Louisiana gets 'middle of the road' highway ranking

WWL Newsroom
August 24, 2019 - 12:36 pm

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A highway system study by the libertarian Reason Foundation ranks Louisiana’s highways 34th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition.

The middle of the road ranking results from near bottom rankings in overall road and bridge quality, but high rankings for low state road spending per mile. 

Annual Highway Report lead author Baruch Feigenbaum says “Louisiana is a mix of good and bad, with lots of room for improvement. The one thing that Louisiana does well is that the overall spending per mile is pretty low which means the state is pretty efficient.”

Louisiana ranked 24th in maintenance disbursements per mile, 6th in administrative disbursements per mile, and 17th for total disbursements per mile.

The state’s low total road conditions rankings are broken down into four measures, including rural/urban road quality breakdowns. Feigenbaum says the state’s road quality is bleak.

“Louisiana ranks in the bottom fifteen of all states in all four measures, including being second to last in urban interstate pavement condition, so that’s a real problem.”

Louisiana also ranked 44th worst for structurally deficient bridges.

On top of poor road conditions, the report also ranked Louisiana’s roads the 4th most deadly in the nation. Feigenbaum says increased law enforcement could help that, along with road restructuring.

“If they tend to have more curves, or tend to be super wide in terms of the lane width, that can encourage some poor driving practices.”

Louisiana may be the 33rd largest state by total land area, but the report says it contains the 12th largest highway system in the nation.

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