Maine’s bridges and rural roads are among the worst in the nation, according to a report by TRIP, a national research group that promotes polices that reduce traffic congestion.

The report says that 26 percent of Maine’s rural roads have pavement that is in poor condition, and that only seven other states have roads that are worse.

The report also found that 15 percent of the state’s rural bridges are structurally deficient. Only eight other states have a higher percent of deficient bridges, according to the report.

Maine’s standing in both categories is unchanged from a year ago.

In addition, the report finds that traffic crashes and fatalities on rural roads are disproportionately high, occurring at a rate nearly three times higher than all other roads. In 2013, the nation’s non-Interstate rural roads had a traffic fatality rate of 2.20 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles of travel. When it comes to traffic fatalities, however, Maine does very well compared to others states

In Maine, the fatality rate on rural roads was 1.67 percent per 100 million – the tenth lowest fatality rate nationally. On all other roadways – urban roads and interstate highways – the fatality rate in Maine was .018 percent, the lowest rate in the nation.

According to the report, the higher traffic fatality rate found on rural, non-interstate routes is a result of multiple factors, including the lack of roadway safety features, longer emergency vehicle response times and the higher speeds traveled on rural roads compared to urban roads.

More than half of Maine’s population lives in rural areas, according to the report.


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