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New report ranks Georgia highways 14th in U.S.
Georgia highways
Toll lanes on the Northwest Corridor, left, are an example of highway improvements that could lift Georgia in future rankings. (CAPITOL NEWS BEAT)

ATLANTA – Georgia’s highway system ranks 14th in the nation in overall cost-effectiveness and condition, according to a new study.

The Reason Foundation, a Los Angeles-based libertarian think tank, in its Annual Highway Report placed Georgia near the bottom in urban fatality rate but ranked the Peach State No. 1 in condition of urban arterial highways and third in condition of rural arterial roads.

“Georgia spends around the national average on its highway system, but this spending is being effectively used to produce high-quality pavement conditions and well-maintained bridges,” the report stated.

“One of the state’s biggest weaknesses – urban traffic congestion – is being addressed by building a network of variably-priced managed lanes in metro Atlanta that could improve the state’s traffic congestion in future reports.”

In safety and performance categories, Georgia ranked 28th in overall fatality rate, seventhin structurally deficient bridges, 34th in traffic congestion, 16th in urban Interstate pavement condition, and 23rd in rural Interstate pavement condition.

Georgia spends $66,994 per state-controlled mile of highway, 20th in total spending per mile and 19th in capital and bridge costs per mile.

Georgia’s highways compare favorably to the neighboring states of Florida, Alabama and South Carolina but placed behind North Carolina and Tennessee.

Georgia ranked high among the nation’s most populous states, easily besting California, New York, Illinois and Florida, and ranking just ahead of Texas.

“To improve in the report’s overall rankings, Georgia could reduce its urban fatality rate and urban traffic congestion,” said Baruch Feigenbaum, the report’s lead author and senior managing director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation.

“The state made progress reducing its administrative costs and improving rural arterial pavement quality leading to a 12-spot improvement in the rankings.”

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