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Utahns expected to drive 51 billion miles per year by 2040

Aug 27, 2019, 7:09 PM | Updated: 8:59 pm
(Photo: Getty Images)...
(Photo: Getty Images)
(Photo: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utahns drive an estimated 32 billion miles a year on the state’s roads and highways. But that’s expected to hit 51 billion miles a year by 2040, and some worry about how to keep up our roads.

(Photo: Utah Data)

UDOT spokesman John Gleason says Utah’s population will double in the next few decades.

“That makes sense that that’s reflected on our roads,” Gleason says.

Utah collects a 30 cents a gallon gas tax to pay for road repairs. However, Gleason says more people are switching to electric or green vehicles, which puts a dent in their funding.

“We’re seeing less of a return on that every year as more people drive those alternative fuel vehicles,” Gleason says.

More people are also buying online, meaning there are more trucks on the road. That can sometimes stress infrastructure, according to UDOT.

Lawmakers have recently debated whether to raise the gas tax again or look for another way to pay for road repairs.

“It’s something that we have to be out there addressing and making that our roads are well maintained because that’s going to save us all money as taxpayers,” Gleason says.

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Utahns expected to drive 51 billion miles per year by 2040