New Report Says Montana Highways Are Inadequate - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

New Report Says Montana Highways Are Inadequate

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Looks like our roads could use some work here in the Treasure State, now that a research group has released data showing Montana's highway infrastructure needs some attention. ABC Montana's Joe Moeller bring us the full report.

One could say the road systems in Montana get a grade of an F, because according to a survey taken by the transportation research group, TRIP, 46% of Montana's major locally and state-maintained urban roads are in either poor or mediocre conditions. The test measures from the pavement, safety of the road system from guard rails to median barriers, and the standards of bridges.

"Montana's roads are increasingly deteriorated and congested with a traffic fatality rate that is the third highest in the nation." said Caroly Kelly the Associate Director of Research and Communication, TRIP.

That equals to an average of 211 deaths every year, and about one third of those are caused by the lack of safe roads on the highways.

"Crashes on the state's roads have killed more than 1,000 people over the past five years. Montana's rural roads are particularly deadly according to the TRIP report, they have a traffic fatality rate that is more than twice as high as than that on all other roads in the state." added Kelly.

The report indicates that with the 5.2% unemployment rate in state that is continuing to grow, they are calling on the government officials need to improve the system of roads, highways, and bridges to foster economic growth and keep business in the state.

"The farmer, ranchers, and manufacturers, and natural resource providers all depend on this system to get their goods on the market, especially in the light of the fact that now a days we require just in time deliveries." said Barry Stang from Motor Carriers of Montana.

If the Federal Highway Trust Fund is not addressed by Congress it will cut $395 million from Montana's highway improvements by the fiscal year starting this October. They find it a vital need of repair as they are expecting the number of vehicle miles driven in the state to grow 30% by 2030.

"Without additional funding at the local, state, and federal level Montana's transportation system will continue to deteriorate." said Kelly.

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