The study’s lead author, David Hartgen, with the Reason Foundation, explains how they compile the rankings which show Nebraska at number-two in the nation for the second year in a row.
“Each of the 50 states is required to send detailed information to Washington each year on the condition of pavements and bridges and congestion and so on, and also information on their budgets,” Hartgen says. “We take that information and roll it up and compare it one state versus another, we look at how states are doing on each measure and then how they’re doing overall.”
Nebraska ranks number-one in the nation for rural Interstate pavement condition, 9th in urban Interstate pavement condition and 12th in urban Interstate congestion.
“The interstate system is in pretty good shape,” Hartgen says. “There was no poor mileage reported on the rural interstate for last year and for the urban interstate, only about a half-a-percent of that mileage was rated poor. That’s the 9th best in the country. They also scored pretty well on the rural arterial system.”
In analyzing the budgets for all the billions spent on roads nationwide, Hartgen says the study found Nebraska does a remarkable job, particularly when you consider the size of the state’s road budget.
“Their costs are quite low, relative to other states,” Hartgen says. “On average, they have about half of the amount of money to work with per mile of responsibility than the average state has. So, they have a very thin budget and they’re stretching it out and making it produce a pretty good system.”
Nebraska has ranked number-two in the overall rankings for two years in a row and Hartgen says the Husker State’s been in the top ten for several years. This year, only Wyoming ranked higher. Last year, South Dakota was tops.
On spending, Nebraska ranks 5th in total disbursements per mile and 5th in administrative disbursements per mile. Nebraska’s highways rank 22nd in the fatality rate and 28th in the percentage of deficient bridges. Nebraska’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 28th largest system in the country.
To see more on the report, visit: http://reason.org/studies/show/21st-annual-highway-report-states