Rural Other Principal Arterials (ROPA) are two- to four-lane roadways connecting different cities or regions. The condition of major rural arterials improved substantially from 2018 to 2019, by about 0.05 percentage points.
Overall, about 1.15% of the ROPA system— 1,027 miles out of 89,287—was reported to be in poor condition (Table 13, Percent Rural Other Principal Arterial Mileage in Poor Condition, 2019, Figure 8). This compares with about 1.23% (1,068 of 88,926 miles) in 2018, the last time this assessment was completed. (It should be noted that as cities grow, the urbanized area around them grows as well. As this occurs, roads near cities are often reclassified from rural to urban. If these roads were in good condition already, their reclassification has the effect of increasing the percentage of rural roads in poor condition.)
Between 2018 and 2019, the percentage of ROPA decreased in 22 states, increased in 21 states, and remained about the same in seven states. The percent of poor mileage changed less than 1% in 44 of the states. Of the remaining six states, three had changes of less than 2%. Alaska and Rhode Island led the states in reducing poor condition (by 7.39 and
2.20 points respectively) while West Virginia led the states in increasing poor condition mileage (by 2.04 points).
The condition of ROPA miles varies widely by state. One state, Delaware, reported zero poor condition ROPA mileage in 2018. Twenty-two additional states reported 1% or less ROPA mileage in poor condition. On the other hand, five states (Alaska, Rhode Island, Hawaii, New Jersey, and Maine) reported more than 5% of their ROPA mileage to be in poor condition. These five states have 1.8% of the U.S. ROPA mileage, but 14.7% of the mileage that is in poor condition. Alaska’s ROPA system has the most significant problem, accounting for 7.4% of all the poor ROPA mileage in the country.
Rural Other Principal Arterial Pavement Condition — Percent in Poor Condition
|2019 Rank||State||Percent Rural Other Principal Arterial Mileage in Poor Condition|