Policy Study

Rural Arterial Pavement Condition — 23rd Annual Highway Report

Percent of Rural Other Principal Arterials in Poor Condition
2017 Annual Highway Report

Percent of Rural Other Principal Arterials in Poor Condition - Highway Report 2017 Placeholder
Percent of Rural Other Principal Arterials in Poor Condition - Highway Report 2017
1 to 10 Very Good 11 to 20 Good 21 to 30 Average 31 to 40 Bad 41 to 50 Very Bad 

The condition of major rural highways worsened slightly from 2013 to 2015, by about 0.08 percentage points. Overall, about 1.35% of the rural other principal arterial (ROPA) system—1,192 miles out of 88,155—was reported to be in poor condition (Table 13, Percent Rural Other Principal Arterial Mileage in Poor Condition, 2015, Figure 4). This compares with about 1.27% (1,126 of 88,550 miles) in 2013, the last time this assessment was completed. This is the highest amount of poor condition mileage since before 2000. (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 2013 and 2015 most states saw minor changes in ROPA pavement condition. Thirty-five states saw decreases/increases of poor condition mileage of one percentage point or less, with 16 states seeing decreases and 19 seeing increases. Of the remaining 15 states, four had significant changes: the percentage of the ROPA system in poor condition in Alaska and Iowa decreased by 10.6 and 4.1 percentage points, respectively, while the poor mileage in Connecticut and Rhode Island increased by 5.1 and 4.9 percentage points, respectively.

No states reported zero poor condition ROPA mileage in 2015 (as compared to one state in 2013, one in 2012, two in 2011 and three in 2009). Twenty-one states, however, did report 1% or less ROPA miles in poor condition. On the other hand, five states (Alaska, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and Hawaii) reported more than 5% of their ROPA mileage to be in poor condition. These five states have just over 1% of the U.S. ROPA mileage (four of these states have relatively small ROPA systems), but 12% of the mileage that is in poor condition. Alaska’s ROPA system has the most significant problem. By itself it has 9% of the poor ROPA mileage in the country.

Percentage of Rural Other Principal Arterial Mileage in Poor Condition
RankNamePercent
1Delaware0.11
2Florida0.11
3Illinois0.16
4Virginia0.3
5Tennessee0.33
6Kansas0.34
7Georgia0.4
8Kentucky0.41
9Missouri0.43
10Alabama0.47
11Wyoming0.48
12Idaho0.59
13Utah0.6
14New Mexico0.67
15Arizona0.68
16Texas0.71
17Ohio0.75
18North Dakota0.86
19Michigan0.88
20Oregon0.88
21South Carolina1
22Colorado1.05
23Mississippi1.06
24Nebraska1.1
25North Carolina1.13
26Maryland1.14
27Washington1.16
28Montana1.28
29Indiana 1.32
30Minnesota1.41
31Maine1.53
32South Dakota1.61
33Nevada1.63
34New York1.64
35Arkansas1.66
36Pennsylvania1.89
37Oklahoma 1.91
38Vermont2.27
39Iowa2.3
40Louisiana2.8
41Massachusetts2.82
42West Virginia3.07
43New Hampshire3.26
44Wisconsin3.31
45California3.35
46Hawaii5.69
47New Jersey6.69
48Connecticut7.75
49Rhode Island14.55
50Alaska19.82
Weighted Average1.35

View national trends and state-by-state performances by category: