The libertarian Reason Foundation put the best spin possible in a news release on its Annual Highway Report, but a one-spot improvement on Indiana's 2019 rank of 33rd in the nation for overall cost-effectiveness and condition is no cause for celebration.
The foundation's annual scorecard ranks the Hoosier State 19th in overall fatality rate, 21st in structurally deficient bridges and 32nd in traffic congestion.
Its poorest marks are for urban interstate pavement condition, at 43rd, and rural interstate pavement condition, at 45th.
Indiana ranks 27th in total spending per mile and 24th in capital and bridge costs per mile.
“Compared to nearby states, the report finds Indiana's overall highway performance is worse than Kentucky (ranks 4th), Ohio (ranks 13th) and Minnesota (ranks 15th) but better than Illinois (ranks 37th),” said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author and senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation.
The good news is the report uses 2018 data. Investment from the state's Next Level Roads program is underway, funded by an increase in the state gasoline tax, and should help improve some of those rankings.