New Study Ranks Louisiana’s Roads Third Worst in the Country

A new report has ranked Louisiana’s roads the third worst in the country.  ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey spoke with DOTD about the problem.

A study by Consumer affairs has determined that Louisiana has the third worst roads in America.  Rodney Mallett with DOTD talks about why Louisiana received this ranking.

“They’re looking at the percentage of roads that are in poor and fair and good condition, but they’re also looking at the number of motor crash fatalities that we have and the amount of money that we spend per road and the vehicle miles traveled.  So if you look at Louisiana, last year we had a large number of fatalities and the year before that we had the highest on record.  So that is one thing that we definitely need to get a hold of here in Louisiana.”

Mallett says a big problem is that we have not increased our gas tax in many years to pay for improvements.

“If you look at the amount of money that we spend per mile, there’s only three states, there’s only two other states that have not increased their gas tax other than us.  It’s been more than 30 years since we increased our gas tax and so our funding levels are very small compared to other states.”

Mallett says with limited funding the state has had to prioritize how to repair it’s aging infrastructure.

“The infrastructure ages it’s just like your house or your car.  It needs to be maintained it needs to be repaired but if you don’t have the budget for it you have to prioritize what you’re going to repair.  Now if you look at what we’ve done in the last several years, we’ve been able to leverage some of the funding from the federal government to do some of these projects that are much needed across the state.”

There is a 15 billion dollar backlog of road projects that need to be completed.

“Up until recently we have really lacked in investing in infrastructure.  We have not received the funding and support to do a lot of these projects.  Recently with this governor and this legislature we’ve been able to get additional funding and you can see the results.  We’re seeing improvements across the state and we’ll continue to do so as we get additional funds.”

Hawaii ranked number one for worst roads followed by Rhode Island.  New Hampshire has the best roads.