Study: improvements needed in U.S. rural transportation system

America’s rural transportation system needs repairs in order to support economic growth, according to a new study by TRIP, a national transportation research organization.

Carolyn Kelly is associate director of research and communications with TRIP.

“That transportation system is the primary mover of the nation’s energy and food and fiber and the condition of the system is deteriorating,” she says.  

The study finds that the U.S. must implement transportation improvements to enhance connectivity and safety.

“Fifteen percent of rural pavements are in poor condition, nine percent of rural bridges are rated in poor or structurally deficient conditions, and the fatality rate on the country’s rural roads is significantly higher,” she says.

Kelly tells Brownfield more funding is needed to keep the rural transportation system in good condition.

She says these problems can negatively impact farmers.

“If your route you would normally take includes a bridge that you can’t travel over with your heavy equipment that means you have to take a longer route to get to your destination and that really is a hindrance,” she says.

Audio: Carolyn Kelly, TRIP

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