The Reason Foundation just released its 24th Annual Highway Report, ranking Missouri’s highway system as the third best overall, behind North Dakota and Virginia. This is good news.
According to the study, the assessment is based upon:
. . . data that states submitted to the federal government, [and] ranks each state’s highway system in 13 categories, including traffic fatalities, pavement condition, congestion, spending per mile, administrative costs and more. This edition of the Annual Highway Report uses state-submitted highway data from 2016, the most recent year with complete figures currently available, along with traffic congestion and bridge data from 2017.
The write up specific to Missouri is here, and it is worth reading in its entirety. While some states spent in excess of $200,000 per mile, Missouri maintained a high rating while just spending under $24,000 per mile. This did not come at a cost to pavement condition, where Missouri ranked higher than some of the states that greatly outspent us.
It’s also worth noting that Missouri scored the worst on bridges (40 out of 50). Some good news is that the governor just announced a federal grant of $20 million to address exactly that.
My colleagues and I have written a great deal about the need to increase MODoT revenue and have suggested some possibilities. Advocates of restrained government are right to demand that government spend existing money wisely before seeking more revenue. This report from Reason suggests that MoDOT is being more responsible with taxpayer money than other states.