Texas ranks #12 in best roads and highways

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Texas is number 12 on the latest "Annual Report on the Performance of State Highway Systems," conducted by the University of North Carolina for the past 17 years.  Something TxDOT official Kathi White says they are proud of.

"We're proud to be on that list and climbing because at TxDOT, our main goal is to safely move people and goods across our highways."

Texas is a huge state, as we all know.  But to prove it, only the Lone Star State can boast the nation's largest state-owned highway system with 80,000 miles and one of the best maintained.

"When they notice it is when they go to other states and we do get comments and compliments saying Texas roads are good. Just go somewhere else and you can see the difference," says White.

Even drivers like Jeffrey Smith agree.  "Texas is one of the better maintained states in a lot of them out there."

The study measures the conditions of all state-owned roads and highways.  "That's covering a lot of different areas. That's 12 different areas including traffic safety, pavement conditions and road conditions," as well as bridge conditions, congestion, traffic fatalities and costs.

Here are the top five states.

#1 North Dakota

#2 Montana

#3 New Mexico

#4 Wyoming

#5 Kansas

Texas is 12th on the list, which is up from 15th last year.  And the worst state for the second year in a row is New Jersey.

Among all 50 states, Texas comes in at 34th overall for urban interstate congestion, 17th for deficient bridges and 26th in the nation in fatality rates.

"To maintain this incredibly large system it is challenge and funding is tight. To work under those constraints and still keep a good system is difficult. But we are ready for the challenge and every day we do and our people go out there and work hard," says White.

In other aspects of the study, it shows Massachusetts has the safest roads and Montana's are the deadliest.