Report: Louisiana roads cost drivers $7.6B annually

Louisiana’s roads are costing drivers $7.6 billion a year in extra vehicle operating costs due to poor conditions, congestion and crashes, according to a new report from national transportation nonprofit TRIP.

TRIP’s report, released today, says nearly half of the state’s major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition, according to The Daily Advertiser. 

“Until the Louisiana Legislature decides to tackle the long-term transportation infrastructure spending, Louisiana will continue to fall behind with the condition of our roads and bridges,” says Ken Naquin, CEO of the Louisiana Association of General Contractors, in a press release. “Louisiana is the only Southern state to not have addressed long-term transportation infrastructure spending in the last five years.”   

Congested roads cost Louisiana drivers about $3 billion each year in lost time and fuel, according to TRIP. In the state’s largest urban areas, the average driver loses about $1,312 and 60 hours per year in traffic. 

TRIP’s report also looks at road and bridge conditions in four of the state’s high-population areas: New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Shreveport and Lafayette 

Baton Rouge’s roads cost the average driver $2,431 per year, including $615 in vehicle operating costs, $1,202 in congestion, and $614 in crashes. About 26% of Baton Rouge’s roads are rated as poor, and another 24% are rated mediocre.

About 20% of bridges in Baton Rouge are considered to be poor or structurally deficient. Baton Rouge has about 616 total bridges. From 2015 through 2019, Baton Rouge averaged 68 traffic fatalities per year. Read the full story.