Louisiana ranks 35th in the U.S. in overall cost effectiveness and highway conditions but finished in the bottom tier of most key indicators, according to a national report issued Wednesday.

"The state's pavement quality and percentage of structurally deficient bridges are disproportionately bad and the biggest driver of its poor overall rankings," the study says.

The report is part of the 26th annual review by the Reason Foundation, which does public policy research.

The state ranks 49th for urban interstate conditions and 45th for the number of structurally deficient bridges.

Its best spot is 7th in the nation for administrative spending per mile.

Louisiana also ranks 14th nationally for the size of its highway system, the report says.

Earlier this year the Legislature approved a bill that will gradually boost state aid for roads and bridges by $300 million per year, which is the equivalent of a 10-cent hike in the state gas tax.

The new revenue will be generated by slowly moving 60% of sales tax revenue from the sale of cars and trucks from the state's general revenue fund to transportation.

Lack of financial support is a key reason for road and bridge conditions, according to the study.

"To improve in the rankings Louisiana needs to direct more resources toward its highway system," the report says. "The state is one of the few that spends relatively little and has very poor system conditions."

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The review says the state spends about the same as Arkansas and Mississippi  but those states earned overall rankings of 29th and 30th respectively.

It says Louisiana has 1.5 as many structurally deficient bridges as Mississippi and four times as many as Arkansas.

Reviewers also said the state has twice as much urban interstate pavement in poor condition as Arkansas and four times as much as Mississippi.

Rural interstate conditions were rated 43rd; the fatality rate 43rd and urban congestion 39th.

In a statement, state Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Shawn Wilson said the report highlights years of inadequate funding. "Louisiana has gone over 30 years without an increase in investment whereas other states we are being compared to have historically invested more over a longer period of time," Wilson said.

The study focused on 13 metrics, and Louisiana's 35th place ranking is down four places from last year.

Scott Kirkpatrick, executive director of the Capitol Region Industry for Sustainable Infrastructure Solutions, also said the study is a reflection of years of under investment.

"But what i think is encouraging is we have significant state and federal dollars coming to the state," Kirkpatrick said, a reference to the new state law and Louisiana's share of federal dollars from the $1 trillion infrastructure measure signed by President Joe Biden on Monday.

Wilson said the hikes in state and federal funding will help and said Louisiana has invested $4.5 billion in 1,774 projects since Gov. John Bel Edwards took office in 2016.

Email Will Sentell at wsentell@theadvocate.com.