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Study: New Jersey ranks last in the nation in highway performance and cost-effectiveness

While New York and Connecticut improve their rankings, New Jersey remains in last place in Annual Highway Report’s examination of 13 categories.

NEW JERSEYNew Jersey’s highway system ranks 50th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to the 25th Annual Highway Report by Reason Foundation. There is no change from the previous report, where New Jersey also ranked last.

In safety and performance categories, New Jersey ranks 3rd in overall fatality rate, 29th in structurally deficient bridges, 40th in traffic congestion, 45th in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 36th in rural Interstate pavement condition.

New Jersey’s worst rankings come from high spending per mile figures that don’t translate into good pavement and congestion conditions. The state spends the most in the country in total disbursements per mile (50th), capital and bridge disbursements per mile (50th), and maintenance disbursements per mile (50th).

New Jersey’s best rankings are in overall fatality rate (3rd) and rural fatality rate (4th).

“To move up in the rankings, New Jersey needs to improve the effectiveness of its spending by having that spending result in improving pavement conditions and decreasing traffic delays. Compared to nearby states, the report finds New Jersey’s overall highway performance is behind New York (ranks 44th), Pennsylvania (ranks 39th), and Connecticut (ranks 35th).” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation.

New Jersey’s state-controlled highway mileage is small. It is the 47th largest highway system in the country.

Reason Foundation’s 25th 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.

Reason Foundation’s complete Annual Highway Report is available by clicking here.

Reason Foundation is a nonprofit think tank dedicated to advancing free minds and free markets that has advised multiple presidential administrations and numerous state departments of transportation on infrastructure issues.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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