One could argue that the wealth and success of a state’s economy is exemplified in its roads. That’s a big claim to make, but consider what makes an economy healthy. Put simply, healthy businesses, right? Well, in order for businesses to transport goods or deliver services we have to rely on our roads and bridges to get our products from point A to point B. Transportation of products aside, what about the employees of those businesses? How can they get to work easily when the poor state of our roads are preventing that from happening? How much damage does a fleet of service or delivery vehicles sustain on Louisiana roads that are in poor condition?
The question we must ask ourselves is…what happens when the state of our roads are hindering the success of our businesses?
It contributes to a poor economy and a poor state.
So let’s look at this issue from the perspective of growing businesses and organizations. You might be surprised by what kind of costs they might have to endure because of our state’s bad roads and bridges. Suppose a new booming business came to Louisiana based on economic incentives, but would they want to stay in a state that prevents them from being profitable regardless of where that cut in profits is coming from?
As little as we think about the state of our roads and bridges, they make a bigger impact than you’d think. Poor roads and stop-and-go traffic lead to accidents, which contributes to our high insurance rates. Unsafe roads put our loved ones at risk and hit us all in the wallet.
But it’s not just bad roads hurting our great state.
Closed bridges are painful too.
Let’s also consider a scenario that happens far more often than it should. If one of Louisiana’s 12,900 bridges were to be closed—which, by the way, 37 bridges have been closed in 2019 alone—what does that mean for a business that needs its employees and delivery trucks to cross it five days a week? It takes your employees longer to get work and it takes your drivers longer to deliver your products. Everyone is frustrated and no one is being efficient – costing us all money. This is a real problem, and it happens much more than you’d think.
But that’s just the business side, what about your average Louisiana citizen?
Poor roads make our citizens poor.
Our crumbling bridges and bad roads result in more wear and tear on cars and ultimately: more repairs, or, if it’s a terrible accident, hospital bills.
Bad roads—those with worn markings, potholes, those that pool water—are often the cause of accidents. And while driving has become safer over the years with enhanced vehicle engineering and improved road design, Louisiana’s roads and bridges too frequently fail to meet modern safety standards. Your car might save your life, but at what cost? That isn’t a rhetorical question, we know the cost. Louisiana residents are paying an average of $533 on automotive repairs related to damage caused by road quality, an amount also referred to as the “pothole tax.” Because roads in economically depressed areas and rural regions are usually not as well maintained, the “pothole tax” for drivers living here is frequently even higher.
Buying new cars, paying hospital bills, repairing cars, sitting in traffic and wasting fuel—all contributing factors of an average resident’s prosperity decreasing. Definitely not what you want for the economy.
So let’s make fixing roads and bridges a priority so our economy can thrive. We deserve a healthy, rich state full of opportunities and possibilities. Our roads shouldn’t hold us back from that future.