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Mo. road report released

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/moroadrepo_2169.mp3

The Road Information Program has released its report on Missouri's roads. Mike Smith reports.

According to a report released this month by The Road Information Program, (or TRIP) driving on sub standard roads costs each Missouri motorist nearly a thousand dollars a year. Carolyn Bonifas is a research and communications specialist with TRIP. She says the costs include increased wear and tear on engines, transmissions, tires, and wheels, increased gasoline use, and even in the time motorists spend waiting in traffic. Other components drivers are, in effect paying for, include safety costs and congestion. She says TRIP's study, "The Hidden Tax of Inadequate Roads in Missouri " also shows the costs to urban motorists (in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas) is higher than the state average.

The TRIP study found that 47% of major roads in Missouri are in either poor or mediocre condition. Missouri ranks 4 th in the Nation in the percentage of structurally deficient bridges with 36% of bridges in need of replacement or repair. Additional finding show that in 2002, there were 1,208 fatalities on Missouri roads. (one person killed every 8 hours) But Carolyn Bonifas says highway improvements along with better road markings and traffic signals can reduce fatalities and accidents while improving traffic flow and reducing congestion.

Reporting for KSMU News, I'm Mike Smith.