Infrastructure

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:

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