How does Missouri’s transportation system compare?

Earlier this year, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry launched an online dashboard tracking how Missouri compares with other states on dozens of important economic metrics.

The dashboard provides a transparent way to track the state’s progress as the ideas and proposals contained in the Missouri Chamber’s Missouri 2030 strategic plan are implemented.

This month we focus on the dashboard’s transportation metrics.

Starting with bridge condition, the Missouri 2030 Dashboard reports that only 12 states have a higher percentage of structurally deficient bridges than Missouri. The dashboard cites 2015 data from the Federal Highway Administration showing that 13.2 percent of the state’s bridges are deficient.

Several other Midwestern states accompany Missouri near the bottom of this list, with neighboring states Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma all faring worse than Missouri.

In brighter news, Missouri is not a bad place to commute to work compared with most of the country. The average Missourian spends about 23 minutes getting to work. That’s good enough for 17th in the nation, according to the U.S. Census.

The downside to this particular statistic is that Missouri’s 23-minute commutes don’t look particularly impressive compared with most of our neighboring states. The dashboard shows that while Missouri can boast shorter commutes than all coastal states and many parts of the Midwest, residents in six of the eight states surrounding Missouri actually spend less time getting to work. In fact, four of the top 10 states for shortest commutes border Missouri.

But not every trip happens via car, and Missouri fares well among Midwestern states when we consider accessibility to air travel and how often residents are able to fly.

According to 2014 data from the Federal Aviation Administration, for every 1,000 Missourians, the state has 1,925 enplanements — meaning the act of getting on a plane. That is the 20th-highest rate in the nation and higher than all neighboring states except Illinois, which is in the top 10 in the nation for enplanements.

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