Here's How Texas Ranks Among Nation's Highway Systems

September 6, 2019


The 2019 Reason Foundation's Annual Highway Report presented a troubling finding for the condition of America's highway system — our freeways are deteriorating, and bridges, Interstates pavement, and roads are in much need of repair.

The report was based on data that states submitted to the federal government, which ranks each state's highway system in 14 categories, including total spending per mile, urban fatality rate on the road, and congestion.

Texas ranks 23rd in overall performance and cost-effectiveness rankings, which the foundation bills as an "average" ranking. Texas also ranked 27 in total disbursements per mile, 26 in capital and bridge disbursements per mile, and 26 in maintenance disbursements per mile.

The report considers a ranking of between 1-10 "very good," 11-20 as "good," 21-30 as "average," 31-40 as "bad" and 41-50 as "very bad."

North Dakota took home the top overall spot on the list for the second year in a row, whereas New Jersey ranked the 50th overall highway system in the United State. Virginia had the biggest improvement overall from last year, as it jumped 25 spots from its previous 27th ranking, all the way into second place.

Here's how Texas did across the 11 other metrics:

  • Maintenance Disbursements Per Mile: 26

  • Administrative Disbursements Per Mile: 22

  • Rural Interstate Pavement Condition: 22

  • Urban Interstate Pavement Condition: 33

  • Rural Arterial Pavement Condition: 13

  • Urban Arterial Pavement Condition: 36

  • Urbanized Area Congestion: 43

  • Structurally Deficient Bridges: 1

  • Overall Fatality Rate: 37

  • Rural Fatality Rate: 38

  • Urban Fatality Rate: 34

"To improve in the rankings, Texas needs to reduce its traffic congestion. Texas is in the bottom 10 of all states in traffic congestion and has three of the most congested Interstate corridors in the country. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds Texas' overall highway performance is better than Louisiana (ranks 34th) and Oklahoma (ranks 41st) but worse than New Mexico (ranks 21st)," Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and assistant director of transportation at Reason Foundation, said in the report. "Texas is doing better than some comparable states like California (ranks 43rd) but worse than others like Montana (ranks 8th)."

Here are the top ten overall states in highway performance and cost-effectiveness:

  1. North Dakota

  2. Virginia

  3. Missouri

  4. Maine

  5. Kentucky

  6. Kansas

  7. Tennessee

  8. Montana

  9. Utah

  10. Alabama

With every ranking that includes a top ten, there's also a bottom 10 — here are the ten worst highway systems by state:

40. Florida
41. Oklahoma
42. Delaware
43. California
44. Connecticut
45. New York
46. Massachusetts
47. Hawaii
48. Rhode Island
49. Alaska
50. New Jersey

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