Policy Study

Rural Arterial Pavement Condition

The condition of major rural arterials worsened slightly from 2015 to 2016, by about 0.01 percentage points.

Rural Other Principal Arterials (ROPA) are two- to four-lane roadways connecting different cities or regions. The condition of major rural arterials worsened slightly from 2015 to 2016, by about 0.01 percentage points. Overall, about 1.36 percent of the ROPA system—1,173 miles out of 86,113—was reported to be in poor condition (Table 13, Percent Rural Other Principal Arterial Mileage in Poor Condition, 2015, Figure 8). This compares with about 1.35 percent (1,192 of 88,155 miles) in 2015, the last time this assessment was completed. This is the highest amount of poor condition mileage since before 2000. (It should be noted that as cities grow, the urbanized area around them grows as well. As this occurs, roads near cities are often reclassified from rural to urban. If these roads were in good condition already, their reclassification has the effect of increasing the percentage of rural roads in poor condition.)

Percent Rural Other Principal Arterial Mileage in Poor Condition
24th Annual Highway Report

PERCENT OF RURAL OTHER PRINCIPAL ARTERIAL MILEAGE IN POOR CONDITION - Highway Report 2019 Placeholder
PERCENT OF RURAL OTHER PRINCIPAL ARTERIAL MILEAGE IN POOR CONDITION - Highway Report 2019
1 to 10 Very Good 11 to 20 Good 21 to 30 Average 31 to 40 Bad 41 to 50 Very Bad 

Between 2015 and 2016 most states saw minor changes in ROPA pavement condition. Forty states saw decreases/increases of poor condition mileage of one percentage point or less, with 18 states seeing decreases, 21 states seeing increases, and one state seeing no change. Of the remaining 10 states, most had changes of less than 2 percent. However, the percentage of the ROPA system in poor condition in Connecticut and New Jersey decreased by 6.1 and 2.3 points, respectively, while the poor mileage in Massachusetts increased by 2.3 points.

One state, Delaware, reported zero poor condition ROPA mileage in 2016. Twenty-one additional states reported 1 percent or less ROPA mileage in poor condition. On the other hand, four states (Alaska, Rhode Island, Hawaii and Massachusetts) reported more than 5 percent of their ROPA mileage to be in poor condition. These four states have just over 1 percent of the U.S. ROPA mileage, but 12 percent of the mileage that is in poor condition. Alaska’s ROPA system has the most significant problem. By itself it has 10 percent of the poor ROPA mileage in the country.

Percent Rural Other Principal Arterial Mileage in Poor Condition
RankStatePercent Rural Other Principal Arterial Mileage in Poor Condition
1Delaware0.00
2Florida0.12
3Illinois0.21
4Kansas0.27
5Missouri0.36
6Virginia0.37
7Maine0.39
8Wyoming0.41
9Oregon0.41
10Kentucky0.42
11Utah0.43
12Alabama0.45
13Texas0.48
14Georgia0.51
15North Dakota0.65
16Tennessee0.73
17Arizona0.76
18Ohio0.79
19Michigan0.85
20Idaho0.85
21Maryland0.93
22New Mexico0.99
23North Carolina1.06
24Mississippi1.12
25Minnesota1.15
26Nevada1.20
27Colorado1.21
28Washington1.22
29Nebraska1.30
30New York1.36
31Montana1.41
32Indiana1.49
33South Dakota1.55
34Connecticut1.68
35California2.07
36New Hampshire2.16
37Oklahoma2.17
38Louisiana2.22
39Vermont2.27
40West Virginia2.27
41Pennsylvania2.50
42South Carolina2.65
43Iowa2.96
44Arkansas3.27
45Wisconsin3.83
46New Jersey4.38
47Massachusetts5.08
48Hawaii6.41
49Rhode Island13.40
50Alaska21.36
Weighted Average1.36
View national trends and state-by-state performances by category:

Full Study: 24th Annual Highway Report

24th Annual Highway Report’s State-by-State Summaries