North Dakota #1 in Road Conditions, Cost-Effectiveness - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

North Dakota #1 in Road Conditions, Cost-Effectiveness

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As Americans hit the road for the Fourth of July holiday, they'll be driving on slightly smoother roads, crossing fewer deficient bridges and spending less time stuck in traffic jams according to Reason Foundation's Annual Highway Report.

North Dakota has ranked 1st every year since 2001. North Dakota ranks 1st in rural interstate pavement condition and urban interstate pavement condition, 5th in spending per mile, 8th in urban interstate congestion, 20th in deficient bridges and 44th in fatality rate.

North Dakota's relatively low traffic volumes, modest congestion and good system condition, combined with relatively low expenditures, have consistently placed it atop the rankings. It has a total of 7,408 miles under the state-owned highway system. The state spent $52,143 per mile in 2009.

The report measures the condition and cost-effectiveness of state-owned roads in 11 categories including:

  • Pavement condition on urban interstates
  • Pavement condition on rural Interstates
  • Urban traffic congestion
  • Deficient bridges
  • Unsafe narrow lanes
  • Traffic fatalities
  • Total spending per mile of state roads
  • Administrative costs per mile

The study's rankings are based on data that states reported to the federal government for 2009, the most recent year with full spending statistics available.

In terms of overall road conditions and cost-effectiveness, North Dakota has the country's top ranked state-controlled road system, followed by Kansas (2nd), Wyoming (3rd), New Mexico (4th) and Montana (5th), according to Reason Foundation's Annual Highway Report.

Alaska's state-controlled road system is the lowest quality and least cost-effective in the nation. Rhode Island (49th), Hawaii (48th), California (47th), New Jersey (46th) and New York (45th) also perform poorly.

Vermont's roads showed the most improvement in the nation, improving from 42nd in the previous report to 28th in the new overall rankings. New Hampshire (27th) and Washington (24th) both improved nine spots in the rankings.

Minnesota system plummeted 17 spots in the rankings, from 25th to 42nd and Delaware dropped nine spots to 20th.

Massachusetts had the lowest traffic fatality rate, while Montana had the highest.

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