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Which states have the best/worst roads?


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So far this year we have traveled quite a few miles in 6 different states and have experienced some good highways and also some pretty sorry ones. Between that and all of the discussions on the news about infrastructure issues, I am wondering what others have been experiencing in their travels? In WY we saw some very long stretches of highway resurfacing along I80, even though the roads we were on were better than some in other states with little sign of road work. The other part of the question is how well the roads fit the traffic conditions. With only 6 states to compare, I hesitate to say what state is best, but K had much better roads overall than the other five, with TX probably next. CO and OK would compete for the worst and I-25 north of Denver is inundated with traffic to be pretty much a constant traffic jam. We were in that area for several days and over pars of it multiple time both day and night. 

Since my sample is still pretty limited, I thought it might be helpful to others to share what you are seeing in your travels. 

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So far this year we have travelled in DE, MD. VA, NC. SC, GA & FL. We travelled a lot on Blue highways and I can not recall a really bad one. US-17 from Norfolk, VA to Yemassee, SC has been greatly improved in recent years with bypasses and long stretches of four lane. The bypass around Wilmington, NC and the SC-31 bypass around Myrtle Beech, SC are mostly completed and greatly improved travel in those areas.   In my experience, Florida state highways seem to be well maintained.  We travelled portions of I-95 (FL, GA)), I-75 (FL), I-77 (NC), I-70 (MD) and I-81 (VA). The sections we were on were in pretty good shape. The major construction on i-95/695 on the West side of Baltimore has pretty much been completed and traffic flow was much improved.

Edited by trailertraveler
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Louisiana hands down. When you cross into Texas with some of the best roads, especially rural two lanes and four lane state highways, from Louisiana it is so obviously smoother and quieter that even if focused elsewhere it gets your attention! In Colorado has its bad roads as most states do but it is far better than LA. Right now Colorado Springs to Denver on I-25 is still under construction and I would avoid it. 

In fact with the east west mudslides it is iffy this weekend.

Edited by RV_
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My frustration with Texas back when we were fulltiming  is they would move entrance ramps without updating data so a GPS could not give correct directions. I sure got tired of hearing, "recalculating" while there.

Linda

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RV,

It appears congress is about to really do something about it, for the interstate highway system. And hopefully, the intrastate highways will follow.

Assuming this actually gets implemented, I'll be thankful.

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States that have winter freezing and thawing temperatures have the worst roads, especially if they get a snow before the ground is actually frozen, it melts and then the really cold weather comes and all that moisture expands in the cracks and crevice's. Repeat that over and over and the road just crumbles. Add in the chemicals used to melt the ice and snow or maybe just to keep it from freezing on the road. Florida roads were mostly good when I lived there. I traveled many on a motorcycle. Kansas seemed to always be renewing a portion of I 70 when I lived there. It was usually very smooth when completed, unlike some of the other states I have lived in. Am in North Dakota today and they have "Grooves" in I 29 that make my motorcycle seem to want to wander all over the road. The few non interstate roads have been fine, but it's "Construction Season" in ND right now and many are having work done. Not sure when that season ends. My coworkers say it's either "Winter or Construction Seasons here. "

 

Rod 

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In the last two years we have been on at least 25 states roads, probably a few more.

Florida (and yes that is our home) has some of the best roads and the reason is obvious, Florida really tries to lure tourists, good roads = more visitation. Plus they spend the fed money for road repair on repairing roads.

The worst we have been in is as always Louisiana, I10 has improved a bit tho. Of course tho we just about never drive on Cali roads the worst spot has to be saved for that state. And Lo and Behold, SKP gave us a 7 day free pass to Coarsegold so now we will be driving in that state. Down to Lassen then across to 395 south as far as possible. But on the otherhand seeing Yosemite once more will be worth it.

We thought Oklahoma had bad roads in general. Georgia, Alabama were in the better pots, Mississippi below that. NM, AZ pretty good. ND, SD, ID, MT, WY all in the middle and they have winter damage every year.

When someone thought Texas had good roads in the east I was surprised. Actually Texas roads are bad in the east but get better past Austin IMO.

One thing that took me aback, MN I90 is marked impassible for RV's by RVTW. I've heard folks complaining about I90 over the years but it is out of our norm tracks.,

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1 hour ago, agesilaus said:

How do you explain LA and Cali?

Maybe lack of maintenance or poor quality to start with. Then there are the Earthquakes in California. I have only traveled very short distances in Louisiana and don't recall the roads being bad. Born and raised in the Midwest with the freeze and thaw and then the explosions of the asphalt during the sunny hot summer days. 

