- Infrastructure stimulus post COVID-19 could result in 13,000 jobs for every $1 billion spent.
- Rhode Island, Oklahoma and West Virginia top the nation for worst road infrastructure.
- Tennessee, Georgia and Florida are best in the nation for road infrastructure.
- Poor road conditions cost drivers in the top 10 states with the worst infrastructure an annual average of $752.
- Top five states with the worst infrastructure spend below the national average of 30% on road repairs.
The nation's infrastructure is frequently talked about at political campaign rallies. The promise of better roads, funding and jobs created from infrastructure projects are key ticket items. They’re right about the nation needing infrastructure improvements: A Federal Highway Administration (FHA) report shows 61% of the country’s highways are in fair to poor condition. Transportation for America estimates a cost of $231 billion a year to adequately maintain our existing road network.
President Trump indicated in his State of the Union address in February 2020 that he would authorize $287 billion over five years, which includes $259 billion to maintain and repair roads and bridges. Those remarks came before the severity of COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States. With his willingness to invest in infrastructure before the pandemic, there’s likely more urgency to push for infrastructure as a jobs stimulus plan. Projections by the St. Louis Federal Reserve shows unemployment figures could reach 47 million or 32%, which would be much higher than the 25% peak during the Great Depression.
Democrats and Republicans have tossed around the idea of featuring a relief bill centered around infrastructure. While the two sides generally agree on infrastructure, the actual amount of infrastructure as a vehicle of job stimulus appears to be on hold. The Brookings Institution has estimated that every $1 billion spent in highway infrastructure will result in 13,000 jobs created. Nearly 64% of those jobs are concentrated in the 100 largest metro areas in the country. Even in modest dollar figures, that could create millions of infrastructure jobs in the coming years.
Taxpayer-funded highway capital delegated for states to maintain roads isn’t enough to cover necessary repairs. Many states are spending the majority of their highway capital on expansion instead of maintenance of roads. At this rate, it becomes a never-ending game of maintenance catch up. On top of taxpayer dollars, it’s estimated that driving on roads in poor condition costs motorists $120 billion in vehicle repairs and operating costs. That’s $533 per driver.
Maintaining quality roads in a given state is a matter of priority and delegation of funds. While analyzing FHA data, we found a correlation between states that use funds to maintain roads and states that rank well overall for road infrastructure. States with poor road infrastructure had higher costs per driver and typically poor road conditions across the board.
We here at QuoteWizard analyzed FHA data to rank states on overall quality of road infrastructure. Rankings are a composite score based on a state’s rating in:
- Percentage of poor condition roads
- Annual cost per motorist due to roads in need of repair
- Percentage of structurally deficient bridges
States are ranked 1 to 50, with first being worst overall road infrastructure and 50th being best overall road infrastructure. Also included, but not part of the ranking factors, is the percentage of state highway spending on road repairs to show which states are addressing the problem.
|Rank (worst)||State||% roads in poor condition||Cost per motorist||% bridges structurally deficient||% of spending on road repairs|
We analyzed Federal Highway Administration data to rank states on overall quality of road infrastructure. Rankings are a composite score based on a state’s rating in percentage of poor condition roads, annual cost per motorist from roads in need of repair and percentage of structurally deficient bridges. Rankings 1 to 50 are from 1st as worst overall road infrastructure and 50th as best overall road infrastructure.