Policy Study

Louisiana Ranks 31st in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Louisiana’s best rankings are in administrative disbursements per mile, capital and bridge disbursements per mile, and rural fatality rate.

Louisiana’s highway system ranks 31st in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a three-spot improvement from the previous report, where Louisiana ranked 34th overall.

In safety and performance categories, Louisiana ranks 48th in overall fatality rate, 44th in structurally deficient bridges, 35th in traffic congestion, 48th in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 43rd in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Louisiana ranks 20th in total spending per mile and 6th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Louisiana needs to improve its Interstate pavement condition, reduce its percentage of structurally deficient bridges, and decrease its fatality rate. The state is in the bottom 10 for its urban Interstate pavement condition, rural Interstate pavement condition, structurally deficient bridges, overall fatality rate, and urban fatality rate. Compared to nearby states, the report finds Louisiana’s overall highway performance is better than Oklahoma (ranks 34th), but worse than Alabama (ranks 19th) and Texas (ranks 18th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Louisiana is doing worse than comparable states like Arkansas (ranks 9th) and Mississippi (ranks 8th).

Louisiana’s best rankings are in administrative disbursements per mile (5th) and capital and bridge disbursements per mile (6th).

Louisiana’s worst rankings are in its urban Interstate pavement condition (48th) and overall fatality rate (48th).

Louisiana’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 15th 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.