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Crumbling America: 10 states with the worst infrastructure

A nation beyond repair?

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America is facing an infrastructure crisis, and our annual America's Top States for Business study shows that some states are feeling it more than others. Our Infrastructure category, worth 350 out of 2,500 points, looks at roads, bridges, ports, airports, rail and utilities — everything that it takes for a business to get its people and products where they need to be. You can see our full study and learn about our methodology here.

These are the 10 states with the nation's worst infrastructure.

10. Vermont

The Goldbrook Covered Bridge in Stowe, Vermont.
UIG | Getty Images

As a small rural state, Vermont suffers in our study because it lacks a major international airport and ships relatively few goods. But the state has some infrastructure issues that have nothing to do with its size, including nearly one-third of bridges rated deficient or worse.

2016 Infrastructure score: 139 out of 350 points
Deficient bridges: 30 percent
Average commute to work: 22.3 minutes
20-year water system needs: $510.8 million

9. Massachusetts

Repairs on the Longfellow Bridge continue, including the removal of a couple of salt and pepper shaker-like towers.
David L. Ryan | The Boston Globe | Getty Images

In many ways, Massachusetts embodies the national infrastructure crisis. The state is racing to repair the worst structures, like Boston's Longfellow Bridge, which is undergoing a $3 billion restoration. But more than half of Massachusetts' bridges remain deficient or worse. And anyone who has spent a morning in Boston traffic can tell you how bad the commutes have become.

2016 Infrastructure score: 132 out of 350 points
Deficient bridges: 52 percent
Average commute to work: 28.3 minutes
20-year water system needs: $7.7 billion

8. New York

State and federal agencies are in the process of replacing the Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge (usually referred to as the Tappan Zee Bridge) over New York's Hudson River.
Andrew Holbrooke | Corbis | Getty Images

New York's $4 billion project to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge is the largest bridge infrastructure project in North America, and the largest ever in a state crisscrossed by some iconic structures. But it's the lesser-known bridges that are giving planners fits. More than a third of the state's bridges are deficient or worse. Commuting times are the nation's longest. And it's not just New York City. The Buffalo area saw more than 1,400 water main breaks in 2014 alone.

2016 Infrastructure score: 130 out of 350 points
Deficient bridges: 30 percent
Average commute to work: 22.3 minutes
20-year water system needs: $510.8 million

7. (Tie) Maryland

The Gov. Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge that crosses the Potomac River in Southern Charles County.
Mark Gail | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan sparked controversy when he shelved plans to replace the 76-year-old Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge over the Potomac River, which had been a priority under his predecessor, Martin O'Malley. Hogan decided instead to reduce tolls and shift money to other road and bridge projects scheduled to start in 2018. Meanwhile, Maryland's infrastructure is getting worse. More than half its roads are in mediocre or poor condition. The overall state of its bridges is only a bit better.

2016 Infrastructure score: 125 out of 350 points
Deficient bridges: 26 percent
Average commute to work: 32.2 minutes
20-year water system needs: $7.7 billion

7. (Tie) New Jersey

The Manhattan skyline stands past buses and cars sitting in traffic at the Lincoln Tunnel in this aerial photograph taken above Weehawken, New Jersey.
Ron Antonelli | Bloomberg | Getty Images

New Jersey's Port Newark and Newark Liberty International Airport buoy the state's ranking, but other facets of the state's infrastructure are hurting badly. Traffic is among the worst in the nation, with maddening commute times in the New York metro area to the north and near Philadelphia to the south. It doesn't help that New Jersey's roads and bridges are in such bad shape.

2016 Infrastructure score: 125 out of 350 points
Deficient bridges: 35 percent
Average commute to work: 30.7 minutes
20-year water system needs: $7.9 billion

5. Hawaii

Old bridge and waterfall on the road to Hana Maui.
ejs9 | Getty Images

The Road to Hana in Maui is breathtakingly beautiful and heart-stopping to drive, with its steep grades, one-lane bridges and dizzying switchbacks. It also helps explain why Hawaii will probably never do terribly well in infrastructure rankings. The island chain is not a land of six-lane highways and big rig trucks. What's more, while we give credit to states for their rail systems, Hawaii — sitting in the middle of the Pacific Ocean — has no need for trains. But the state does have infrastructure issues it can control. Its bridges are in perennially bad shape, and commutes can be long — even if you might be able to enjoy some nice scenery along the way.

2016 Infrastructure score: 116 out of 350 points
Deficient bridges: 43 percent
Average commute to work: 26.4 minutes
20-year water system needs: $1.1 billion

4. Connecticut

A truck drives by a sign for I-95 heading north in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Chris Ware | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Gov. Dannel Malloy calls the transportation package passed by the Connecticut legislature last year "Let's Go CT," saying it is "multimodal and far-reaching." It also can't come soon enough for the state's aging infrastructure, which includes a critical section of the I-95 corridor. Roads, bridges and commuting times in Connecticut are among the nation's worst.

2016 Infrastructure score: 114 out of 350 points
Deficient bridges: 34 percent
Average commute to work: 25.1 minutes
20-year water system needs: $7.1 billion

3. Maine

Maine DOT press secretary Ted Talbot walks off the Route 1 viaduct in Bath past some corrosion on the bridge supporting High Street Thursday, April 21, 2016.
Gabe Souza | Portland Press | Getty Images

Maine received a wake-up call about the decrepit state of its bridges in April when a woman driving an SUV lost control of her vehicle and crashed through a guardrail on the Bath Viaduct in Portland, even though she was going just 35 miles an hour. The woman and her 12-year-old son miraculously survived because the SUV hit the bed of a pickup truck below. A subsequent investigation by the Portland Press-Herald found dozens of missing bolts on the bridge, triggering statewide inspections. More than a third of Maine's bridges are deficient.

2016 Infrastructure score: 108 out of 350 points
Deficient bridges: 34 percent
Average commute to work: 23.5 minutes
20-year water system needs: $$1.2 billion

2. New Hampshire

The I-93 in New Hampshire.
Doug Kerr | Flickr CC

"A solid, modern transportation infrastructure is critical to the success of our people and businesses," said New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, accepting a $200 million federal loan earlier this year to fix her state's aging transportation system. The money is badly needed, as a third of the bridges are deficient. The money will go toward repairing the most critical bridges and completing a long-awaited expansion of Interstate 93.

2016 Infrastructure score: 104 out of 350 points
Deficient bridges: 30 percent
Average commute to work: 26.6 minutes
20-year water system needs: $834.9 million

1. Rhode Island

Newport Bridge in Newport, Rhode Island.
Rick Tomlinson | Getty Images

True, Rhode Island is the smallest state, but it has huge infrastructure problems. The state is filled with New Deal–era bridges — nearly two-thirds of them deficient — and with roads so pocked with potholes that Gov. Gina Raimondo says they are costing every resident $476 per year just for vehicle repairs. Raimondo has visions of turning the state's infrastructure problems into an opportunity for a green jobs program in the troubled state, but there are years of neglect to make up for.

2016 Infrastructure score: 97 out of 350 points
Deficient bridges: 56 percent
Average commute to work: 22.3 minutes
20-year water system needs: $510.8 million