PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Annual highway report ranks Florida roads as 41st overall in U.S.

Florida's highway system placed 41st in the nation in performance and cost-effectiveness according to the Annual Highway Report.

The non-partisan Reason Foundation ranks state highway systems in 13 categories for the report.

The state was in the bottom 10 of all states in six categories including traffic fatality rates, but gets high points for the condition of its bridges and pavement.

"I like to call Florida the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde state,” said Baruch Feigenbaum, a co-author of the report.

“There are some things that it does really well, and there's some things that it does very, very poorly,” he said.

“Unfortunately, there's more things that it does poorly than well and that's why it ranks 41st."

Feigenbaum says Florida's highway costs are too high and that is the biggest driver of its poor overall rankings. The state spends more than three times as much on a mile of roadway compared to Georgia and Texas.

"First of all, lowering those disbursements even a little bit would really help,” he said. “There's some evidence that the projects being chosen are done more for political reasons than they are for policy reasons. You can never totally eliminate politics but reducing it would be good."

The report also shows that Florida’s drivers waste more than 17 hours a year in traffic congestion, ranking 37th in the nation.

Nationally, the report shows America’s highway system improving in almost every category and more than half of the states making progress.

Copyright 2021 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7. To see more, visit WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7.

Cathy Carter is the education reporter for WUSF 89.7 and StateImpact Florida.