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More than half of Arizona roads need repair, study says

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) says overall, our nation's roads earned a "D."

Although not assigned a specific letter grade, the study says 52 percent of Arizona roads are not in good condition.

But we're not doing as badly as some of our neighbors.

Sixty-eight percent of California's roads and 70 percent of Colorado's roads are considered to be in poor or mediocre condition.

Keep in mind that 52 percent represents all Arizona roads.  ADOT is only responsible for our state's highway system, which earns high marks for keeping our highways in good shape.

"One of the things where we benefit here in Arizona is the fact that our relatively dry climate doesn't erode away the pavement," said Doug Nintzel with ADOT.

Focused on the preservation and maintenance of our existing infrastructure, ADOT says we're at a crossroads, in that the problem isn't necessarily now, but it may be in 10 or 20 years.

"Those are the words of warning that we're trying to get out there, especially for policymakers because a decision has to be made. Where is the revenue going to come from for the needed repairs to our state highway system?" said Nintzel.

That revenue, specifically gasoline and vehicle license tax revenue, is down $40 million and $60 million, respectively, over the past five years.  And looking ahead, ADOT expects to work with $350 million less in funding over the next five years.

"We are really looking for something we would call a reliable and sustainable funding source. We'll have to see if the policymakers can come through for us," added Nintzel.

The study adds that driving on roads in need of repair cost motorists $887 million a year in extra repairs and operating costs. That translates to more than $200 per motorist.

"We would just advise folks that we can only do so much with the amount of revenue that receive," added Nintzel.

To see ASCE's full study and national report card, CLICK HERE.

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