Nevada ranks best for infrastructure; Rhode Island ranks worst

August-September 2019

Tyson Fisher

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Road and bridge conditions vary state by state. According to the U.S. News and World Report’s Best States for Transportation rankings, Nevada is doing relatively fine whereas Rhode Island is in bad shape.

Recently, the U.S. News and World Report published its Best States for Transportation list. The list ranked states by evaluating four subcategories: commute time, public transit use, road quality and bridge quality. The transportation rankings are one-third of the weight in ranking the publication’s Best States for Infrastructure.

Topping the list as the best state for transportation is Nevada. The Silver State ranked second in bridge quality, 10th in public transit use, 16th in road quality and 22nd in commute time.

Rhode Island sits at the bottom of the list. According to the report, the Ocean State ranks dead last in bridge quality, second to last in road quality, 29th in commute time and 17th in public transit use.

The report measures average commute times for workers 16 and older who did not work at home. North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming have the three fastest commute times of under 20 minutes. New York, Maryland and New Jersey have the slowest commute times, averaging more than 30 minutes. The national average is approximately 27 minutes each way to work.

Public transit use was determined by measuring the average miles traveled on public transit by one resident. New York ranked the highest, followed by New Jersey and Maryland. New Yorkers averaged about 42 miles per person. With an average of only 1 mile per resident, Mississippi ranked last, with Wyoming and South Dakota residents representing the rest of the bottom three.

Using road condition data compiled by the Federal Highway Administration, Georgia was determined to have the best road quality, followed by Tennessee and Wyoming. Those with the worst roads include Texas, Rhode Island and California. An average of one in four roads is in poor condition nationwide.

Lastly, data from the U.S. Department of Transportation was used to measure the percentage of bridges deemed structurally deficient. Texas has fewer structurally deficient bridges as a percentage (1.57%), just in front of Nevada (1.59%) and Florida (2.14%). Meanwhile, Rhode Island (23.26%), Iowa (20.93%) and West Virginia (18.98%) had the highest percentage of structurally deficient bridges. The national average is nearly 9%.

Accounting for transportation, internet access and energy, Oregon is ranked first in the nation for infrastructure as a whole, followed by Washington state and Utah. West Virginia, Rhode Island and Louisiana make up the bottom three in infrastructure. LL

Tyson Fisher

Tyson Fisher joined Land Line Magazine in March 2014. An award-winning journalist and tireless researcher, his news reports, features and blogs bring depth to our editorial content, backed with solid detail. Tyson is a lifelong Kansas Citian.

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