By Sarah Downey | The Center Square
New Hampshire’s highway network ranks 24th overall among the U.S. states for cost effectiveness and condition, according to the recently released Annual Highway Report policy study by the Reason Foundation.
Though the state just made it into the top half of the survey, it ranks first in Rural Interstate Pavement Condition – one of the report’s 13 categories, which also include traffic fatalities, congestion, spending per mile and administrative costs.
New Hampshire’s next best ranking was 7th, in Urban Interstate Pavement Condition. Nationally, the study found that pavement condition of the urban Interstate system declined slightly from 2015 to 2016, from 5.02 percent in poor condition to 5.18 percent.
In the spending categories, New Hampshire ranked 24th in Total Disbursements Per Mile; 22nd in Capital & Bridge Disbursements Per Mile, and 26th in Administrative Disbursements Per Mile. Among its poorest showings was 37th in Maintenance Disbursements Per Mile, which measures costs of routine upkeep such as filling potholes and repaving roads.
New Hampshire’s lowest ranking was 38th – in the safety category of Structurally Deficient Bridges. According to the study, 10.89 percent of New Hampshire’s bridges are structurally deficient – defined as requiring maintenance before too long to make certain they are safe. Across all 50 states, 8.86 percent was the weighted average for structurally deficient bridges.
Neighboring Vermont was ranked 19th overall for cost effectiveness and condition. Massachusetts was 46th, hampered by Urbanized Area Congestion and Urban Arterial Pavement Condition, but still ranked first in the safety categories of Overall Fatality Rate and Rural Fatality Rate.
New Hampshire’s 24th overall ranking is six spots better than in the previous Annual Highway Report, in which the state was rated 30th.
North Dakota ranked first overall, for the second year in a row. Despite spending more money on upkeep than any other state, New Jersey ranked 50th, the study found.
The 24th Annual Highway Report summarizes data submitted by state agencies to the federal government for 2016, the most recent year with complete figures currently available, along with traffic congestion statistics from INRIX, and bridge data from the Better Roads Inventory for 2017.