In the late 80's in the Bay Area the roads not affected by the 7.3 earthquake were good as far as I remember. 

 

Rod

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11 hours ago, agesilaus said:

 

One thing that took me aback, MN I90 is marked impassible for RV's by RVTW. I've heard folks complaining about I90 over the years but it is out of our norm tracks.,

I90 in MN on the east side of the state had a very bad section that would cause chucking of a trailer being pulled and you head in the truck just kept bouncing back and forth. Luckily that stretch of road was repaved about 10 years ago and is much better. We just took I90 all the way across from South Dakota and didn't really experience any bad stretches but there was road construction at places which is typical of many states in the summer time.

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Texas used to have good roads, but not so much now.  They are lacking in maintenance.

Recently back through Oklahoma and the roads are worse than ever.  Hwy 69 will destroy a rig, hwy 412 is not good, the Indian Nation Turnpike has good and bad sections.  Overall I give Oklahoma an F.

Louisiana IS pretty bad and I'd give them no more than a D-.

Overall, the road and bridges in the US are in deplorable shape.

Ken

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While I certainly agree with OK roads as being bad, the prize has to go to West Virginia and Missouri (a tie).  To be fair those states get my vote for worst because of their interstate roads.  We travel interstates only when absolutely needed.  On the flip side the best roads (US Highways, State roads and even county roads when needed) have been Michigan, Florida, and Arkansas.  New Mexico gets an honorable mention when it comes to US Highways throughout the state.

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Michigan.   Back home for some family time... and my wife & I just took a roadtrip up to the 'tip' of Michigan, the Mackinaw City area.   While there, we experienced some of the worst roads (in Emmet County) that we have ever seen in all our driving days.   Fortunately, we were driving our toad.   I am sure the roads we experienced were all County roads, but the potholes were continuous, very deep, and not just rough, but dangerous.   We found ourselves driving at ~ 25-35mph for miles & miles... all the while twisting & turning to avoid blowing a tire.

Edited by Jim & Alice
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Nevada's roads are good.  Arizona's are pretty good, too, with the exception of a stretch of I-10 west of Phoenix.  It's been a number of years since we've been that way, so it may have been resurfaced by now.

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I can comment on some recent roads.

I-80 in WY, like another commenter said, was really pretty good.  Yes, there was construction, but those sections are still better than a lot of roads we've been on.

I can say that I-70 (at least westbound) from Kansas into Colorado was complete shite.  Not sure who is building the roads there, but they need to go up to WY and learn from them.

I-80 east and west around the Chicago area.... just junk.  It's like every time they moved the paving rig, they had no idea how to make a "seam" in the section.  We spent a lot of time on the motorcycles yesterday between Sheridan and Chicago and my back is killing me.  Bump.... roll for a bit, bump, roll for a bit, repeat.  Closer into Chicago proper, the pavement turned to a more "concrete" style and wasn't bad.

It amazes me how some of the backroads, some of the US and state highways can be SO much better than the interstate.  

Also, if you're in the Chicago area, be sure to "avoid tolls" in your Google maps.  When we were here a year ago, we got onto one of them, and I think it cost us something like $30 plus.  That was the first one.  There was another right after (some "skyway" or something), cost us more and it was only like a 2 mile stretch!

I've also heard that 285 between Texas and Roswell, NM is a very, very bad road.  Talked to several people about it and they said that's all oil field hauling through there and big rigs all day, every day.  Apparently potholes abound.  Glad we missed it.

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I-10 west of Phoenix isn’t the greatest, but it’s not as bad as I-40 between Kingman and a little past Williams.  The section around Flagstaff used to be bad but at least the part I drove had been resurfaced.  Otherwise I’d only rate Arizona’s roads as fair, at least the routes I’ve traveled.

California roads are lousy.  99 was under construction the last time I went that way and many of my friends say it is now in better shape than I-5 through the San Joaquin Valley.  That doesn’t include Bakersfield where it may well be still under construction.

I thought the roads I was on recently in Nevada were pretty good, but I haven’t explored much of the northern part of the state.  Las Vegas not so much - I can’t think of when I’ve been there in the past 25 years when there’s not been construction.  It’s like as soon as they finish a road, they tear it up again.  I do know that the changes Nevada has made south of Boulder sure confused my truck’s nav system’s routing for a bit.

I was in Oregon recently and found the roads I drove (97, 58, with only a very small section of I-5) to be very good and the traffic not bad at all.

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16 hours ago, DanZemke said:

RV,

It appears congress is about to really do something about it, for the interstate highway system. And hopefully, the intrastate highways will follow.

Assuming this actually gets implemented, I'll be thankful.

Me too!

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