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What states have the worst roads in America?

ConsumerAffairs has compiled a list of the best and the worst

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Photo (c) George Clerk
Cross-country motorists often notice that once they cross a state line, the roads either get better or worse. Highway maintenance is largely a function of state government and some states do a better job than others.

ConsumerAffairs researchers have completed a study of roads in all 50 states and ranked the best and worst. To do this, researchers analyzed data from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration and other government agencies. They also surveyed residents throughout the nation to get drivers’ perspectives on their state’s roads.

While funding is a critical function of highway infrastructure and maintenance, the list of states with the worst roads includes both rich and poor states. Louisiana and Mississippi are on the list but so are Hawaii and California. In fact, ConsumerAffairs found roads in Hawaii are the worst in the nation.

Here are the top 10 states with the worst roads:

  1. Hawaii

  2. Rhode Island

  3. Louisiana

  4. California

  5. Wisconsin

  6. Mississippi

  7. Arkansas

  8. Colorado

  9. South Carolina

  10. Iowa

Researchers received feedback from a resident of Wai`anae, on Oahu, who said many of the town’s roads “are in need of repair.” A resident of Eunice, La., said most of the roads in Louisiana are in “horrific condition,” and a driver in Egan, La., blamed the poor conditions on the state relying on “patch repairs” rather than fixes that are built to last.

States with the best roads

What states have the best roads and highways? Again, the list contains a few surprises. Two neighboring states in New England are on it, as well as three states in the South.

Here are the top 10 states with the best roads:

  1. New Hampshire

  2. Minnesota

  3. Vermont

  4. Alabama 

  5. Idaho

  6. Kansas

  7. Florida

  8. Georgia

  9. Nevada

  10. Indiana

The researchers said they judged states’ roads based on the roughness of the pavement and highway maintenance and safety budgets. Residents of each state were asked to judge their state’s roads and highways on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest. Survey respondents rated their roads at 4.8 out of 10, on average. 

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