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New road report indicates rough ride for motorist

WBFO News file photo

A new report released in Buffalo Wednesday finds almost half of all major roads and highways in New York "provide motorists with a rough ride."

TRIP's Director of Policy and Research Rocky Moretti said all the potholes opening up this winter are the symptom of a much larger problem.

"People have talked a lot about the tremendous crop of potholes that are emerging from this winter.  As we have been pointing out, the potholes are a symptoms of a much larger problem, and the problem -- is a system that hasn't been adequately maintained and when you don't adequately maintained the system the potholes are signs of   bigger problems ahead," said Moretti

Credit WBFO News photo by Chris Caya
TRIP's Rocky Moretti appears at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership Wednesday to discuss condition of roads.

According to TRIP - poor roads cost local drivers nearly $1,500 a year in the form of higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays.

Operating Engineers Local 17 Assistant Supervisor Norm Noon said band-aids are being put on problems that need major reconstruction.

"These roads are 50, 60 years old, some are even older in the city here, and they just can't go on. We just can't keep covering things up. We have to start all over again, and we have to do this with some short of a program with the federal government," said Noon.

Without more state and federal funding  TRIP's executive director Will Wilkins said road conditions are only going to get worse. The TRIP report calculated the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in New York’s largest urban areas: Albany, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester and Syracuse. A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area along with a statewide total is below: