Study: The Best—and Worst—State Highway Systems


Route Fifty By Kate Elizabeth Queram NOVEMBER 19, 2020

North Dakota maintained its first-place ranking in the 25th Annual Highway Report, which uses 13 categories to evaluate the condition and cost-effectiveness of state-run highways. North Dakota, Missouri and Kansas have the best state-owned highway systems in the country, while New Jersey, Alaska, Delaware and Massachusetts have the worst, according to rankings released Thursday. The Annual Highway Report, compiled for 25 years by the libertarian think tank Reason Foundation, evaluates the condition and cost-effectiveness of state-controlled highways in 13 categories, including traffic congestion, pavement condition, road fatality rates and spending (capital, maintenance, administrative, and overall) per mile. This year’s report incorporates state highway data from 2018, along with congestion and bridge condition data from 2019. North Dakota maintained its first-place ranking from last year, thanks to high rankings in traffic congestion (third in the nation, with commuters spending roughly 5.4 hours per year in traffic), total spending per mile (fourth), and pavement condition (fifth for both urban and rural interstates).


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