Policy Study

Oklahoma Ranks 34th in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Oklahoma’s best rankings are in urban area congestion, rural fatality rate, and rural arterial pavement condition.

Oklahoma’s highway system ranks 34th 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 Oklahoma ranked 41st overall.

In safety and performance categories, Oklahoma ranks 43rd in overall fatality rate, 43rd in structurally deficient bridges, 16th in traffic congestion, 39th in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 34th in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Oklahoma ranks 31st in total spending per mile and 31st in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Oklahoma needs to reduce its overall fatality rate and its percentage of structurally deficient bridges. Oklahoma ranks in the bottom 10 for both categories. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds Oklahoma’s overall highway performance is better than Colorado (ranks 38th), but worse than Missouri (ranks 2nd) and Texas (ranks 18th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Oklahoma is doing worse than comparable states like Arkansas (9th) and Kansas (ranks 3rd).”

Oklahoma’s best rankings are in urban area congestion (16th) and rural fatality rate (20th).

Oklahoma’s worst rankings are overall fatality rate (43rd) and structurally deficient bridges (43rd).

Oklahoma’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 22nd 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.