Policy Study

Minnesota Ranks 15th in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Minnesota’s best rankings are in overall fatality rate, rural fatality rate, and urban fatality rate.

Minnesota’s highway system ranks 15th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a seven-spot improvement from the previous report, where Minnesota ranked 22nd overall.

In safety and performance categories, Minnesota ranks 2nd in overall fatality rate, 14th in structurally deficient bridges, 36th in traffic congestion, 35th in urban Interstate percent in poor condition, and 33rd in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Minnesota ranks 19th in total spending per mile and 14th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Minnesota needs to reduce its traffic congestion and improve its urban Interstate pavement condition. Minnesota ranks in the bottom 15 for traffic congestion and the bottom 20 for urban Interstate pavement condition. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds Minnesota’s overall highway performance is better than Iowa (ranks 20th) but worse than North Dakota (1st) and South Dakota (11th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Minnesota is doing better than comparable states like Michigan (ranks 24th) and Wisconsin (ranks 22nd).”

Minnesota’s best rankings are in its overall fatality rate (2nd) and its rural fatality rate (3rd).

Minnesota’s worst rankings are in its traffic congestion (36th) and urban Interstate pavement condition (35th).

Minnesota’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 21st 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.