The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will invest $1 trillion into the United States’ crumbling infrastructure. It’s the largest federal investment in infrastructure in more than a decade and could go a long way towards relieving a consistent strain on people’s wallets.

Our team of analysts found that deteriorating roads and bridges cost the average driver $556 every year. We also found that nearly 20% of America’s roads and 6% of bridges are currently in unacceptable condition.

Key findings:

  • Aging roadways cost drivers an average of $556 a year in repairs, and in some states, 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.

The high costs drivers are paying are a direct result of a combination of what the Federal Highway Administration (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.

Worst Road Infrastructure
Rank State % non-acceptable roads % poor bridge deck (sq. miles area) Cost per motorist
1 Rhode Island 50% 23% $823
2 Mississippi 27% 4% $820
3 West Virginia 31% 16% $723
4 Connecticut 34% 10% $676
5 Maryland 27% 3% $356
6 Hawaii 43% 2% $764
7 California 35% 7% $862
8 Washington 27% 6% $643
9 Pennsylvania 27% 8% $610
10 Missouri 25% 9% $699
11 Texas 22% 1% $682
12 Louisiana 25% 9% $624
13 Indiana 23% 4% $480
14 Illinois 20% 12% $586
15 Arizona 21% 1% $576
16 New Mexico 32% 5% $768
17 Massachusetts 25% 12% $627
18 New Jersey 47% 7% $703
19 New York 27% 10% $509
20 Colorado 22% 5% $637
21 Utah 22% 1% $694
22 Ohio 16% 4% $544
23 Delaware 16% 5% $486
24 North Carolina 14% 8% $336
25 South Carolina 18% 7% $557
26 Nevada 15% 1% $536
27 Virginia 14% 4% $430
28 Maine 23% 7% $529
29 Wisconsin 18% 4% $736
30 Minnesota 16% 3% $542
31 Michigan 21% 8% $645
32 New Hampshire 20% 7% $525
33 Alaska 17% 8% $450
34 Arkansas 7% 5% $543
35 Vermont 17% 4% $418
36 Kansas 12% 3% $591
37 Tennessee 5% 4% $194
38 Oregon 10% 3% $268
39 Florida 13% 2% $351
40 Kentucky 10% 5% $434
41 Oklahoma 7% 5% $900
42 Alabama 11% 2% $506
43 Montana 12% 8% $472
44 South Dakota 14% 9% $563
45 Georgia 7% 2% $275
46 Nebraska 11% 5% $466
47 Iowa 8% 10% $362
48 Idaho 4% 5% $427
49 North Dakota 6% 5% $479
50 Wyoming 5% 7% $356
- United States 20% 6% $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.

Cost to drive in each state
Rank State Cost per motorist
1 Oklahoma $900
2 California $862
3 Rhode Island $823
4 Mississippi $820
5 New Mexico $768
6 Hawaii $764
7 Wisconsin $736
8 West Virginia $723
9 New Jersey $703
10 Missouri $699
11 Utah $694
12 Texas $682
13 Connecticut $676
14 Michigan $645
15 Washington $643
16 Colorado $637
17 Massachusetts $627
18 Louisiana $624
19 Pennsylvania $610
20 Kansas $591
21 Illinois $586
22 Arizona $576
23 South Dakota $563
24 South Carolina $557
25 Ohio $544
26 Arkansas $543
27 Minnesota $542
28 Nevada $536
29 Maine $529
30 New Hampshire $525
31 New York $509
32 Alabama $506
33 Delaware $486
34 Indiana $480
35 North Dakota $479
36 Montana $472
37 Nebraska $466
38 Alaska $450
39 Kentucky $434
40 Virginia $430
41 Idaho $427
42 Vermont $418
43 Iowa $362
44 Maryland $356
45 Wyoming $356
46 Florida $351
47 North Carolina $336
48 Georgia $275
49 Oregon $268
50 Tennessee $194
- United States $556

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 maintenance

While 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.

states with worst road infrastructure

Road repair spending in each state
State % of spending on road repair Cost per motorist
Rhode Island 2% $823
Mississippi 4% $820
Illinois 4% $586
Ohio 4% $544
North Carolina 11% $336
Texas 15% $682
Arizona 15% $576
Tennessee 16% $194
West Virginia 19% $723
Delaware 19% $486
Virginia 19% $430
Arkansas 19% $543
Maryland 20% $356
Missouri 20% $699
Indiana 20% $480
Connecticut 21% $676
Washington 21% $643
Nevada 21% $536
Pennsylvania 22% $610
Louisiana 22% $624
Massachusetts 23% $627
Oregon 25% $268
Utah 26% $694
Oklahoma 27% $900
Colorado 30% $637
Kentucky 30% $434
Hawaii 31% $764
Minnesota 31% $542
South Carolina 32% $557
Wisconsin 33% $736
Kansas 33% $591
Georgia 34% $275
California 35% $862
Idaho 36% $427
Florida 37% $351
New Mexico 39% $768
Alaska 39% $450
Iowa 40% $362
Alabama 41% $506
New York 43% $509
New Hampshire 45% $525
Montana 45% $472
Vermont 46% $418
Nebraska 53% $466
Michigan 54% $645
Wyoming 54% $356
New Jersey 57% $703
Maine 65% $529
North Dakota 68% $479
South Dakota 69% $563

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 Biden says his plan will create 1.5 million jobs per year for the next 10 years.

The $1 trillion dollar plan is split into six main areas:

  • $550 billion in new funding for transportation and utilities
  • $110 billion in roads, bridges and major projects
  • $66 billion toward passenger and freight rail
  • $65 billion to expand broadband access
  • $55 billion to improve water utilities and replace lead pipes
  • $39 billion for public transit

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. 

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