Policy Study

Connecticut Ranks 44th in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Connecticut’s best rankings are rural fatality rate, overall fatality rate and urban Interstate pavement condition.

Connecticut’s highway system ranks 44th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a two-spot increase from the previous report, where Connecticut ranked 46th overall.

In safety and performance categories, Connecticut ranks 11th in overall fatality rate, 24th in structurally deficient bridges, 30th in traffic congestion, 18th in urban Interstate pavement condition and 42nd in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Connecticut ranks 46th in total spending per mile and 47th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Connecticut needs to reduce its spending. Connecticut is in the bottom five of all states in three of the four disbursement categories (total spending per mile, capital and bridge costs per mile and administrative costs per mile). Compared to nearby states, the report finds Connecticut’s overall highway performance is better than New York (ranks 45th) and Massachusetts (ranks 46th) but worse than New Hampshire (ranks 24th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and assistant director of transportation at Reason Foundation. “Connecticut is doing better than comparable states such as New Jersey (ranks 50th) and Rhode Island (ranks 48th).”

Connecticut’s best rankings are rural fatality rate (4th) and overall fatality rate (11th).

Connecticut’s worst rankings are in administrative disbursements per mile (50th) and capital and bridge disbursements per mile (47th).

Connecticut’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 44th largest highway system in the country.

The Annual Highway Report is based on spending and performance data submitted by state highway agencies to the federal government for 2016 as well as urban congestion data from INRIX and bridge condition data from the Better Roads inventory for 2017. For more details on the calculation of each of the 13 performance measures used in the report, as well as the overall performance measure, please refer to the appendix in the main report. The report’s dataset includes Interstate, federal and state roads but not county or local roads. All rankings are based on performance measures that are ratios rather than absolute values: the financial measures are disbursements per mile, the fatality rate is fatalities per 100 million vehicle-miles of travel, the urban congestion measure is the annual delay per auto commuter, and the others are percentages. For example, the state ranking 1st in structurally deficient bridges has the smallest percentage of structurally deficient bridges, not the smallest number of structurally deficient bridges.