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Report: Poor road conditions cost motorists

Deteriorating and congested roadways cost San Diego-area motorists an average of $2,050 a year in higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and delays, according to a report released Thursday by a national nonprofit transportation group.

The report by Washington, D.C.-based TRIP found that the area has among the roughest roads in the nation, with 84 percent of the metro area’s major roads considered to be in poor or mediocre condition.

Bad roads cost motorists statewide about $40 billion in repair and delay costs, according to the report, which calls for an increased investment of state and federal funds in transportation improvements.

According to the report, the worst stretches of road in the San Diego area are state Route 75 from south of Tulagi Road in Coronado, across the San Diego-Coronado Bridge to the 5 Freeway in San Diego; and state Route 78 from Lincoln Parkway and Broadway in Escondido to the San Diego Wild Animal Park.

The report also found that one-fifth of the area’s bridges and overpasses are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. It also noted that 78 percent of major roadways in the region have significant rush hour delays that cost the average commuter 52 hours per year stuck in traffic.

A total of 263 people died in San Diego-area traffic collisions in 2008, the report found.

“It is critical that the state adequately fund its transportation system and that Congress produces a timely and adequately funded federal surface transportation program’’ said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP. “Thousands of jobs and the state’s economy are riding on it.”