The latest Reason report found that Hawaii, with the nation’s smallest state-run road network at 1,016 miles, in 2013 spent about 2-1/2 times the national average in total costs per mile: $405,269.
Despite that heavy spending, the report further found Hawaii’s roads to be the worst in the U.S. for urban pavement conditions.
“Unfortunately, it’s the worst of both worlds. We overpay and we under-receive,” said Panos Prevedouros, who heads the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.
“The statistics are reliable because these are self-reported numbers. They don’t paint a good picture for us,” added Prevedouros, who specializes in transportation.
Having the nation’s smallest road network also helps drive up the state’s average cost per mile, he said.
Prevedouros agreed.“It’s like a small apartment and a big apartment — they still have the same appliances,” he said Monday, making a comparison to state road networks and the agencies that must maintain them.
“It’s impossible for us to be at the top” of Reason’s list, Prevedouros said. But “there is a lot of room for improvement.”
Hawaii might face some unique challenges, but it also avoids problems faced by mainland states, such as heavy interstate travel, Prevedouros said.
“The administration now is making significant improvements to make the maintenance better,” Sakahara said, adding that policy could lead to better grades in subsequent annual Reason reports for the Ige years.
Prevedouros said he believed the policy “may make the numbers even worse.”Without adding more highway capacity, the state’s congestion grades for the Reason reports will likely worsen, he said.