Iowa bridges ranked 48th nationally in state-by-state highway report

(The Center Square) – Iowa ranked 22nd nationally in the Reason Foundation’s review of each state’s overall cost-effectiveness and condition of major roadways. The Hawkeye State’s structurally deficient bridges hindered its success in the 26th Annual Highway Report, which the public policy organization released Thursday.

Iowa bridges are ranked 48th in the nation.

“The only states with a higher percentage of bridges in poor shape are coastal Rhode Island and West Virginia, a state with generally older infrastructure,” the report said. “Neither is similar to Iowa. Iowa does not compare favorably to its peer states, having more than double the structurally deficient bridges of Nebraska and almost triple those of Wisconsin. Iowa needs to prioritize improving its bridges.”

In overall regional rankings, Iowa is ahead of Wisconsin (26th) and Nebraska (21st), despite those states having much lower percentages of structurally deficient bridges (8.84% and 7.20% respectively, compared with Iowa’s nearly 20%).

North Dakota triumphs in the report, placing first, while Missouri was ranked second place. Illinois ranks 40th.

Rural fatality rate and urban fatality rates are low in Iowa compared with most other states. The state ranks 13th for each measure. It ranks 18th for statewide fatality rate.

The state ranks 34th for capital disbursements per mile and 19th in total spending per mile of state-controlled road ($63,471) for its highway system, which is the 29th largest in the country.

Iowa’s traffic congestion is about average, based on its ranking (22nd), causing drivers to waste 7.69 hours per year.

“While the state has held costs down effectively, it may be coming at the expense of system quality, which lags Iowa’s peer states,” Reason Foundation Senior Managing Director of Transportation Policy and Lead Report Author Baruch Feigenbaum said in the report.

Iowa rose two spots from last year’s report.

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