Arizona roads need improvement; a fact most of us already know.

A new national report by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) says Arizona roads aren’t making the grade.

Arizona’s roads earned a barely passing D+ from the ASCE. Our roadway system includes 60,000 miles of roadway, moving 6 million people, as well as goods and services, per year.

According to the Pima County Department of Transportation, 60 percent of Pima County roads are in poor or failed condition.

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) estimates that over the next 25 years, a minimum of $24 billion will be required to maintain current assets. A minimum of $49 billion is needed to bring the state transportation system up to acceptable performance levels, and as much as $193 billion will be required to support an aggressive growth strategy.

Besides the obvious safety issue, what does this mean to the average Arizona driver? It says the failure to fix our the roads is costing you money.

According to the ASCE, Arizona drivers spend $1.5 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs due to driving on bad roads. That’s $318 per driver, per year.

Arizona has experienced significant growth statewide over the past 30 years. State and national gas taxes have not kept up with growth and inflation, and the condition of our roads proves it.

According to the Pima County DOT, one solution to get the funding to fix the roads is raising the gas tax. The state gasoline tax has been unchanged at 18 cents per gallon since 1991, and the federal gas tax has remained unchanged at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993.

Poor road conditions can cause damage to vehicles and worse, can contribute to (or cause) car crashes.

Are we willing to continue to put our safety on the line with such poor road conditions? Will Arizonans consider raising the gas tax to make desperately needed repairs and improvements to our transportation system?