Report: Roads in disrepair cost Alabama drivers $434 a year, White House says infrastructure bill can help

Alabama News

Pothole on a street in Birmingham, Ala. (CBS 42)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As the Senate continues work on an infrastructure plan, the White House released a fact sheet Wednesday that details how the legislation would impact each state.

According to the report, Alabama infrastructure “has suffered from a systemic lack of investment” and received a C- from the American Society of Civil Engineers on their report card.

620 bridges and over 2,950 miles of highway are currently in poor condition in Alabama, the report found, and since 2011, drivers in Alabama have seen an increase of 8.9% in commute times. Perhaps more astounding is the report’s findings about the economic impact of roads in disrepair.

“On average, each driver pays $434 per year in costs due to driving on roads in need of repair,” the report stated.

Billions of dollars could come to the state to fix those exact problems if the bill passes, however, and the report says that the legislation “will make life better for millions of Alabama residents, create a generation of good-paying union jobs and economic growth and position the United States to win the 21st century.”

Based on preliminary findings, Alabama would received approximately $5.2 billion for federal-aid highway apportioned programs and $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs over the span of five years in order to “repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.”

The bill would also possibly grant Alabama $405 million to increase and improve public transportation methods in the state, which data indicates play a part in equity. Non-White households are 4.5 times more likely to use public transportation to commute, and Alabama residents using public transportation spend an extra 66.2% of their time commuting, according to the report.

$79 million could also come to Alabama via the bill to support the expansion of an EV charging network in the state. This would bolster existing state efforts to increase EV charging stations across I-20 and North and Central Alabama, adding funds to the $4.1 million Gov. Ivey awarded recently.

While the monetary amounts of transportation funds Alabama could receive are subject to change, one thing is for sure if the bill passes: a minimum of $100 million would be allocated to the state to improve broadband coverage and access. Read about how those funds would benefit the state here.

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