Massachusetts ranks 46th in the nation in highway performance and cost-effectiveness in the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation.
Massachusetts ranks 1st in fatality rate, 47th in deficient bridges, 39th in rural Interstate pavement condition, 34 th in urban Interstate pavement condition and 28th in urban Interstate congestion.
On spending, Massachusetts ranks 49th in total disbursements per mile and 48th in administrative disbursements per mile.
Massachusetts’s best rankings are fatality rate (1st), urban Interstate congestion (28th) and narrow rural arterial lanes (30th).
Massachusetts’s worst rankings are total disbursements per mile (49th), administrative disbursements per mile (48th) and capital bridge disbursements per mile (48th).
Massachusetts’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 46th largest system.
Massachusetts’s Complete Results
Overall Rank in 2012: 46th
Overall Rank in 2011: 45th
Overall Rank in 2009: 43rd
Performance by Category in 2012 Ranking
Total Disbursements per Mile 49
Capital and Bridge Disbursements per Mile 48
Maintenance Disbursements per Mile 46
Administrative Disbursements per Mile 48
Rural Interstate Pavement Condition 39
Rural Arterial Pavement Condition 47
Urban Interstate Pavement Condition 34
Urban Interstate Congestion 28
Deficient Bridges 47
Fatality Rate 1
Narrow Rural Arterial Lanes 30
Overall Performance 46
Only RI, NJ, AK and HI are more poorly managed!
good god, are we doing ANYTHING right? Oh yes Fatality rate (WE are apparently the safest state, perhaps because no one can drive anywhere on our roads?)
– See more at: http://reason.org/news/show/21st-annual-highway-report-states.html#MA
Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report is based on spending and performance data submitted by state highway agencies to the federal government for 2012 except on urban Interstate congestion. The federal government has not made the necessary urban Interstate congestion data available since 2009, so this report uses 2011 (the most recent year available) congestion data from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The report’s dataset includes Interstate, federal and state roads but not county or local roads. Each ranking represents a percentage. For example, the state ranking first in deficient bridges has the smallest percentage of deficient bridges, not necessarily the smallest raw number of deficient bridges. Click on a state below for its overall ranking and performance in each category.
I do think that Massachusetts does a terrible job maintaining its infrastructure, especially its bridges. In Boston, the Longfellow bridge connecting Cambridge to Boston was in terrible shape, literally crumbling before any effort to maintain it was made. The Bowker overpass that connects Storrow Drive to the Longwood Medical area is also a mess and they are just now temporarily patching it to keep it going until they decide whether it can be saved or just torn down. We should be repairing our bridges to avoid the huge costs of replacing them. Politicians tend to ignore maintenance because constituents don’t usually notice it, while new construction gets all the press and attention.
I question your source however. The Reason Foundation is libertarian think tank with ties to Davis Koch – who is indeed one of its trustees. It is known to favor highway construction over public transportation and indeed its members have ties to businesses that would profit from highway construction.
As a legislator, one of my top priorities is improving roads and public transportation. It will remain so!
I’m never sure how to read comparative numbers — lots of noise in the numbers.
But I know we need to do better and I’m personally committed to doing so!
I think you know my opinions on this topic. The stats I’ve seen show us in the top 10 for per mile road spending and our roads, in a word, are abysmal. Our bridges are some of the worst in the country and our potholes are infamous.
I’ve seen plow contractors driving in a phalanx across 128 many hours after a storm where the only thing left on the road is a 6″ wide strip of slush between lanes. At around the same time Rt 3 between Burlington and Nashua was revamped ~10 years ago, NH reworked their section through Nashua and it was clear from the road surface they did a better job. Now, years later, Rt 3 in MA is showing significant wear, but the part in NH is still very nice.
At the same time, the legislature recently raised fuel taxes and talked about raising fees to cover the MBTA. It’s pretty ridiculous.
Regardless of what the various spending studies say, if this is a priority of yours, it would behoove you to take a drive through the two states, in a car with a stiff suspension and tires (I own two, I’ll volunteer to be the chauffeur) and decide for yourself.
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