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Study: Area’s bad roads costing Wilmington drivers big bucks

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new study shows 48 percent of major roads in the Wilmington area are in either poor or mediocre condition. That costs each Wilmington driver more than $1,3000 a year.

A new report released by national transportation group TRIP says higher vehicle operating costs caused by driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion, and the cost of traffic crashes likely caused by roadway features all contribute to the cost.

Matt Nicholson knows all about this. He says bad roads cost him $400.

“I hit a pothole, and it was just in the middle of the street, and I had to go get my car repaired,” he said.

Another driver says the roads are not safe.

“Tthe bumps, the narrowness, especially down on Market is very accident prone,” Manuela Sanchez said.

Anne Uthlaut is the terminal manager for a trucking company. She says bad roads are costing her company valuable time and money for repairs.

“Maintenance and repair costs are massive for trucking companies,” she said. “I think we had something like $20,000 that we spent last year.”

She says this burden eventually falls on the consumer.

“When we have massive amounts of maintenance and repair, then we have to apply that to our cost to our customers, who in turn apply that to their products, which raises your prices for Roses or Walmart or wherever you’re purchasing your own goods,” Uthlaut said.

Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP, says if the lack of revenue for the Federal Highway Trust Fund is not addressed soon, funding for highway and transit improvements in North Carolina could be cut by $1 billion.

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