Number of the Day: 8.4

July 10, 2013 | Number of The Day

New Jersey’s roads are in poor shape, but despite this we’re spending 8.4 times more than the national per-mile average fixing them, according to an annual highway report by the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank.

Indeed, New Jersey spends more than any other state on maintenance per mile, as well as capital and bridges per mile. It’s total financial disbursements in 2009 ($1.2 million) were twice that of California’s $679,296, the second highest in the nation. Much of the problem may lie in the high cost of debt service, since bonding is how New Jersey has been paying for its transportation needs.

The study, which looked at spending for 2009, ranked New Jersey 46th for highway performance and efficiency. (The delay in finishing each study is blamed by the foundation on the failure of states [not necessarily New Jersey] to release road condition information in a timely manner.)

Despite the financial crisis, New Jersey did rank highly in two areas. It ranks 4th in fatality rate and 1st in rural interstate pavement condition.