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Foundation report says La. roads are improving

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Work continues Friday on the last section of La. Highway 28 West to be widened near Gardner. When completed, the highway, which is the major artery between England Airpark and Fort Polk, will be four-laned from Alexandria to Leesville. A recent ranking of state highways showed Louisiana has improved several spots to 36th. (Tia Owens-Powers/

By Jeff Matthews

Louisiana’s highways are improving, according to an annual report from public policy research center the Reason Foundation.

In the foundation’s 2010 report — based on data given to the federal government for 2008, the most recent year complete data is available — Louisiana ranked 36th among U.S. states.

That’s a significant improvement over a No. 43 ranking in the 2009 report.

“Since the Jindal Administration took office in January 2008, we have invested a total of $3.5 billion in roads and reduced the backlog of highway projects by $1.5 billion,” said Interim DOTD Secretary Sherri H. LeBas. “What this means for Louisiana is a safer and more efficient highway system for our citizens.”

The Reason Foundation report, which is in its 19th year, rates the performance and cost-effectiveness of state-owned highway systems in 11 categories.

North Dakota had the No. 1 state highway system in the country in 2008, according to the report. Montana, Kansas, New Mexico and Nebraska were also in the top five. Rhode Island was rated the worst, with Alaska 49th, California 48th, Hawaii 47th and New York 46th.

Louisiana had the fifth-highest jump in rankings from the 2009 to the 2010 report. Missouri had the largest improvement, moving up 16 spots from 24th to eighth.

Louisiana’s top rankings in individual categories were in administrative disbursements (eighth), state-controlled highway miles (14th) and state highway agency miles (18th).

The state spent $3,307 per highway mile in administrative costs, well below the U.S. average of more than $13,000 per mile.

The state’s worst rankings were in fatality rates (49th) and urban interstate condition (44th).

Louisiana had a fatality rate of 2.02 per 100 million vehicle miles.

Only Montana (2.12) posted a worse average.

The national average was 1.25 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles.

Other Louisiana rankings were total disbursements (28th), urban interstate congestion (28th), maintenance disbursements (32nd), rural interstate condition (34th), narrow rural lanes (34th), capital and bridge disbursements (36th), rural other principal arterial condition (38th) and deficient or functionally obsolete bridges (39th).

As in prior years, the best-performing states were smaller, rural states with limited congestion, though Missouri (eighth), Georgia (ninth) and Texas (13th) all performed well.


Written by demon53

September 15, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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