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Pennsylvania's rural roads are in dire need of repair, report says

A recent study has found that Pennsylvania's rural roads are some of the most deficient and deadliest in the nation.

Study says state has most deficient rural bridges in the United States

A study by a Washington, D.C. transportation research group ranks Pennsylvania's rural roads as some of the most deficient and deadliest in the nation, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. While the study found that overall the rural road system across the nation is in desperate need of repair, Pennsylvania's rural routes were singled out for being in particularly poor condition. The study found that the state's rural bridges are the most deficient in the country, while its rural roads overall account for a disturbingly high rate of fatal car accidents. A recently announced program by PennDOT to replace hundreds of those bridges will, fortunately, begin to address the problem.

Deficient roads

The study by TRIP, a nonprofit group that researches transportation-related topics, found that Pennsylvania has the highest percentage of rural bridges in need of serious repairs compared to all other states. About a quarter of all rural bridges in the state are considered "structurally deficient," meaning that either those bridges' decks, superstructures, or substructures are deteriorating.

Additionally, Pennsylvania has the 17th highest fatality rate on its rural roads with 2.23 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. In comparison, the fatality rate on non-rural roads in the state is 0.88 per 100 million miles. Finally, the state ranked 20th for rural pavements in poor condition, with 18 percent of its rural roads described as such.

Bridge replacement

Fortunately, PennDOT recently announced a public-private partnership that will see over 500 bridges replaced or upgraded within the next two years, according to 90.5 WESA. The nearly $900 million project will target many of the structurally deficient bridges mentioned in the TRIP report. Officials say the project, which PennDOT describes as unique in the United States, will utilize economies of scale so that materials can be purchased in larger quantities and workers can work more efficiently without having to be retrained for each new bridge.

Although Pennsylvania's rural roads are in a particularly bad state of disrepair, the national picture is not much better. The fatality rate on rural roads across the U.S. is 2.2 per 100 million miles traveled versus just 0.75 on non-rural roads. Also, rural roads outside of the Interstate system saw close to half of all traffic fatalities in 2013, despite accounting for only a quarter of total miles traveled.

Car accident

As the above story shows, Pennsylvania's roads and highways can be frightening and at times dangerous places to drive. With the likelihood of an accident happening being relatively high, it is important to know what to do in the aftermath of a crash. A personal injury attorney can help anybody who has been involved in an accident and may be able to assist injured crash victims recover compensation that can ease the financial burden of their recovery.

Keywords: auto, car, accident, injury