A recent report by Peter Philips, Ph.D. Professor of Economics at the University of Utah brings to light the challenge of maintaining infrastructure in New Jersey, the most densely populated state in the nation, and how the state’s construction industry is one of the most productive and best-equipped construction industries in the country. Some highlights from the study include:
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The report finds fundamental flaws in the Reason Foundation’s annual infrastructure report, which is often cited when claiming that NJ roads are more expensive than roads in other states. Philips’ criticism include the Reason Foundation’s failing to factor in complexity and population density in their study. For example, the top 10 “cost-effective” states have a population density of 45 persons per square mile while New Jersey has 1,210 persons per square mile. Philips argues that more densely populated states have more complex infrastructures (more lanes per mile of road) which affects cost. When Philips evaluates infrastructure costs with population density and complexity and other factors not incorporated in the Reason Foundation’s analysis, New Jersey’s road costs are in line with the rest of the country.
The full study can be found here:
Why Urban Roads Cost More and Deliver More. The Unreasonable Reason-Foundation’s Assessment of New Jersey’s Road Cost-Effectiveness