Highway Condition

Highway Condition

The condition of roads in the United States improved between 1993 and 2002. For instance, the percentage of rural Interstate mileage in poor or mediocre condition declined from 35 percent in 1993 to 12 percent in 2002 (figure 11-3). Moreover, poor or mediocre urban Interstate mileage decreased from 42 to 28 percent over this period (figure 11-4).

However, while all classes of rural roads (box 11-A) have improved in recent years, the condition of urban collectors and minor arterials has declined. For instance, 27 percent of urban minor arterial mileage and 33 percent of collector mileage were rated poor or mediocre in 2002, rising from 20 percent and 27 percent, respectively, in 1997.

Just over 41 percent of all U.S. urban and rural roads were in good or very good condition in 2002, while nearly 18 percent were in poor or mediocre condition. The rest were in fair condition.1 In general, rural roads are in better condition than urban roads. In 2002, for instance, 29 percent of urban road-miles were classified as poor or mediocre compared with only 14 percent of rural-miles [1].


1. U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics 2002 (Washington, DC: 2002), table HM-64, available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohim/hs02/index.htm, as of February 2004.

1 These percentages include all classes of roads except local roads or minor collector roads.