Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Report available at:

Contact: Rocky Moretti 202.262.0714 (cell)
 Carolyn Bonifas Kelly 703.801.9212 (cell)
TRIP office 202.466.6706


Eds.: The statewide report includes regional pavement conditions, bridge conditions, congestion levels, highway safety data, and cost breakdowns for the state’s largest urban areas. TRIP has also prepared customized regional reports for the Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York-Newark-Jersey City, Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, Rochester, Syracuse 
and Utica areas. 

Utica, New York– Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost each Utica area driver $1,262 per year – a total of $24.8 billion statewide – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Adequate investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels is needed to relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in New York, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national nonprofit transportation research organization.

The TRIP report, “New York Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,” finds that in the Utica area, one-third of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition and 11 percent of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or longer) are in poor condition. The report also finds that the Utica area’s major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce. In addition to the statewide report, TRIP has produced customized regional reports for the Albany-Schenectady-TroyBinghamtonBuffalo-Niagara FallsNew York-Newark-Jersey CityPoughkeepsie-Newburgh-MiddletownRochesterSyracuse and Utica areas.

Driving on deficient Utica area roads costs the average driver $1,262 annually in extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The chart below details costs to drivers of driving on deficient roads statewide and in New York’s eight largest urban areas.

  VOC Safety Congestion TOTAL
Albany-Schenectady-Troy $351 $506 $1,006 $1,863
Binghamton $417 $591 $388 $1,396
Buffalo-Niagara Falls $382 $412 $932 $1,726
New York-Newark-New Jersey $719 $284 $1,765 $2,768
Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown $341 $587 $880 $1,808
Rochester $305 $515 $902 $1,722
Syracuse $429 $593 $538 $1,560
Utica $309 $514 $439 $1,262
New York Statewide $7 Billion $4.8 Billion $13 Billion $24.8 Billion

The TRIP report finds that 10 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in the Utica area are in poor condition and another 23 percent are rated in mediocre condition, costing the average motorist an additional $309 each year in extra vehicle operating costs. These costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Driving on rough roads costs the state’s drivers a total of $7 billion each year.

Traffic congestion in the Utica area is worsening, causing 19 annual hours of delay for the average motorist and costing the average driver $439 each year in lost time and wasted fuel. New York drivers lose a total of $13 billion annually in the form of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion.

“Many New Yorkers know the poor road conditions in our state lead to wear and tear on our cars and wallets; but now we have irrefutable evidence of the real cost of failing roads and bridges that continue to be ignored,” said Gib Gagnon, chairman of Rebuild NY Now. “Every dollar of deferred maintenance on our roads and bridges will cost taxpayers an additional four to five dollars in future repairs. These shocking figures are no longer ‘hidden costs.’ They are an alarming call to action to our representatives around the State. Simply patching our roads and bridges will not do the job; now is the time to rebuild our economy and infrastructure for a better New York.”

In the Utica area, 11 percent (50 of 473) bridges are in poor condition, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components and another 50 percent (237 of 473) are rated in fair condition, indicating some deterioration to major components of the bridge. This includes all bridges that are 20 feet or more in length. More than half – 52 percent – of New York’s bridges are at least 50 years old.

In the Utica area, on average, 16 people were killed in traffic crashes each year from 2014 to 2016. The financial impact of traffic crashes costs each Utica area driver an average of $514 annually – a total of $4.8 billion statewide. New York’s overall traffic fatality rate of 0.83 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel is lower than the national average of 1.18. The fatality rate on New York’s non-interstate rural roads is approximately three and a half times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.11 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.60).

The efficiency and condition of New York’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $1.3 trillion in goods are shipped to and from sites in New York, mostly by trucks, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system. Approximately 3.5 million full-time jobs in New York in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing are completely dependent on the state’s transportation network.

“Driving on deficient roads comes with a $1,262 yearly price tag for Utica motorists – $24.8 billion statewide,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Adequate funding for the state’s transportation system would allow for smoother roads, more efficient mobility, enhanced safety, and economic growth opportunities while saving New York’s drivers time and money.”