New Jersey lives down to its reputation for bad roads, study finds

Brett Johnson//September 19, 2014//

New Jersey lives down to its reputation for bad roads, study finds

Brett Johnson//September 19, 2014//

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Nationwide, the state-owned highway system is driving toward improvement. But it’s not so rosy a picture in the Garden State.New Jersey tops the charts in how much it pays for its state roads, yet it’s nearly dead last in an examination of the quality of those roads.

In a nationwide study conducted by California-based Reason Foundation, a condition-versus-cost comparison of roads left New Jersey in 48th place, ahead of only Hawaii and Alaska.

The state has worsened by one ranking slot year after year in the annual study, which is based on spending and performance data submitted by the state highway agencies to the federal government.

The top rankings continue to be controlled by relatively small, rural states. Wyoming, for example, tops the list.

But New Jersey spends by far the most to maintain and operate its state roads, at $2 million per mile, the study found.

It also has the sixth-highest administrative costs for operating its state-owned transportation, at $44,000 per mile, while the nation’s average was $10,500.

More interesting findings that pertain to the Garden State:

  • In a ranking of the condition of road pavement, New Jersey ranks among the five worst states.
  • Actually, New Jersey is part of a group of states (including New York, California, Michigan, Texas and Louisiana) that accounts for nearly half of the country’s derelict urban Interstate mileage.
  • The Garden State’s ramshackle roads are also the 10th most congested in America.
  • On a positive note, New Jersey is reported to be the fifth-best when compared with other states’ much higher frequency of traffic fatality rates.


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