Policy Study

Kentucky Ranks 4th in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Kentucky’s best rankings are in administrative disbursements per mile, rural arterial pavement condition, total disbursements per mile, and capital and bridge disbursements per mile.

Kentucky's Rankings in the
25th Annual Highway Report

CategoryRank
overall
Overall
4
total-disbursements-per-mile
Total Disbursements per Mile
10
capital-bridge-disbursements-per-mile
Capital-Bridge Disbursements per Mile
10
maintenance-disbursements-per-mile
Maintenance Disbursements per Mile
21
administrative-disbursements-per-mile
Administrative Disbursements per Mile
1
rural-interstate-percent-poor-condition
Rural Interstate Pavement Condition
17
urban-interstate-percent-poor-condition
Urban Interstate Pavement Condition
19
rural-other-principal-arterial-percent-narrow-lanes
Rural Arterial Pavement Condition
10
rural-other-principal-arterial-percent-poor-condition
Urban Arterial Pavement Condition
14
urbanized-area-congestion-peak-hours-spent-in-congestion-per-auto-commuter
Urbanized Area Congestion*
13
bridges-percent-deficient
Structurally Deficient Bridges*
25
fatality-rate-per-100-million-vehicle-miles-of-travel
Overall Fatality Rate
45
fatality-rate-per-100-million-vehicle-miles-of-travel
Rural Fatality Rate
21
fatality-rate-per-100-million-vehicle-miles-of-travel
Urban Fatality Rate
34

Kentucky's Performance In Recent Annual Highway Reports

Kentucky’s highway system ranks 4th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a one-spot improvement from the previous report, where Kentucky ranked 5th overall.

In safety and performance categories, Kentucky ranks 45th in overall fatality rate, 25th in structurally deficient bridges, 13th in traffic congestion, 19th in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 17th in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Kentucky ranks 10th in total spending per mile and 10th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Kentucky needs to improve its fatality rate. Kentucky is in the bottom 20 of all states for its overall and urban fatality rates. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds Kentucky’s overall highway performance is better than Indiana (ranks 32nd), Ohio (ranks 13th), and Virginia (ranks 21st),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Kentucky is roughly equivalent to comparable states like Missouri (ranks 2nd) and Tennessee (ranks 7th).”

Kentucky’s best rankings are in administrative disbursements per mile (1st), rural arterial pavement condition (10th), total disbursements per mile (10th), and capital and bridge disbursements per mile (10th).

Kentucky’s worst rankings are in its overall fatality rate (45th) and urban fatality rate (34th).

Kentucky’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 9th 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 2018 as well as urban congestion data from INRIX and bridge condition data from the Better Roads inventory for 2019.