The “Rough Roads Ahead” report issued by the Transportation for Illinois Coalition said the effects of bad roads ripple through the economy. For example, bad roads:
- increase congestion, which in 2002 cost the Chicago area $4.2 billion, or $520 a person, while wasting 365 million gallons of gasoline;
- cause almost one-third of all crashes. Every dollar in highway improvements saves $2 in health care costs, insurance, lost wages, and productivity;
- endanger the state’s competitive edge. Illinois ranked fourth among states in the tonnage of materials moved by truck, up 17 percent in just five years. On Illinois’ interstates, truck travel has almost tripled in the past 20 years. The state’s transportation and transportation-related industries employ more than 373,000 people. That doesn’t include highway construction, which creates or sustains 47,500 direct or indirect jobs for every $1 billion of highway construction.
The coalition argues bad roads raise the cost of doing business in the state, discourage economic development, and contribute to job losses.