These States Have the Worst Roads in America

Washington, D.C., has an infrastructure problem. The 68-square-mile federal district has the worst road quality in the nation, according to a new report.

[READ: Southern States Have Best Road Infrastructure]

In the report from website MoneyGeek, the District of Columbia’s highways earn an abysmal average roughness index score of 214. Yet the nation’s capital also pays $107 in maintenance costs per lane mile of its highways ? by far the highest cost per lane mile paid by any state. Only 2% of D.C.’s major roadways rank in good condition, the report found.

MoneyGeek analyzed spending data from sources including the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Congressional Budget Office; the website also created its own composite roughness score for each state. The International Roughness Index, a standard metric used to determine highway pavement quality, measures how much a passenger vehicle body moves vertically ? the result of bumps from uneven roads ? throughout one mile of driving. A score of below 95 inches/mile is considered good condition in the index, while above 170 is considered poor.

California and its notoriously congested highway system came in as the state with the second-poorest roads, followed by high-density Rhode Island and Hawaii.

Here are the 10 places with the worst roads by average roughness score, according to the report:

— Washington, D.C. (214.7)

— California (150.2)

— Rhode Island (148.3)

— Hawaii (143.5)

Wisconsin (134.7)

Massachusetts (131.2)

New York (130.8)

New Jersey (129.3)

Michigan (127.8)

Washington (127.3)

[MORE: Global Warming to Worsen Potholes]

The report found more than a dozen states had average roughness scores that fell into the “good” category. These states were mostly concentrated in the South and West, with Oklahoma, Idaho and Indiana scoring best. Here are the 10 states with the best roads, according to the report.

— Oklahoma (61.8)

— Idaho (62.5)

— Indiana (69.6)

Alabama (76.6)

New Hampshire (76.9)

Arizona (78.7)

Georgia (78.9)

Nevada (80.7)

Florida (80.8)

Tennessee (81.9)

MoneyGeek also analyzed how much each state spends on its urban roadways. While most states spend proportionately to the number of local vehicle miles traveled ? an overall measure of traffic ? MoneyGeek found no correlation between how much states spend per vehicle mile and actual road conditions. North Dakota, for example, spends $28.91 per 1,000 vehicle miles traveled and has a roughness score of 113; New Mexico spends only $2.15 per 1,000 vehicle miles traveled and has a slightly better roughness score of 110.

The data suggests that states aren’t attempting to build better roads so much as keep bad ones serviceable, MoneyGeek asserts.

“Regardless of how much money they spend on road conditions,” the report concludes, “states are using available funds to maintain, not fix or improve, crumbling roads.”

A separate report from the Urban Institute found that state and local governments spent $181 billion on highways and roads in 2017, or 6% of general expenditures, a higher figure than they spent on police. Oklahoma, the state with the best overall road conditions in MoneyGeek’s report, spends a total of $2.6 billion on its highways; California and Texas spend more than $15 billion each, according to MoneyGeek.

More from U.S. News

U.S. Mayors Want 2020 Presidential Election to Address Infrastructure

Southern States Have Best Road Infrastructure

U.S. Cities Have a Pothole Problem. Global Warming Is Making It Worse.

These States Have the Worst Roads in America originally appeared on usnews.com

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