10/7/14 Highway Costs

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Traffic in America is a universal complaint.  Most drivers complain about everything from highway congestion to road conditions.

There are 814,000 miles of roads and highways owned and maintained by the 50 states.

How does your state compare when it comes to quality and cost? 

Reason Foundation’s just-released Annual Highway Report may provide an answer.

South Carolina and West Virginia spend just $39,000 per mile of state-owned road.  Maryland, California and Florida were three of the most expensive spending around $500,000.  New Jersey was the most extravagant at $2 million per mile.

Money goes to more than just construction and maintenance.

In 2012, about 6.5% of spending – or about $8.6 billion – went to administrative costs.  Kentucky and Missouri had the lowest at $900 and $2,000 per mile, respectively.  California and Utah were the 4th and 5th highest at $49,000 and $47,500.  The most expensive was Hawaii at $90,000 per mile.

Mechanical measurements are taken of interstate highways to determine their condition.  Washington, California, Arkansas and Idaho had the highest percentage of rural interstate miles in poor condition.

California, Arkansas, New York and Maryland had some of the worst urban interstate highway miles.

The report consolidates factors including maintenance, spending, road condition and fatality rates.  And ranks the states from one through 50.  California, New York, Washington and Pennsylvania are near the bottom.  Shouldn’t their highway officials pick up the phone and call those states that are doing it right?

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