Study: Iowa’s Highway System Ranks 22nd In USA, Down 2 Slots

Statewide Iowa — A national report ranks Iowa’s highway system 22nd in the country, a drop from 20th last year, in terms of its condition and cost-effectiveness.

The study’s lead author, Baruch Feigenbaum of the Reason Foundation, says they calculated the rankings based on a series of 13 categories, including pavement quality, spending, safety, and traffic congestion.

Among Iowa’s other placements, the organization’s Annual Highway Report showed Iowa ranked 30th in urban interstate pavement condition, 22nd in traffic congestion and 18th in overall fatality rate. The study also rated the states for how much they spend per mile of state-controlled road.

Earlier this week, President Biden signed a massive infrastructure bill into law which promises to pump some five-billion federal dollars into Iowa for projects from roads to public transportation to airports. It likely won’t mean anything visible right away, he says, as far as improvements to our highways.

Even with the influx in federal dollars, he’s doubtful Iowa’s 22nd place ranking on the report will shift significantly in either direction.

Compared to nearby states, Iowa’s overall highway performance is better than Illinois (ranks 40th overall) and Wisconsin (26th) but worse than Missouri (2nd), Minnesota (18th) and Nebraska (21st). The Reason Foundation is a non-partisan, non-profit think tank, based in Los Angeles.

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