Policy Study

Indiana Ranks 33rd in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Indiana’s best rankings are in overall fatality rate, urban fatality rate and administrative disbursements per mile.

Indiana’s highway system ranks 33rd in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a one spot increase from the previous report, where Indiana ranked 34th overall.

In safety and performance categories, Indiana ranks 14th in overall fatality rate, 21st in structurally deficient bridges, 27th in traffic congestion, 43rd in urban Interstate pavement condition and 43rd in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Indiana ranks 30th in total spending per mile and 36th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Indiana needs to improve its urban and rural Interstate pavement condition. Indiana is in the bottom 10 of all states for its urban and rural Interstate pavement conditions. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds Indiana’s overall highway performance is worse than Kentucky (ranks 5th), Illinois (ranks 28th) and Ohio (ranks 18th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and assistant director of transportation at Reason Foundation. “Indiana is doing worse than comparable states such as Minnesota (ranks 22nd) and Ohio (ranks 18th).”

Indiana’s best rankings are in overall fatality rate (14th) and urban fatality rate (18th).

Indiana’s worst rankings are in rural Interstate pavement condition (43rd) and urban Interstate pavement condition (43rd).

Indiana’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 23rd largest highway system in the country.

Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report measures the condition and cost-effectiveness of state-controlled highways in 13 categories, including pavement condition, traffic congestion, structurally deficient bridges, traffic fatalities, and spending (capital, maintenance, administrative, overall) per mile.

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.