Highway System Condition

MassDOT Construction Workers

The System Condition section includes information on pavement and bridge condition in the Commonwealth. MassDOT maintains high quality inventory and condition data for bridges and pavements (along with other assets) in order to support full life-cycle management of transportation infrastructure. The data is used to understand current performance, identify targets for future conditions, and inform MassDOT’s investment strategies toward a state of good repair for the Commonwealth transportation system. To learn more about asset management, see MassDOT’s Asset Management website.

Pavement Condition (PSI)

A pavement condition measure is required by MAP-21, the FAST Act, and the 2009 transportation reform bill. However, reporting requirements vary by roadway type.

Pavement Serviceability Index (PSI) is a composite pavement condition index that considers the severity and extent of cracking, rutting, and raveling on surfaces as well as ride quality. It measures the conditions of the pavement from Impassable to perfectly smooth. The PSI thresholds “excellent,” “good,” “fair,” and “poor” are more stringent for interstate highways to support the higher speeds and volumes present on those facilities.

In FFY22, 86.5% of interstate pavement was in “good” or “excellent” condition, a decrease of 4.5 percentage points from FFY21.

In FFY22, 71.1% of non-interstate miles were in “good” or “excellent” condition, an increase of 1.1 percentage points from FFY21.

Pavement Repair Backlog

The pavement repair backlog measures lane miles that are in “fair” and “poor” (rather than “good” or “excellent”) condition. In FFY22, 2,283.5 lane miles were this condition, an increase of 75.5 lane miles from FFY21.

Bridge Condition

MassDOT measures bridge condition in two different ways to provide a complete picture of bridges in the Commonwealth. These measures are valuable to inform capital planning, given the proportional investment required to improve structures based on their size.

All DOTs are required to report the percent of bridge deck area in poor condition, per the National Performance Program outlined in MAP-21. States with more than 10% of their total bridge deck area associated with structurally deficient NHS bridges are required to allocate a certain percentage of funds to the Highway Bridge Program until this share falls below 10%.

The first, and traditional, measure is the number of bridges rated in “poor” condition in the State. A bridge is rated as poor (previously known as structurally deficient) when the deck (driving surface), the superstructure (supports immediately beneath the surface), or the substructure (foundation and supporting posts and piers) are rated at condition 4 or less on a scale of 0-9. A bridge in poor condition does not imply that a bridge is unsafe. It does, however, mean that a structure is deteriorated to the point of needing repairs to prevent restrictions on the bridge.

In FY23, the number of Bridges in Poor Condition was 451, an increase of 17 from FY22.

Condition By Deck Area (NHS Only)

This second measure is specific to National Highway System (NHS) bridges and considers the condition of the network by the area of bridges in poor or good condition. The NHS measures attribute the condition of each bridge to its size, as defined by the surface area of its deck, to account for the large variation in structure size across the inventory. Bridges are first grouped into good or poor condition states, and then the total area of bridges within each category is compared to the total area of the inventory in the Commonwealth. For example, the traditional “count” measure assigns the same significance to the Longfellow Bridge as any other. However, the Longfellow Bridge is 15 times larger than the average NHS bridge in the Commonwealth.

In FY23, 12% of the deck area in the Commonwealth was rated in “poor” condition, unchanged from FY22.


Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure

Pedestrian Curb Ramps

Curb ramps are a critical infrastructure component to ensure accessibility. In accordance with the MassDOT Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan, MassDOT continues to reconstruct substandard curb ramps statewide. In FY23, the number of failed or missing curb ramps was 3,432, a decrease from 3,605 in FY22.