road stripeU.S. (8/22/19) — The 24th Annual Highway Report, based on data that states submitted to the federal government, ranks each state’s highway system in 13 categories, including traffic fatalities, pavement condition, congestion, spending per mile, administrative costs and more.

Kentucky’s highway system ranks 5th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report published today by Reason Foundation. Bolstered by good pavement conditions and low administrative costs, this is an improvement of eight spots from the previous report, where Kentucky ranked 13th overall.

In safety and performance categories, Kentucky ranks 12th in rural Interstate pavement condition, 16th in urban Interstate pavement condition, 23rd in structurally deficient bridges and 25th in traffic congestion. On spending, Kentucky ranks 18th in total spending per mile.

“Kentucky’s impressive improvement in the rankings could’ve been even greater were it not for very poor rankings are in overall fatality rate (48th) and urban fatality rate (45th). Compared to nearby states, the report finds Kentucky’s overall highway performance is better than Indiana (ranks 33rd) and Ohio (ranks 18th) but behind Virginia (ranks 2nd),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and assistant director of transportation at Reason Foundation. “Kentucky’s overall performance and effectiveness is now roughly equivalent to comparable states like Missouri (ranks 3rd) and Tennessee (ranks 7th).”

Kentucky’s best rankings are in administrative disbursements per mile (1st) and urban arterial pavement condition (8th).

Kentucky’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 8th largest highway system in the country.

Utilizing data that states submitted to the federal government, Reason Foundation’s 24th Annual Highway Report measures the condition and cost-effectiveness of state-owned roads in 13 categories, including pavement condition on urban and rural Interstates, deficient bridges, traffic fatalities, administrative costs, and spending per mile on state roads.

North Dakota ranks first in the Annual Highway Report's overall performance and cost-effectiveness rankings for the second year in a row. Virginia and Missouri, two of the 20 most populated states in the country, are second and third in overall performance and cost-effectiveness. Maine and Kentucky round out the top five states.

The highway systems in New Jersey (50th), Alaska (49th), Rhode Island (48th), Hawaii and Massachusetts rank at the bottom of the nation in overall performance and cost-effectiveness.

The full Annual Highway Report, complete rankings in each category, and historical data from previous editions are available here:

Kentucky’s complete results ranked among 50 states:

Overall Rank: 5th
Overall Rank in Previous Report: 13th

Ranking in Each Category
Total Disbursements per Mile: 18th
Capital-Bridge Disbursements per Mile: 18th
Maintenance Disbursements per Mile: 16th
Administrative Disbursements per Mile: 1st
Rural Interstate Percent in Poor Condition: 12th
Urban Interstate Percent in Poor Condition: 16th
Rural Other Principal Arterial Percent in Poor Condition: 10th
Urban Other Principal Arterial Percent in Poor Condition: 8th
Urban Area Congestion* 25th
Structurally Deficient Bridges, Percent* 23rd
Overall Fatality Rate: 48th
Rural Fatality Rate: 23rd
Urban Fatality Rate: 45th

*The Annual Highway Report is based on spending and performance data submitted by state highway agencies to the federal government for 2016 as well as urban congestion data from INRIX and bridge condition data from the Better Roads inventory for 2017. For more details on the calculation of each of the 13 performance measures used in the report, as well as the overall performance measure, please refer to the appendix in the main report. The report’s dataset includes Interstate, federal and state roads but not county or local roads. All rankings are based on performance measures that are ratios rather than absolute values: the financial measures are disbursements per mile, the fatality rate is fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles of travel, the urban congestion measure is the annual delay per auto commuter, and the others are percentages. For example, the state ranking first in structurally deficient bridges has the smallest percentage of structurally deficient bridges, not the smallest number of structurally deficient bridges.

Reason Foundation's transportation experts have advised four presidential administrations, along with numerous state and metro transportation departments and planning organizations. Baruch Feigenbaum is lead author of the Annual Highway Report.

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Information provided by Chris Mitchell

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