NASHVILLE - Tennessee is one of just 11 states to improve in seven key measurements of state highways over a two-decade span, according to a report issued by the Reason Foundation, a Washington-based libertarian think tank.
"This report is a testament to the focus TDOT has placed on maintaining our infrastructure, aggressively repairing and replacing aging bridges, increasing safety, and managing congestion" said state Department of Tennessee Commissioner John Schroer in a news release.
He called it "truly exceptional when you consider we are one of only five DOT's in the nation with no transportation debt."
The report, "Are Highways Crumbling?" looked at state highway data from 1989 through 2008.
It sought to measure road performance in terms of miles of urban and rural interstate highways in poor condition, urgan interstate congestion, deficient bridges, highway fatalities, rural primary roads in poor condition and the number of narrow rural primary roads.
The report found significant improvements in Tennessee's urban congestion and the proportion of deficient bridges. The study also cites Tennessee as being particularly successful in taking care of its roads, improving road conditions on rural and urban interstates.
Tennessee's proportion of urban interstates in poor condition fell by 16 percentage points, the fifth largest improvement nationally, the report says.
Besides improvements in the seven categories, Tennessee eclipsed the national average improvements in many cases, making it one of the most successful states in the U.S. in terms of highway infrastructure.