Colorado Has 14th Worst Roads In the United States
No, it's not just your imagination, Colorado's roads are really bad.
According to a recent report, nearly 32% of Colorado's major roads are in poor condition. That figure compares to the national average of just over 26% of the nation's main roads being in poor condition.
Researchers at CoPilot looked at road quality statistics from the Federal Highway Administration to determine which areas have the worst roads. In terms of small and mid-size urban areas, Boulder was the only one in Colorado in the top 10 in the nation for bad roads. The six worst areas for roads were all in California.
As for large urban areas with bad roads, Denver is ranked 14th worst in the nation. That stat might be surprising considering the fact it seems impossible to drive in Denver without encountering some sort of road construction.
When it comes to bad roads, it's not just about being annoyed by bumps and jolts, it's also about safety. Bad roads can be dangerous. Rough roads can also be costly to car owners. AAA research has shown American potholes are costing motorists $3 billion dollars a year in vehicle repair costs. I guess that's good news for repair shops.
One good thing to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is many states have been able to get a lot of repairs done on roads without so much interruption of the flow of traffic. With more people staying home and traveling less, bridges, highways, and mass transit systems that were long overdue for repair have been improved.
Can you think of major roads in Colorado that need repair? One that comes to mind immediately here in western Colorado is Highway 50 from Grand Junction to Delta. The road isn't all that old, but there are stretches that feel like you're riding on a wooden roller coaster - shake, rattle, and roll. Another one I can think of is westbound I-70 going up Vail Pass. Keeping that section of highway driveable must be a full-time job.
Of course, road construction is a never-ending task. It's not ever going away because roads aren't built to last forever and they are in a constant state of deterioration. The best we can hope for is that our state is able to adequately fund the projects we need to keep our roads safe and driveable - and we'll simply pray for the grace and patience to make it through those slow construction work zones.