OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – Kentucky’s highway system ranks 5th in the nation in cost-effectiveness and condition, according to a recent report by the Reason Foundation.
The annual report shows Kentucky has improved eight spots, going from 13th last year to 5th this year.
Kentucky’s best rankings were in administrative disbursements per mile, which ranked first; and urban arterial pavement condition, which ranked 8th.
Like the type of vehicles using highways and streets, opinions on the state of Kentucky’s roads vary.
“I think they’re very fair, very good roads to drive on,” says Latoria Cadet of Owensboro.
“Driving around our community, I feel like there needs to be some improvements on the roadways,” adds Megan Kurz of Owensboro.
The foundation placed the commonwealth 5th due to its good pavement conditions and low costs. It’s eight spots higher than last year’s ranking. Illinois ranked 28th and Indiana was 33rd. Kentucky was also 12th in rural pavement condition, 16th in pavement conditions in cities, and 18th in total spending per mile. Some drivers say road conditions depend on where you’re driving.
“It really depends county by county,” says Kelly Osborne of Owensboro.
“You leave Daviess County, go to McLean County, Ohio County, and the roads improve,” adds Joseph Pogue Sr. of Utica, Ky.
Foundation officials say Kentucky’s rating could have been even higher if it wasn’t for the state’s overall fatality rate, which put them near the bottom at 48th. They also say the overall condition of the nation’s highway system has worsened in recent years. While Kentucky was in the top five, some drivers say there’s still room for improvement.
“They need to widen some roads to make them a little bit safer,” Osborne says. “If they can expand it to where they have a little bit of room, that would be great.”
“They could go around fixing potholes and stuff that do tear up people’s cars, and just make it a smooth drive for people around here,” adds Cadet.
(This story was originally published on August 22, 2019)