Policy Study

Oregon Ranks 28th in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Oregon’s best rankings are in rural Interstate pavement condition, rural arterial pavement condition, and structurally deficient bridges.

Oregon’s highway system ranks 28th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a 16-spot decline from the previous report, where Oregon ranked 12th overall, as the state’s congestion ranking and bridge and capital disbursements ranking fell by 21 and 16 spots respectively.

In safety and performance categories, Oregon ranks 38th in overall fatality rate, 16th in structurally deficient bridges, 38th in traffic congestion, 25th in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 11th in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Oregon ranks 34th in total spending per mile and 29th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Oregon needs to reduce its rural fatality rate. Oregon ranks in the bottom 10 for rural fatality rate. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds Oregon’s overall highway performance is better than California (ranks 43rd), but worse than Nevada (ranks 27th) and Idaho (ranks 5th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Oregon is doing better than some comparable states like Washington (ranks 45th), but worse than others like Utah (ranks 17th).”

Oregon’s best rankings are in rural Interstate pavement condition (11th) and rural arterial pavement condition (13th).

Oregon’s worst rankings are rural fatality rate (43rd), overall fatality rate (38th), and urban area congestion (38th).

Oregon’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 35th 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.