New Jersey’s highway system ranked last in the nation for the third straight year, based on road conditions and cost-effectiveness, according to the Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report. The organization ranks every state’s highway system in 13 categories.

In safety and performance categories, N.J.’s highways ranked last in traffic congestion, 47th in urban interstate pavement conditions, 30th in structurally deficient bridges, 4th in overall highway fatalities, and 1st in rural interstate pavement conditions. The state’s highway costs are also disproportionately high compared to every other state – the biggest driver of its poor cost-effectiveness ranking. The study showed N.J. spends $1.1 million/mile of state-controlled highway – $762,00 more than New York per mile of highway. Its highway performance is also worse than Mass. (43rd), Penn. (39th), and Conn. (31st).

“To start to improve in the highway rankings, New Jersey’s high costs need to better translate into better road conditions… For example, New Jersey spends the most money per mile of highway but still ranks among the worst states in three pavement condition categories,” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the Annual Highway Report. “New Jersey… has the worst of both worlds: high spending and poor roadways.”

The Reason Foundation’s Annual Highway Report’s data is primarily from 2019, but the traffic congestion data is from 2020 and reflects some of the drop in volume due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The full Annual Highway Report is online here; New Jersey’s detailed results are here.

Source: The Reason Foundation

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