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April 27, 2023

CT’s highway system ranks 5th in national study, as per-mile spending rises

Connecticut's highway system was recently ranked fifth in the United States in terms of its cost-effectiveness and condition, rising 26 spots from last year's rankings, according to the 27th Annual Highway Report released by the Reason Foundation.

While Connecticut's improvement is due partly to a change in the methodology, it also rose in the rankings due to infrastructure upgrades, including smoother highway pavement, and lower fatality rates.

The report uses 2020 data; last year's report uses data from 2019.

State spending on highway construction projects also contributed to Connecticut’s upswing. The state ranked 12th in capital and bridge costs per mile, and 16th in maintenance spending per mile.

Connecticut’s best rankings were in urban interstate pavement condition (8th), and other disbursements per lane-mile (9th). Connecticut’s worst rankings were in urbanized area congestion (42nd) and urban arterial pavement condition (28th), according to the study.

Connecticut’s drivers waste 30.2 hours a year in traffic congestion, the study found, ranking it 42nd in the nation. 

Connecticut is one of nine states where automobile commuters spend more than 30 hours annually stuck in peak-hour traffic congestion, the report says. The others are New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Rhode Island, Illinois, California and Delaware.

While impaired and wrong-way crashes have been a focus of the state legislature this year,  Connecticut’s fatality rates were lower than in many states. According to the study, Connecticut ranked 25th in terms of its rural fatality rate, 11th in its urban fatality rate and 17th in the “other” fatality rate category.

According to last year’s report, using 2019 data, Connecticut had the ninth-highest fatality rate in the nation, and the third-highest rural fatality rate.  

In this year’s study, Connecticut’s overall highway performance ranked higher than nearby states New York (49th), Massachusetts (20th) and New Hampshire (14th). It also scored higher than New Jersey (44th) and Rhode Island (42nd).

The study’s methodology uses highway spending, conditions, fatality rates and urbanized congestion data submitted to the Federal Highway Administration.

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