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0 Comments | May 30, 2018

The Cost of Road Repair

Flagger Symbol SignAccording to a recent AAA poll, 89 percent of people in Michigan find local roads and bridges to be in fair or poor conditions. Coupled with the fact that only two percent of people rated the conditions to be very good or excellent, you begin to see where Michigan might be having trouble maintaining their roads.

Recurring Costs

Infrastructure repairs are a recurring issue in Michigan. Recently, state lawmakers approved an additional $400 million for road improvements. The problem? That’s not nearly enough to fix or even maintain roads in their current condition. A local government finance specialist concluded that in order to get 80 percent of the roads to good or fair condition in the next 25 years, the government would have to spend $1.6 billion per year. Which, as you may have guessed, won’t be happening in the near future.

The current plan is to spend the $400 million on concrete for close to 8,000 miles of federal-aid-eligible roads. This means that funds are not allocated to side roads, subdivision roads, some connector roads, and bridges. The other 17,000 miles of roads in the region will go untouched.

A Government and Citizen Standstill

Statewide, the roads received an overall grade of D- from the Michigan Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. In order to improve that grade, residents will likely see a spike in taxes – something 60 percent of people said they wouldn’t be willing to pay. This firmly pushes Michigan into no man’s land. Both government and citizens agree that the roads need to be improved, but neither is willing or able to make the necessary changes to improve them.

As Michigan tries to control road deterioration, a few Road Construction signs may crop up here and there but it certainly won’t be statewide nor will it offer the solution that many are clamoring for. In the meantime, if you live in Michigan you better start learning how to avoid potholes.