According to the latest Annual Highway Report of Reason Foundation, Montana's state highway system is ranked 5th(!) in the country in overall highway performance & efficiency. Montana DID rank #2 in the previous report but Montana's ranking suffered because it finished last, 50th, in fatality rate, 33rd in rural interstate pavement in poor condition, & 36th in urban interstate pavement in poor condition. Montana DID finish FIRST in urban interstater congestion, 14th in deficient bridges & 8th in total disbursements per mile. With some 11,134 miles under the state control, Montana has a medium sized state highway system that IS in GOOD shape. Our Treasure State has been in the top 10 every year since 2000(!), except in 2004 when it finished 13th. If we're so smart, who's doing terrible? Alaska, Rhode Island, Hawaii & California have the WORST highway systems in study of pavement condition, congestion, deficient bridges, fatalities & cost-effectiveness. Massachusetts had the lowest traffic fatality rate, while Montana had the highest. David Hartgen, author of this study & emeritus transportation professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte adds a positive to my Puffman Blog this morning... he says, "It's hard to believe it when you hit a pothole or see a bridge in Washington collapse, but the nation's roads ARE getting better". Hartgen adds that there are still several states struggling & plenty of problem areas. But you make the case that OVERALL America's roads & bridges have never been in better shape!" Me? I'm more than happy with our streets, roads, & highways here in the Golden Triangle but I still wish that our Shelby Mayor Larry. J. Bonderud would put a stoplight down by the viaduct on Main Street. C;mon Mayor Larr!!