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Study: Texas spends a lot on highway repair, but has some of the worst roads in the nation 

  • Pexels / Aleksandar Pasaric
Texas may pride itself on its countless miles of highways, but it hasn't exactly done a good job of maintaining them, according to a new study.

An analysis of highway condition and state infrastructure spending by the financial site MoneyGeek found the Lone Star State had the 13th-worst roads among U.S. states. Roughly one in five Texas roads (21%) is in poor condition, while just 42% are in good shape, according to the report.

State and local governments spend more than $186 billion annually on road maintenance. The MoneyGeek study suggests that funding level may be enough to maintain highway infrastructure while not actually being sufficient to improve road conditions. 

Indeed, the research found no correlation between spending per vehicle mile — which indicates how much usage roads get — and states' overall road roughness. That was certainly the case in Texas, which despite its poor road quality, ranked 16th in infrastructure spending. The state poured some $15.3 billion into roadwork last year.

"In Texas' case, there are an awful lot of roads, so you're going to have to spend a lot of money just to keep them maintained," said Doug Milnes, MoneyGeek's head of data analysis. "Beyond that, there are more miles driven on those roads than in a lot of other states."

Milnes added that Texas' brisk population growth may have put the state into a position where it's building infrastructure to keep up with suburban expansion while struggling to maintain existing roadways as they deteriorate.

Oklahoma has the best road condition of the U.S., with just 8% of its blacktop in poor repair, according to the study. The District of Columbia ranked last, with 83% of its roads in rough condition.

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