States with the Worst Road Infrastructure

Key Findings:

  • Aging roadways cost drivers an average of $556 a year in repairs, and in some states, it's nearly $1,000.
  • Rhode Island, Mississippi and West Virginia have the worst roads and bridges in the U.S.
  • Idaho, North Dakota and Wyoming have the best roads and bridges.
  • Over 20% of U.S. roads and 6.1% of bridges are in poor or “non-acceptable” condition.

The United States’ crumbling infrastructure is costing every driver hundreds of dollars each year. Our team at QuoteWizard analyzed new numbers from the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), and we found that deteriorating roads and bridges cost the average driver $556 every year. Even worse, if you live in California, Rhode Island or Mississippi, you’re paying almost $1,000 a year for road repairs.

The high costs are a direct result of a combination of what the FHA considers non-acceptable roads and poor bridge decks. The more non-acceptable roads and poor bridge decks a state has, the more drivers are paying. For example, In California, 35% of roads are non-acceptable and drivers pay an average of $862 per motorist in taxes and fees. In North Carolina, though, 14% of roads are non-acceptable and drivers pay only $336 per motorist.

States with the best and worst roads

To find out which states had the best and worst roads, our analysts ranked each state based on a composite score of these factors:

  • Percentage of non-acceptable roads
  • Square miles of poor bridge deck
  • Associated but not used in the rankings is the annual cost per motorist

States are ranked 1 to 50, with 1 being the worst overall road infrastructure and 50 being the best overall road infrastructure.

Rank State % non-acceptable roads % poor bridge deck (sq. miles area) Cost per motorist
1 Rhode Island 50% 23.0% $823
2 Mississippi 27% 4.0% $820
3 West Virginia 31% 16.1% $723
4 Connecticut 34% 10.2% $676
5 Maryland 27% 3.4% $356
6 Hawaii 43% 2.4% $764
7 California 35% 7.2% $862
8 Washington 27% 6.1% $643
9 Pennsylvania 27% 8.2% $610
10 Missouri 25% 9.0% $699
11 Texas 22% 1.1% $682
12 Louisiana 25% 9.0% $624
13 Indiana 23% 3.9% $480
14 Illinois 20% 12.3% $586
15 Arizona 21% 1.4% $576
16 New Mexico 32% 4.7% $768
17 Massachusetts 25% 11.5% $627
18 New Jersey 47% 7.4% $703
19 New York 27% 10.0% $509
20 Colorado 22% 5.2% $637
21 Utah 22% 0.8% $694
22 Ohio 16% 3.6% $544
23 Delaware 16% 5.4% $486
24 North Carolina 14% 8.4% $336
25 South Carolina 18% 6.7% $557
26 Nevada 15% 1.0% $536
27 Virginia 14% 3.7% $430
28 Maine 23% 7.4% $529
29 Wisconsin 18% 4.0% $736
30 Minnesota 16% 3.3% $542
31 Michigan 21% 7.6% $645
32 New Hampshire 20% 6.9% $525
33 Alaska 17% 7.7% $450
34 Arkansas 7% 4.5% $543
35 Vermont 17% 4.0% $418
36 Kansas 12% 2.8% $591
37 Tennessee 5% 4.2% $194
38 Oregon 10% 3.3% $268
39 Florida 13% 1.8% $351
40 Kentucky 10% 5.0% $434
41 Oklahoma 7% 5.3% $900
42 Alabama 11% 2.5% $506
43 Montana 12% 7.8% $472
44 South Dakota 14% 9.4% $563
45 Georgia 7% 2.0% $275
46 Nebraska 11% 5.3% $466
47 Iowa 8% 9.8% $362
48 Idaho 4% 5.0% $427
49 North Dakota 6% 4.6% $479
50 Wyoming 5% 7.4% $356
  United States 20% 6.1% $555.66

Cost to drive in each state

When our analysts looked at the cost of aging roads, they found two things to consider: the cost of repairing the road and the cost of repairing your car.

The table below shows how much drivers in each state are paying for road repairs. Drivers in Oklahoma, California and Rhode Island pay the most, while drivers in Georgia, Oregon and Tennessee pay the least.

Most expensive states
Rank State Cost per motorist
1 Oklahoma $900
2 California $862
3 Rhode Island $823
4 Mississippi $820
5 New Mexico $768
Least expensive states
Rank State Cost per motorist
47 Florida $351
48 North Carolina $336
49 Georgia $275
49 Oregon $268
50 Tennessee $194

What’s not included in the table above is the cost of repairing your car. On top of taxes, it’s estimated that driving on poor-condition roads costs motorists $120 billion in vehicle repairs and operating costs. According to our findings, that’s an average of $533 per driver. Infrastructure funding for repairs and maintenancestates with worst road infrastructureWhile analyzing FHA data, we found a direct correlation between states that use funds to maintain roads and states that rank well in overall road infrastructure. Meanwhile, states with poor road infrastructure had higher costs per driver and worse road conditions across the board. 

Rank State % of spending on road repair Cost per motorist
1 Rhode Island 2.00% $823
2 Mississippi 4.00% $820
3 West Virginia 19.00% $723
4 Connecticut 21.00% $676
5 Maryland 20.00% $356
46 Nebraska 53.00% $466
47 Iowa 40.00% $362
48 Idaho 36.00% $427
49 North Dakota 68.00% $479
50 Wyoming 54.00% $356

Infrastructure repair not only keeps cost per motorist down but also acts as an important tool in job creation. According to the Brookings Institution, 13,000 jobs are created for every $1 billion spent on highway infrastructure. President Joe Biden has proposed rebuilding parts of America’s infrastructure as part of his Clean Energy Plan. The plan calls for a $2 trillion dollar investment in infrastructure, transit, innovation, environmental justice and other key areas related to transportation and energy.

Methodology

States are ranked 1 to 50, with 1 being the worst overall road infrastructure and 50 being the best overall road infrastructure. Rankings are based on a composite score of the percentage of non-acceptable roads and the percentage of the state's total bridge deck area that is considered to be poor and structurally deficient. Also included in the composite score rank is the cost per motorist that is allocated towards repairing bridge and road infrastructure.