Kansas roads are in great shape, at least for the time being.
In a report released Thursday by the Reason Foundation, out roads are ranked third best in the nation in overall highway performance and efficiency. The state jumped from fifth place in 2014 to third best overall in the 2016 report. Kansas is tied for first place in both rural interstate pavement condition and rural arterial pavement condition, and third place for urban Interstate pavement condition.
Above us were South Carolina and South Dakota. Right below us were Nebraska and Maine.
The bottom five were Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Hawaii, New Jersey and Alaska.
“Kansas boasts high quality roads in both urban and rural areas, earning top marks nationally and outpacing neighboring states,” said Governor Sam Brownback. “Rising rankings reflect the hard work of the Kansas Department of Transportation, its employees and private sector partners and their continued dedication to ensuring high-performance roadways that serve the needs of Kansans.”
The state-controlled highway system, the 27th largest system in the country, has consistently placed in the top tier of Reason reports.
“For years we’ve strived to be among the top performing highway systems,” said Interim Transportation Secretary Richard Carlson. “This report shows something that we know: Kansans have a highway system that they can be proud of. We continue to build and maintain a system that serves the needs of Kansas. And as a result of those efforts we’ve seen an increase in our ranking from fifth to third.”
Its great to celebrate our transportation system. For a rural state like Kansas, these roads are vital links between cities, towns and farmsteads.
They are critical to our ag and oil industries, all forms of commerce and business. They also carry us to grandma’s house or the big game.
For decades, our roads have been a matter of pride. This is still the case, for now.
With the state’s continuing fiscal crisis precipitated by the reckless economic experiment conducted by our elected officials in Topeka, the state has been robbing coffers of several agencies to help balance the budget. Some of this money has come from the Kansas Department of Transportation, which oversees our transit infrastructure.
It would be sad to see our roads crumble because Topeka can’t get its act together. Sure, we improved over last year, but we are now running the risk of paying for the current shortsightedness down the road.