Transportation infrastructure is a major part of all U.S. businesses. Every supply chain eventually depends on roads to get their products from point A to point B. With millions of roads crisscrossing the country, it should come as no surprise that some states have more road than others. The miles of public road in a particular state can impact municipal and federal budgets. These important pieces of infrastructure are a big part of what keep the economy turning. Below is a list of the miles of public road per state.
New Hampshire: 16,138
New Jersey: 39,065
New Mexico: 69,069
New York: 114,365
North Carolina: 106,334
North Dakota: 87,128
Rhode Island: 6,046
South Carolina: 76,250
South Dakota: 82,576
West Virginia: 38,770
This totals up to a whopping 4,153,200 miles of road
in the United States, plus an additional 1,527 in the District of Columbia. The states with the most miles of public road include Texas, California, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Georgia, Ohio, Florida and Michigan.
Per Capita Mileage
While you might expect California to make the list as the most populous state
in the country, Texas actually has the most miles of public road, and not by a small margin. California is a distant second. In real terms, that means that states with limited incomes are often responsible for maintaining many more miles of public road than states with larger populations. For example, New York, Pennsylvania and North Carolina are all in the top 10 for population but rank below that on the list of miles of road. Kansas is the 35th most populated state but ranks fourth for road mileage.
Size of a State Doesn’t Impact Total Road Miles
It might make sense to assume that larger states have more miles of public road, but the population is often a better indicator. In larger states with big tracts of undeveloped land, there are fewer road networks that link outlying areas. For example, Alaska is by far the largest state in America
, but it has only 16,129 miles of public roads. That puts it on par with Vermont, one of the smallest states in the country. Montana is the fourth largest state, right below Texas and California, but it ranks at number 30 for public roads.
Alternative Measurements for Road Length
The above list only measures road mileage from end to end. It doesn’t consider the number of lanes or traffic flow. In urban areas where there are multi-lane highways, the amount of road is larger than in areas where most roads are one way or simple two-lane highways. Lane miles
can also be used as a way to measure public road miles. When you factor in additional lanes, the total rises to 8,646,070. Texas alone accounts for 675,580 miles using the lane mile measurement system. No matter how you measure the miles, Texas comes out on top, and California is a solid second-place contender.
Last modified: April 6, 2018