Policy Study

Mississippi Ranks 8th in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Mississippi’s best rankings are total disbursements per mile, maintenance disbursements per mile, and capital and bridge disbursements per mile.

Mississippi’s highway system ranks 8th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a 17-spot improvement from the previous report, where Mississippi ranked 25th overall, as the state improved in all but one category, with the most dramatic improvement in its urban Interstate pavement condition.

In safety and performance categories, Mississippi ranks 49th in overall fatality rate, 37th in structurally deficient bridges, 9th in traffic congestion, 23rd in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 31st in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Mississippi ranks 2nd in total spending per mile and 8th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Mississippi needs to decrease its fatality rate. Mississippi is in the bottom 10 states for each fatality measure (overall, rural, and urban). Compared to nearby states, the report finds Mississippi’s overall highway performance is better than Arkansas (ranks 9th) and Texas (ranks 18th), but worse than Tennessee (ranks 7th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Mississippi is doing better than some comparable states like Louisiana (ranks 31st) and Alabama (ranks 19th).”

Mississippi’s best rankings are total disbursements per mile (2nd) and maintenance disbursements per mile (3rd).

Mississippi’s worst rankings are in overall fatality rate (49th), rural fatality rate (42nd), and urban fatality rate (42nd).

Mississippi’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 28th 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.