North Dakota does the best job maintaining its roads and bridges and New Jersey has the worst-performing, least cost-effective highway system in the nation, according to an annual Reason Foundation study that measures each state's road conditions and expenditures.
Massachusetts' roads are the safest; Montana's are the deadliest.
Across the country, 24.1 percent of bridges are deficient or functionally obsolete. In Rhode Island, over 53 percent of bridges are deficient. At our current rate of repair it will take 62 years for today's deficient bridges to be brought up to date.
California has the most traffic congestion: 83 percent of its urban interstates are congested. But other states are becoming increasingly gridlocked: 18 states report at least half of their urban interstates are jammed.
Even South Dakota has traffic congestion now.
The Reason Foundation's 17th Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems by University of North Carolina at Charlotte Emeritus Transportation Professor Dr. David Hartgen, released Thursday, measures the condition of all state-owned roads and highways from 1984 to 2006. The study calculates the effectiveness and performance of each state in 12 different categories, including pavement condition, bridge condition, traffic fatalities, congestion, highway maintenance costs, and administrative costs. Here is a sample of some of the report's data:
Texas has the nation's largest state-owned highway system and ranked an impressive 12th in overall performance and cost-effectiveness. In last year's rankings, Texas ranked 15th overall. Texas is 34th in urban interstate congestion, with 50.67 percent congested. The state tied for 1st in rural interstate condition and 19th in urban interstate condition. Texas ranks 17th in deficient bridges-19.92 percent of the state's bridges are deemed structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Texas is 26th in the nation in fatality rates per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
To view the full study, (click here).
To view state-by-state rankings, (click here).
To view deficient bridges rankings, (click here).
To view the press release, Google map, detailed spreadsheets and more, (click here).
Reason Foundation is a free market think tank that has advised the last four presidential administrations on transportation issues.
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