Road condition report card: How do roads in Mississippi compare to the rest of the country?

Published 7:54 am Monday, November 29, 2021

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See what the road conditions are like in Mississippi—and how they compare to the rest of the country

The average American drives close to 13,500 miles a year, and with many roads and bridges across the country being below subpar level, the U.S. Senate passed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that will improve the country’s aging roads and bridges. – The infrastructure spending will also chart a course for a clear energy future and entail the expansion of broadband, provide replacement of harmful lead-piped drinking water systems, add new sewer systems, and expand and modernize passenger rail and transit systems. Uplift Legal Funding compiled a list of states where roads are in the worst condition, using data from the White House Infrastructure Fact Sheet. States were issued an infrastructure report card and graded based on the conditions of its roads and bridges. The White House details the significant investment needs taking into account the regional variations when it comes to road quality, funding commuting patterns as well as other factors.

Using the fact sheet and 2019 data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Uplift identified the states with the lowest percentage of acceptable roads. Acceptable road condition is determined by a road’s score on the international roughness index, a measure determining the smoothness of the road’s surface.

Read on to see how well your state maintains its roads, or see the top 15 here.

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Mississippi by the numbers

– Percent of road mileage in acceptable condition: 73.2% (15,951.7 miles)
– Total road mileage: 21,792.1 miles

Mississippi may be known for the beauty of its magnolia trees, but The Magnolia State hasn’t been able to keep up with the maintenance of its road infrastructure. For years, the state has faced unprecedented challenges as a result of hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Mississippi has a whopping 17,072 bridges and more than 400 timber pile bridges have been closed to the public since 2018, according to the 2020 Mississippi Report Card summary.

The federal government deemed the structures insufficiently inspected, stating it was a risk to the traveling public. In 2018, the Mississippi Legislature voted to provide $100 million annually in funding for bridge maintenance and repairs. Through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the state can expect to receive $3.3 billion over the next five years for road improvements and another $225 million for repairs to its bridges.

In addition to being frustrating, poor road conditions are linked to reduced safety, more traffic, and increased vehicle costs. Idaho however has proven to be proficient in its road maintenance with 96.4% of its road mileage in acceptable condition. Wyoming also has a positive rating with 94.7% of its road mileage in good condition.

Keep reading to see which states have the best and worst road conditions.

States where roads are in the best condition

#1. Idaho: 96.4% (3,968.0 miles) of roads in acceptable condition
#2. Wyoming: 94.7% (6,793.6 miles) of roads in acceptable condition
#3. Tennessee: 94.7% (4,800.1 miles) of roads in acceptable condition

States where roads are in the worst condition

#1. Rhode Island: 49.7% (849.2 miles) of roads in acceptable condition
#2. New Jersey: 53% (4,081.8 miles) of roads in acceptable condition
#3. Hawaii: 57.2% (889.5 miles) of roads in acceptable condition