WA’s rural roads 12th worst in the nation

From the WashACE blog, more proof that our state’s roadways are deteriorating and we are overdue for a new statewide investment in roads and bridges – taking care of what we have and investing in projects in key corridors.  Without such an investment, quality of life, mobility, freight movement and commerce will suffer.  Olympia lawmakers will have a lot on their plate when the Washington State Legislature convenes in January. This is an issue that can’t be ignored.

From WashACE:

“Washington state’s rural roadways are in rough shape, according to a new report from TRIP, a transportation research organization.

Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland lists Washington as 12th in the nation for percentage of rural roadways in poor condition. State business leaders have encouraged lawmakers for the past few years to make investments in the maintenance and preservation of roads, bridges and highways.  This is another example of the urgent need for action.

This isn’t just a matter of potholes. The poor condition of Washington’s rural roadways is literally a matter of life and death. The report finds that traffic crashes and fatalities on rural Washington roads are significantly higher than all other roads in the state. Non-interstate rural roads in Washington had a traffic fatality rate of 1.76 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012, more than four times worse than the rate on the state’s other roads.

The report offers more evidence that Washington needs to do a better job of maintaining its roadways, said AWB’s Mike Ennis, who was quoted in an accompanying press release.”

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WA ranks most expensive in new workers’ comp numbers

Just in from the Washington Research Council blog, Washington holds its spot as the most expensive state in the nation…

“The National Academy of Social Insurance released its annual report on workers’ compensation benefits. There is a data lag, so the new numbers are for 2012.

The report shows that Washington still had the highest benefits paid per covered worker in 2012, at $840.16. (Alaska follows with $797.65 and California with $783.94.) That is slightly lower than 2011, when Washington’s benefits paid per job were $855.78.

In terms of benefits paid as a percent of covered wages, Washington continues to rank third, behind West Virginia and Montana, at 1.63 percent. (In 2011, Washington’s benefits as a percent of covered wages were 1.72 percent.)

As we have noted consistently, benefits paid are the best indicator of workers’ compensation system costs for Washington.”