PORTLAND — A national transportation research group says the rural roads in northern New England are among the most deteriorated in the country.

And the report was done before Tropical Storm Irene made those roads even worse.

The Washington-based group TRIP released a report today examining the condition of America’s rural roads and bridges.

The report says 36 percent of Vermont’s rural roads are in poor condition, worst in the country. New Hampshire has the ninth-worst rural road conditions in the U.S., while Maine was ranked 14th from the bottom.

Fifteen percent of both New Hampshire and Maine’s rural bridges were rated as deficient, putting them 11th and 12th from the bottom.

The group defines rural America as places outside the primary daily commuting zones of cities of 50,000 or more.