Study ranks Ga. road system among tops in U.S.

ATLANTA -- Georgia’s state road system ranks among the nation’s best in an annual study comparing highway networks released Thursday.

In its 19th annual comparison of states, the Los Angeles-based Reason Foundation pegged Georgia’s roadways at ninth best in 2008, the year for which it had the most recent data. The nonprofit think tank gave Georgia the same overall rank in 2007.

South Carolina came in at sixth that year. First place went to North Dakota.

For the latest comparison, Georgia ranked first in the quality of its Interstates, urban and rural, although it fell to 31st in terms of urban Interstate congestion and fatalities.

In terms of 2008 spending, Georgia ranked in the bottom fourth or so for the four ways the study looked as disbursements. That was the same year that financial, management and accounting problems were coming to light at the Department of Transportation. Those problems eventually led to a department deficit that halted any launching of new projects, the replacement of the commissioner and a top financial official, and a legislative overhaul.