Policy Study

Wyoming Ranks 36th in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness

Wyoming’s best rankings are in urban fatality rate, urban congestion, and total disbursements per mile.

Editor’s Note (Jan. 12, 2021): The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has identified an “error in the 2018 HM-64 Highway Statistics table” that it is still in the process of correcting. This FHWA error in the 2018 HM-64 table negatively impacted Wyoming’s pavement condition figures and rankings in the 25h Annual Highway Report. And, as a result, the FHWA data error would have also played a role in Wyoming’s overall ranking falling from 11th overall in the previous report to 36th overall in the 25th Annual Highway Report.

Wyoming’s highway system ranks 36th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a 25-spot decline from the previous report, where Wyoming ranked 11th overall. Wyoming’s urban Interstate and urban arterial pavement condition rankings dropped to 50th this year.

In safety and performance categories, Wyoming ranks 20th in overall fatality rate, 30th in structurally deficient bridges, 8th in traffic congestion, 50th in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 26th in rural Interstate pavement condition.

On spending, Wyoming ranks 12th in total spending per mile and 23rd in capital and bridge costs per mile.

“To improve in the rankings, Wyoming needs to improve its pavement condition. The state ranks last in urban Interstate and urban arterial pavement condition. Compared to neighboring states, the report finds Wyoming’s overall highway performance is better than Colorado (ranks 38th), but worse than Nebraska (ranks 12th) and Utah (ranks 17th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation. “Wyoming is ranked worse than comparable states like Idaho (ranks 5th) and Montana (ranks 10th).”

Wyoming’s best rankings are in urban fatality rate (6th) and traffic congestion (8th).

Wyoming’s worst rankings are in urban Interstate pavement condition (50th) and urban arterial pavement condition (50th).

Wyoming’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 39th 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.