Does Your State Have the Worst Roads in America?

As each new presidential administration moves into Washington, there are conversations about America’s crumbling infrastructure. Thousands of bridges are overdue for repair, and some are deemed dangerous. The same is true with many of the nation’s dams.

The Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways, which accounts for most of the country’s major highways, is now well over a half-century old. It covers 46,876 miles, and much of it has become a patchwork of repairs. Furthermore, there are tens of thousands of more miles of state and local highway systems.

In short, to bring America’s infrastructure up to date would require trillions of dollars, years of work and a workforce of millions of people.

The Reason Foundation has just published its 25th Annual Highway Report. The research used a straightforward methodology:

To determine relative performance across the country, state highway system budgets (per mile of responsibility) are compared with system performance, state by state.

States with high ratings typically have better-than-average system conditions (good for
road users) along with relatively low per-mile expenditures (good for taxpayers).

Rural states tend to be at the top of the rankings. The top five spots are occupied by North Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky and Idaho.

The worst-rated states tend to be more urban. With the exception of Alaska, the bottom of the list is made up of New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington.

These are the states rated from best to worst in 2018 overall highway performance rankings:

RankState
1North Dakota
2Missouri
3Kansas
4Kentucky
5Idaho
6South Carolina
7Tennessee
8Mississippi
9Arkansas
10Montana
11South Dakota
12Nebraska
13Ohio
14North Carolina
15Minnesota
16New Mexico
17Utah
18Texas
19Alabama
20Iowa
21Virginia
22Wisconsin
23Arizona
24Michigan
25Maine
26Georgia
27Nevada
28Oregon
29New Hampshire
30Vermont
31Louisiana
32Indiana
33West Virginia
34Oklahoma
35Connecticut
36Wyoming
37Illinois
38Colorado
39Pennsylvania
40Florida
41Maryland
42Hawaii
43California
44New York
45Washington
46Rhode Island
47Massachusetts
48Delaware
49Alaska
50New Jersey

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