Study ranks U.S. states on road conditions

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 nation, 24.1 percent of bridges are deficient or functionally obsolete. In Rhode Island, more than 53 percent of bridges are deficient. At the 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, measures the condition of all state-owned roads and highways from 1984 to 2006. This 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.

Access http://www.reason.org/ps369.pdf to download the full study, or phone (310) 367-6109.

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