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Report: Bad roads can cost drivers $1,000 a year in repairs

FILE — A Montgomery County Department of Transportation official said four teams of crews are on pothole patrol all year, but the pace tends to pick up in the spring. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty, File)

CHEVY CHASE, Md. — Bad roads don’t only damage cars; they hurt drivers’ wallets.

A new report by the nonprofit transportation research group TRIP, which is funded by construction businesses and unions, finds that 28 percent of urban interstates and arteries are in “poor” condition, costing drivers up to $1,000 a year in added maintenance costs.

The Federal Highway Administration describes roads as poor when they have cracked or broken pavement; they often have foundational problems, too.

The three big cities (defined as having a population of 500,000 or more) with the poorest roads were all in California — San Francisco, Los Angeles and Long Beach. Roughly three-quarters of the urban highways and arteries in those cities were in “poor” condition. The Washington area checks in at 32 percent poor.

The report says the average driver pays an extra $516 in added car maintenance because of poor roads.

TRIP is pushing Congress to pass a highway funding bill before the end of the month.

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