Connecticut’s roads rougher than average

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Connecticut’s 6,125 miles of road were rougher than the national average, with a large portion considered “mediocre” or “poor” based on a measure of road surface roughness.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Traffic Statistics in November released its voluminous “State Transportation Statistics 2015” annual report, which included a comparison of states by road surface roughness.

Roughness is reported in terms of the international roughness index (IRI), a measure of variation in road profile over distance. The higher the IRI value, the rougher the road.

The states report lists how many miles of road fall into one of five categories:

  • “Very good” – IRI less than 60;
  • “Good” – 60-94;
  • “Fair” – 95-170;
  • “Mediocre” – 171-220 and
  • “Poor” – 220.

The road surface condition data in the 2015 report is from 2013.

Road condition by state
States are required to report international roughness index (IRI) data to the U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics, which reports the data annually. This map shows the percentage of road miles in each category by state. “Very good” indicates an IRI score below 60; “Good” is 60 to 94; “Fair” is 95 to 170; “Mediocre” is 171 to 220 and “Poor” is greater than 220. The data in the 2015 report is from 2013.
U.S. Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Jake Kara /

Some 42.3% of Connecticut road miles were rated in the lowest two categories: 18.2% were rated “mediocre” and 24.1% “poor.” Another 41.3% of Connecticut’s road miles were rated “fair.” Just 13.2% were considered “good” and 3.2% earned the top rating of “very good.” None of Connecticut’s road miles were listed in the “not reported” category.

Connecticut’s 24.1% has the state tied with Hawaii for the third-largest portion of “poor” road miles, after Washington, D.C.’s whopping 87.6% and New Jersey’s 28.6%. Connecticut had among the smallest shares of “very good” road miles, at 3.2%. The states can be further compared using the sortable table at the end of this story.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced in November that the state had increased spending on road resurfacing and miles resurfaced for the fourth straight year. The state had spent $74.6 million to resurface 330 miles in 2015. That’s up about 25 miles and $5 million from last year, according to the governor’s office.

Full table

Below are the total miles of road by state represented in the federal report, along with the percentage of roads by condition. (Here’s our data).

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