Policy Study

Michigan Ranks 24th in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Michigan’s best rankings are in rural fatality rate, overall fatality rate, and total disbursements per mile.

Michigan’s highway system ranks 24th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a six-spot improvement from the previous report, where Michigan ranked 30th overall.

In safety and performance categories, Michigan ranks 14th in overall fatality rate, 41st in structurally deficient bridges, 26th in traffic congestion, 46th in urban Interstate percent in poor condition, and 42nd in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Michigan ranks 15th in total spending per mile and 19th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Michigan needs to improve its pavement condition and reduce its percentage of structurally deficient bridges. Michigan is in the bottom 10 for urban Interstate pavement condition, rural Interstate pavement condition, and structurally deficient bridges. Compared to nearby states, the report finds Michigan’s overall highway performance is better than Indiana (ranks 32nd) and Pennsylvania (ranks 39th), but worse than Wisconsin (ranks 22nd),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Michigan is doing worse than a comparable state like Ohio (ranks 13th), but better than others like Illinois (ranks 37th).”

Michigan’s best rankings are in its rural fatality rate (6th) and overall fatality rate (14th).

Michigan’s worst rankings are in urban Interstate pavement condition (46th) and rural Interstate pavement condition (42nd)

Michigan’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 32nd 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.