Best and Worst Infrastructure in America: A Traveler's Guide to Road, Bridges, and Other Structures

Estimated read time: 5 minutes

Would you rather go off on a great road trip than board a plane or hop on a boat? Road trips remain one of the top ways to get around in the U.S. both for work and for pleasure.

Not everyone sees the attraction in spending all day waiting to board a plane at an airport when they have greater freedom and control by jumping in their own car and taking off on their own timeframe. At the same time, if you do have to travel by air, you want to make sure you have access to a major airport wherever you're going.

If you have a new travel credit card to try out, we've put together this state list of the winners and losers when it comes to infrastructure. It might help you avoid some headaches when you're looking for your next travel destination.

Some of the states on this list need a lot of work when it comes to infrastructure. That doesn't mean you should stay away, but if you pass through them, be aware there might be issues.

States With the Best Infrastructure

Here are some of the winners when it comes to roads, bridges, and other structures you'll come across during a good road trip.

Texas

Texans have a lot of pride in their state, and that pride extends to their infrastructure. Since they ship out so many products, they need their infrastructure to be able to keep up. With two major airports, a top-notch freight rail system, and a lot of highways and interstates throughout the state for trucking purposes, you should be impressed with what Texas has to offer.

Tennessee

Tennessee is a gorgeous state with a lot of natural beauty to offer visitors. Its bridges are well taken care of, and it has two major airports for travelers, Nashville International and Memphis International.

It has a bunch of highway improvements slated, and the state annually does a lot of work on those roadways by spending user fees and gasoline taxes. While no state is ever flush with cash for all the improvements they'd like to make, Tennessee has a good system in place for making sure they can take care of their existing infrastructure.

Indiana

Indiana may not be as flashy as some states on this list, like Texas, but that doesn't mean this underdog doesn't have its good points, too.

If there is one thing Indiana does right it's constructing and maintaining its roadways. It has some of the nicest roadways in the country, but that's not all it has going for it. It also has a big airport, Indianapolis International, and ports at the Ohio River and Lake Michigan.

Georgia

Everybody knows Georgia for its peaches, but it should be just as well known for its infrastructure.

Georgia's bridges are well-maintained and safe, and it does have one major airport to service the state — Hartsfield-Jackson International. That airport sees a lot of traffic each year and handles the volume of passengers well.

While the roads are busy because of all the traffic the state has, they are in good shape because of the money the state puts into maintaining them.

The state also has some lucrative ports that add a lot of income and jobs.

Ohio

While some areas of Ohio are way too congested for comfort, overall, the state shines with its solid infrastructure. It has a major airport as well as ports in the Great Lakes region and the Ohio River.

When you add its nice highway system and railways into the mix, you end up with a state that puts a high emphasis on its infrastructure.

States With the Worst Infrastructure

Whether it's a lack of funding or the need for more creative solutions, these states need to do some major rethinking when it comes to their poor infrastructure.

Rhode Island

Almost one-fourth of the bridges in this state need work structurally, which is a great concern to travelers and those who live in Rhode Island. A whopping 70% of the roads need work as well.

At least there is a plan in place to help get things on the right track in the next few years.

New Hampshire

More than half the roads in this state need work, and so do one in 10 bridges. To top it all off, the railway and airports are lackluster as well.

That's an issue all by itself, but when you factor in less than ample airports and railways, it makes a bad situation worse.

Maine

Maine is a food lover's paradise, and with its local flair and gorgeous scenery it's a great state to visit. What Maine doesn't have is decent infrastructure.

More than half of the roads are only in mediocre or poor shape, but to take some of the sting out of it, much of the state doesn't have a lot of traffic congestion.

Maine also needs to invest money in some of the structurally deficient bridges that are located throughout the state.

Connecticut

If your state doesn't have the money for repairs, it won't take long before the infrastructure is in bad shape. That's what has happened to Connecticut, where money troubles have long plagued the state. Discussions have turned to the possibility of reinstating tolls in there to help shore up the failing infrastructure, but that idea hasn't come to fruition yet.

The majority of roads there are in mediocre or poor shape, with only one-fourth of them deemed in good shape.

West Virginia

If you're driving over a bridge in West Virginia, you might want to hold your breath and say a quick prayer that you make it over in one piece. Almost one in five bridges in this state are considered structurally deficient.

The roads have worse of a track record, with almost half of them purported to be in mediocre or poor condition.

Maryland

The number of deficient bridges in Maryland isn't that high, but its highways need a lot of work. So much so, state officials have acknowledged a lot of work is needed and have been considering spending $9 billion in highway work.

Plus, the water system currently in place keeps feeling the strain, with a lot of water main breaks. That's something that will have to be addressed, as well as the need for roadway improvements.

Know Where You're Going

Some of the states on this list need a lot of work when it comes to infrastructure. That doesn't mean you should stay away, but if you pass through them, be aware there might be issues.

If you're looking for enjoyable travel, consider one of the best states on this list. If you're going to visit another state, you should be able to enjoy the experience.

Advertiser Disclosure
The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card issuers from which CardGuru.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including the order in which they may appear within listing categories. CardGuru.com does not include all credit card offers that might be available to consumers in the marketplace.
Editorial Note
Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.