Policy Study

West Virginia Ranks 33rd in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

West Virginia’s best rankings are in urban area congestion, urban arterial pavement condition, and administrative disbursements per mile.

West Virginia’s highway system ranks 33rd in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a 17-spot decline from the previous report, where West Virginia ranked 16th overall, as the state saw notable drops in total disbursements per mile and capital and bridge disbursements per mile rankings of 43 and 36 spots respectively.

In safety and performance categories, West Virginia ranks 46th in overall fatality rate, 49th in structurally deficient bridges, 10th in traffic congestion, 30th in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 39th in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, West Virginia ranks 38th in total spending per mile and 46th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, West Virginia needs to reduce its percentage of structurally deficient bridges, its overall fatality rate, and its capital and bridge spending. The state is in the bottom five for structurally deficient bridges, overall fatality rate, and capital and bridge disbursements per mile. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds West Virginia’s overall highway performance is better than Maryland (ranks 41st), but worse than Virginia (ranks 21st) and Ohio (ranks 13th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “West Virginia is doing worse than comparable states like Kentucky (ranks 4th) and Indiana (ranks 32nd).”

West Virginia’s best rankings are in traffic congestion (10th) and urban arterial pavement condition (12th).

West Virginia’s worst rankings are in structurally deficient bridges (49th), overall fatality rate (46th), and capital and bridge disbursements per mile (46th).

West Virginia’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 6th 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.