(KFOR NEWS  August 22, 2019)  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.

Los Angeles (For Release on August 22, 2019) — Nebraska’s highway system ranks 15th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report published today by Reason Foundation. This is down 11 spots from the previous report, where Nebraska ranked 4th overall. The state’s rankings worsened in many categories, including a significant increase in the percentage of structurally deficient bridges.

In safety and performance categories, Nebraska ranks 8th in traffic congestion, 17th in overall fatality rate, 24th in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 45th in structurally deficient bridges. On spending, Nebraska ranks 13th in total spending per mile.

“Nebraska has done a good job keeping administrative and per-mile costs down but needs to improve its arterial pavement condition and reduce its percentage of structurally deficient bridges. Compared to nearby states, the report finds Nebraska’s overall highway performance is better than Colorado (ranks 36th) and Iowa (ranks 31st) but worse than Kansas (ranks 6th), Wyoming (ranks 11th) and South Dakota (ranks 14th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and assistant director of transportation at Reason Foundation.

Nebraska’s best rankings are in administrative disbursements per mile (2nd) and urban fatality rate (8th). Nebraska’s worst rankings are urban arterial pavement condition (45th) and structurally deficient bridges (45th).

Nebraska’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 28th 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:

Nebraska’s Complete Results
Ranking (out of 50 states)

  • Overall Rank (*see explanation below): #15
  • Overall Rank in Previous Report: #4

Ranking in Each Category 

  • Total Disbursements per Mile – #13
  • Capital-Bridge Disbursements per Mile – #14
  • Maintenance Disbursements per Mile – #23
  • Administrative Disbursements per Mile – #2
  • Rural Interstate Percent in Poor Condition – #18
  • Urban Interstate Percent in Poor Condition – #24
  • Rural Other Principal Arterial Percent in Poor Condition – #29
  • Urban Other Principal Arterial Percent in Poor Condition – #45
  • Urban Area Congestion* – #8
  • Structurally Deficient Bridges, Percent* – #45
  • Overall Fatality Rate – #17
  • Rural Fatality Rate – #25
  • Urban Fatality Rate – #8

*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.

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