Policy Study

Missouri Ranks 3rd in the Nation in Highway Performance and Cost-Effectiveness


Missouri's Rankings in the
26th Annual Highway Report

CategoryRank
overall
Overall
3
total-disbursements-per-mile
Total Disbursements per Mile
5
capital-bridge-disbursements-per-mile
Capital & Bridge Disbursements per Mile
1
maintenance-disbursements-per-mile
Maintenance Disbursements per Mile
9
administrative-disbursements-per-mile
Administrative Disbursements per Mile
13
rural-interstate-percent-poor-condition
Rural Interstate Pavement Condition
11
urban-interstate-percent-poor-condition
Urban Interstate Pavement Condition
18
rural-other-principal-arterial-percent-narrow-lanes
Rural Arterial Pavement Condition
12
rural-other-principal-arterial-percent-poor-condition
Urban Arterial Pavement Condition
24
urbanized-area-congestion-peak-hours-spent-in-congestion-per-auto-commuter
Urbanized Area Congestion
9
bridges-percent-deficient
Structurally Deficient Bridges
34
fatality-rate-per-100-million-vehicle-miles-of-travel
Overall Fatality Rate
27
fatality-rate-per-100-million-vehicle-miles-of-travel
Rural Fatality Rate
18
fatality-rate-per-100-million-vehicle-miles-of-travel
Urban Fatality Rate
37

Missouri's Overall Ranking in Recent Annual Highway Reports

Missouri’s highway system ranks 3rd in the nation in overall cost- effectiveness and condition, according to the Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. This is a one-spot decline from the previous report where Missouri ranked 2nd.

Missouri needs to reduce its urban fatality rate and reduce its percentage of structurally deficient bridges. Peer state Kansas’ urban fatality rate is 1.5 times lower and peer state Minnesota’s rate is three times lower. Kansas’ percentage of structurally deficient bridges is 1.5 times lower than Missouri’s rate while Minnesota’s percentage of structurally deficient bridges is three times lower.

In safety and performance categories, Missouri ranks 27th in overall fatality rate, 34th in structurally deficient bridges, 9th in traffic congestion, 18th in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 11th in rural Interstate pavement condition.

Missouri spends $27,770 per mile of state-controlled road. Missouri is 5th in total spending per mile and 1st in capital and bridge costs per mile.

Missouri’s best rankings are in capital and bridge disbursements (1st) and total disbursements (5th).

Missouri’s worst rankings are in urban fatality rate (37th) and structurally deficient bridges (34th).

Missouri commuters spend 5.60 hours stuck in traffic congestion, ranking 9th nationally.

Missouri’s state-controlled highway mileage makes it the 6th largest highway system in the country.

“To improve in the rankings, Missouri needs to reduce its urban fatality rate and its percentage of structurally deficient bridges,” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason

Foundation. “Missouri ranks in the top 30 of all states in all 11 of the other categories. The state is a consistently strong performer, having finished in the top 10 states for the last five years.

Additional Analysis

Compared to nearby states, Missouri’s overall highway performance is better than Arkansas (ranks 17th), Iowa (ranks 22nd), and Illinois (ranks 40th).

Missouri is doing better than comparable states like Kansas (ranks 7th) and Louisiana (ranks 18th).

While Missouri’s rankings in urban fatality rate and percent structurally deficient bridges are not awful, compared to the state’s other stellar rankings, they stick out like a sore thumb. It’s impossible for any one state to rank highly in all the categories, but if Missouri is able to reduce its urban fatality rate and percent structurally deficient bridges even slightly, the state would be a contender for the number one overall ranking.
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, total) per mile.