Highway Condition

Highway Condition

The condition of roads in the United States improved between 1993 and 2003. For instance, the percentage of rural Interstate mileage in poor or mediocre condition declined from 35 percent in 1993 to 11 percent in 2003 (figure 2-3). Poor or mediocre urban Interstate mileage decreased from 42 to 27 percent over this period (figure 2-4).

However, while all classes of rural roads (box 2-A) have improved in recent years, the condition of urban collectors and minor arterials has declined. For instance, 28 percent of urban minor arterial mileage and 34 percent of collector mileage were rated poor or mediocre in 2003, rising from 18 percent and 21 percent, respectively, in 1998.

Just under 41 percent of all U.S. urban and rural roads were in good or very good condition in 2003, while approximately 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 2003, for instance, 30 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 2003 (Washington, DC: 2004), table HM-64.

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