because of bad roads.

You can walk into just about any mechanic shop in Baltimore City and find a number of issues with cars caused by poor roads.

“When average on most time across the country is usually 3-5 years on tires, in Baltimore as I’ve seen it’s been 2-3, 3-4 years,” said David Scherr, mechanic.

According to researchers, it’s not just Baltimore. The entire state is in need of revamping when it comes to roads and bridges.

“These bridges no longer meet current highway design standards, often because they have narrow lines, inadequate clearances or poor alignments with the adjoining roadway,” said Carolyn Kelly, TRIP.

It will take $50 billion to start some key projects, and there is not a single cent available. With no increase in funding since 1992, Marylanders could see an increase in taxes.

“Why are the tolls getting raised then? I thought that money was supposed to go and repair the roads,” one driver said.

The president of the Greater Baltimore Committee says while times are tough financially for many, addressing the problem now saves more money down the road.

“It is important now more than ever that our elected officials address this challenge,” said Don Fry, CEO of Greater Baltimore Committee.

The study says almost half of the roads in Maryland are poor to mediocre.

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