Policy Study

Nebraska Ranks 12th in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Nebraska’s best rankings are in administrative disbursements per mile, urban area congestion, and total disbursements per mile.

Nebraska’s highway system ranks 12th 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 Nebraska ranked 15th overall.

In safety and performance categories, Nebraska ranks 25th in overall fatality rate, 34th in structurally deficient bridges, 7th in traffic congestion, 31st in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 16th in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Nebraska ranks 8th in total spending per mile and 16th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Nebraska needs to improve its urban arterial pavement condition. Nebraska is in the bottom five states for urban arterial pavement condition. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds Nebraska’s overall highway performance is better than Colorado (ranks 38th), Iowa (ranks 20th), and Wyoming (ranks 36th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Nebraska is doing worse than comparable states like Kansas (ranks 3rd) and South Dakota (ranks 11th).”

Nebraska’s best rankings are in administrative disbursements per mile (3rd) and urban area congestion (7th).

Nebraska’s worst rankings are urban arterial pavement condition (47th) and structurally deficient bridges (34th).

Nebraska’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 30th 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.