Policy Study

New Hampshire Ranks 29th in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

New Hampshire’s best rankings are in rural Interstate pavement condition, urban Interstate pavement condition, and capital and bridge disbursements per mile.

New Hampshire’s highway system ranks 29th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a five-spot decline from the previous report, where New Hampshire ranked 24th overall.

In safety and performance categories, New Hampshire ranks 22nd in overall fatality rate, 35th in structurally deficient bridges, 27th in traffic congestion, 1st in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 1st in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, New Hampshire ranks 23rd in total spending per mile and 15th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, New Hampshire needs to reduce its percentage of structurally deficient bridges, administrative spending, and rural fatality rate. New Hampshire is in the bottom 10 states for administrative spending and the bottom 20 for rural fatality rate and structurally deficient bridges. Compared to nearby states, the report finds New Hampshire’s overall highway performance is better than Connecticut (ranks 35th), Massachusetts (ranks 47th), and New York (ranks 44th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “New Hampshire is doing worse than a comparable state like Maine (ranks 25th), but better than others like Vermont (ranks 30th).”

New Hampshire’s best rankings are in rural Interstate pavement condition (1st) and urban Interstate pavement condition (1st).

New Hampshire’s worst rankings are administrative disbursements per mile (44th) and structurally deficient bridges (35th).

New Hampshire’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 45th 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.