Policy Study

Missouri Ranks 2nd in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Missouri’s best rankings are in capital and bridge disbursements per mile, total disbursements per mile, and administrative disbursements per mile.

Missouri’s highway system ranks 2nd 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 Missouri ranked 3rd overall.

In safety and performance categories, Missouri ranks 31st in overall fatality rate, 33rd in structurally deficient bridges, 20th in traffic congestion, 16th in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 10th in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Missouri ranks 1st in total spending per mile and 1st in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Missouri needs to reduce its percentage of structurally deficient bridges and overall fatality rate. The state is in the bottom 20 for both categories. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds Missouri’s overall highway performance is better than Arkansas (ranks 9th), Illinois (ranks 37th), and Iowa (ranks 20th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Missouri is doing better than comparable states like Kansas (ranks 3rd) and Minnesota (ranks 15th).”

Missouri’s best rankings are in capital and bridge disbursements per mile (1st) and total disbursements per mile (1st).

Missouri’s worst rankings are in structurally deficient bridges (33rd) and overall fatality rate (31st)

Missouri’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 7th 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.