The nation’s roads and bridges aren’t in good shape. Twenty-five percent of bridges are rated deficient or obsolete. Fourteen percent of roads are in poor condition. And if Congress can’t reach a deal on the Highway Trust Fund soon, repair work will grind to a halt by early August, the White House says.
But amid the potholes and crumbling pylons, one state stands out: Florida ranks near the top in nearly every measure of road transportation.
Just 4 percent of the Sunshine State’s roads are in disrepair, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. Seventeen percent of the bridges in Florida are obsolete or deficient. In both cases, only a handful of states — Utah and Nevada chief among them — rank higher. The quality of Florida’s roads means drivers there pay less to maintain their vehicles, about $181 per year, than those in any other state.
Part of what sets Florida apart, according to transportation policy experts, is that it has a system of tolls, user fees and taxes that ensures infrastructure funding keeps flowing.
Gas taxes in Florida, the 11th-highest in the country, add about 36 cents to the cost of a gallon of fuel, the American Petroleum Institute reports. The state’s gas tax adjusts each year based on inflation, said Jeffrey Brown, chairman of the department of urban and regional planning at Florida State University. So do tolls and user fees, which are higher in Florida than in all but five other states.
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