Truckers vote hurricane-wracked Louisiana roads the nation’s worst

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For the first time in the report’s 16-year history, Louisiana grabbed the “Worst Roads” crown in this year’s Highway Report Card, a survey conducted by CCJ‘s sister publication, Overdrive, the trucking industry’s leading magazine for owner-operators. Louisiana is a veteran of the Top Five “Worst Roads” list.

John Clark of Bradenville, Pa., hauls produce for FST Logistics. Although he runs through Pennsylvania – the state most frequently at the head of the “Worst Roads” list and a close second this year – he says Interstate 10 alone is bad enough to qualify Louisiana for the top spot. “It’s awful,” he says, citing the potholes and bumps.

In the voting on toughest truck inspections and law enforcement, California reigns at the top of the toughest, as it has for years. Alabama’s enforcement ranks as the weakest.

I-40 in Tennessee was lauded as the best road in America, beating I-20 in Texas by more than two percentage points. But perhaps the biggest winner this year was Arkansas; the stretch of I-40 that runs the entire 284-mile width of the state was named the most improved road, and a five-year overhaul of its interstate system has left Arkansas out of the “Worst Roads” top five for the first time in a decade. However, the state’s I-40 improvements didn’t impress some poll respondents, who still voted the stretch of highway the nation’s third-worst.

Trailing Louisiana by only two-tenths of a percent for its typical top spot in the “Worst Roads” category was Pennsylvania. Many owner-operators cited various improvements in the Keystone State, particularly to I-80, ranking that stretch of highway No. 2 among the nation’s most improved roads. Other drivers felt Pennsylvania hasn’t improved I-80 enough, ranking it the nation’s second-worst stretch of road.

Other survey highlights:

  • Most respondents said road rage had increased over the year, as more and more vehicles battle for the same space.
  • California retained the dubious honor of having the worst automobile drivers, with New York and Illinois trading second and third spots this year. Oddly, other respondents ranked California drivers third-best in the nation.
  • Texas again had the best drivers and, by a significant margin over Florida, best roads overall.
  • More than 400 readers responded to this year’s survey. Each category is based on a separate question.

    WORST ROADS
    1. Louisiana
    2. Pennsylvania
    3. California
    4. Illinois
    5. Michigan

    BEST ROADS
    1. Texas
    2. Florida
    3. Tennessee
    4. Georgia
    5. Virginia

    WORST ROAD
    1. I-10 Louisiana
    2. I-80 Pennsylvania
    3. I-40 Arkansas
    4. I-5 California
    5. I-40 Oklahoma

    BEST ROAD
    1. I-40 Tennessee
    2. I-20 Texas
    3. I-75 Florida
    4. I-80 Ohio
    5. I-81 Virginia

    MOST IMPROVED ROAD
    1. I-40 Arkansas
    2. (tie) I-44 Missouri & I-80 Pennsylvania
    3. I-70 Missouri
    4. I-30 Arkansas
    5. I-10 Texas

    WORST FOUR-WHEELERS
    1. California
    2. New York
    3. Illinois
    4. New Jersey
    5. Florida

    BEST FOUR-WHEELERS
    1. Texas
    2. Montana
    3. California
    4. Wisconsin
    5. Tennessee

    TOUGHEST TRUCK INSPECTIONS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
    1. California
    2. Ohio
    3. Virginia
    4. Pennsylvania
    5. Texas

    WEAKEST TRUCK INSPECTIONS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
    1. Alabama
    2. Oklahoma
    3. Texas
    4. West Virginia
    5. Nevada