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. Here, we report Pavement Serviceability Index (PSI) on interstate and non-interstate (MassDOT-owned) pavements for the last six federal fiscal years (FFY).

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. 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. Interstate pavement inspections are conducted annually, and non-interstate roads are inspected on a biennial basis.

In 2021, the share of interstate pavement in “good” or “excellent” condition decreased by about 1 percent; as of 2021, 91 percent of interstate pavement was classified as “good” or “excellent” condition. The share of interstate pavement in “poor” condition dropped by 0.5 percent, from 1.5 percent to 1 percent.

The share of MassDOT-owned non-interstate pavement in “good” or “excellent” condition remained relatively consistent from FFY20 to FFY21. The last five federal fiscal years show a trend of more non-interstate lane miles in “excellent” or “good” condition, and fewer lane miles in “fair” or “poor” condition.


The pavement repair backlog includes lane miles that are in “fair” and “poor” (rather than “good” or “excellent”) condition. Out of 9,599 lane miles overseen by MassDOT, 2,208 lane miles are currently within this condition state.

Bridge Condition

MassDOT currently measures bridge condition in two ways. The traditional measure is the number of bridges in poor condition within the state. The 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, in order to account for the large variation in structure size across the inventory. These measures are valuable to inform capital planning, given the proportional investment required to improve structures based on their size.

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.

From FY21 to FY22, the number of bridges in poor condition fell by 28..

Condition By Deck Area (NHS Only)

This measure considers bridge size when calculating bridge condition and are only applied to the National Highway System. 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. For example, the traditional “count” measure assigns the same significance to the Longfellow Bridge as any other. In reality, the Longfellow Bridge is 15 times larger than an average NHS bridge in the Commonwealth.

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 percent 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 percent.

In FY21 and FY22, the percentage of structurally deficient deck area remained relatively stable, decreasing by 1 percent.

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 FY22, the number of failed or missing curb ramps was 3,605, which is 370 fewer than in FY20.