Despite Federal Stimulus Spending Only 38% of Maryland Roads in Good Condition
Only 38 percent of Maryland’s roads are considered in “good condition,” while slightly more were found to be in “fair condition” according to a USA Today and TRIP transportation research group analysis of Federal Highway Administration data.
Forty percent of Maryland roads are considered in “fair condition” and 22 percent of the state’s roads are rated as in “poor condition.” Seven percent of Maryland’s bridges are structurally deficient according to the data.
The analysis looked at data for all roads eligible for federal highway dollars and found a slight increase (0.7 percent) in the percentage of miles in poor condition between 2008 and 2011. USA Today notes that this increase came in the wake of $27 billion in infrastructure spending from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
In addition to revenue from the gas tax, Maryland received $771 million in federal stimulus spending.
So why does Maryland have such a low percentage of roads in good or fair condition? Where did all that money go?
Governor O’Malley and the legislature raided the Transportation Trust Fund and the federal dollars to pay for other spending. In total O’Malley and the Democratic controlled legislature raided $868 million from the trust fund. Transportation spending actually decreased by $90 million. The $868 million has not been repaid to the fund.
O’Malley’s gas tax—sold as a measure to pay for new roads and infrastructure maintenance—took effect earlier this month.
Remember that $868 million, when you’re paying more at the pump. You’ve been taxed twice for roads not built and bridges not repaired.