OKC and Tulsa roads cost drivers $800 extra per year
OKLAHOMA CITY —
Here's a number for your commute to work... $800. That's how much damage Oklahoma City and Tulsa roads are doing to your car each year. The experts say a fix is on its way, but will the government shutdown.. shut the plan down?
"I broke a tire rod," says JoAnn Black, an Oklahoma City driver.
"I've lost a couple tires to debris on the road," says Patrick Holley, another driver in the Metro.
"I have actually cracked a wheel and got a couple flat tire from them," adds Nathan York, another driver.
"It costs a lot to maintain a road. If you don't maintain the road, it's going to fall apart," says Bobby Stem, the Executive Director of the Association of General Contractors. A new study shows, it also causes your car to fall apart. TRIP, a National Transportation Research Group, found nearly half of major roads in Oklahoma City and Tulsa are in poor condition, costing the average driver $782 in vehicle operating costs. Among large cities, Oklahoma City has the fourth highest vehicle operating cost, with Tulsa at number two.
"Shocks, struts, and tires... yeah, I can believe that," says Hardy Dawson, a Metro driver.
"I'm sure that it costs more than $800, especially in terms of time because you can't get time back," says Holley.
"Our lawmakers probably need to allocate a little more money towards our road system," says York.
Stem says, the money is on its way. In November, Tulsa drivers will have a bond issue to vote on. "That will put over $700-million of road- and bridge-fixes on the street. Oklahoma City has got some bond issue money that they've passed in the past, that they need to just get out on the street," says Stem. But, he says the government shutdown could have an affect on the process. "So many of these projects have some tie to Federal money, or some tie to Federal approval. Maybe it's an EPA approval, before you can begin a project on a certain part of the road," Stem explains. He says, the sooner the government is back up and running, the sooner the roads will stop having such a costly effect on your car. "If they shake it up and get it all done next week, we'll probably be fine. If it goes longer than next week, we're going to have issues," says Stem.
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