• Florida receives low grade on road maintenance


    CENTRAL FLORIDA - It seems Florida doesn't fare well when it comes to maintaining roads.

    The state scored a "C" in the latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

    The gas tax paid at the pump these days isn't enough to keep the road projects and improvements coming, according to officials.

    It's one of the reasons the state falls short on its highway grade, officials said.

    "Our main concern was there are no steady funding sources for infrastructure projects in reference to highway construction," said Sarah Matin with the ASCE.

    The engineering group gives the grades every four years. This year the state didn't seen any improvement over the 2009 grade.

    The problem is even bigger nationally, engineers said.

    A huge difference in the amount of funding available, and the amount needed for roads is the problem, experts said.

    For central Florida it means toll roads will likely become the norm.

    Florida's Department of Transportation already has a policy in place stating any highways and expressways widened should be tolled when possible.

    That's already the plan for Interstate 4 when it's widened from Longwood down to Kirkman Road. That work won't be finished until 2020.

    "I know here in central Florida we have a lot of toll roads, but they are very efficient and they get you to where you want to be and it's an option," said Matin.

    Local economists told WFTV's Racquel Asa that another way counties raise that extra money is with an additional gas tax. That way the money stays in the county where it's collected.

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    Florida receives low grade on road maintenance