Michigan’s Roads Worse Than Average in the U.S., Report Says

​Michigan had been ranked 24th but it declined to 34th, according to the latest Annual Highway Report. Michigan also ranked low in bridge conditions and urban traffic congestion. However, the state did well with its overall fatality rate, ranking 14th.

A new report backs up what many Michigan drivers already know: The roadways in the state are worse than average. In the Annual Highway Report released this year by the nonpartisan think tank the Reason Foundation, Michigan ranked 34th.  That’s down from 24th the previous year. The rankings are based on data from 2019-20.      

Baruch Feigenbaum, the senior managing director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation, says several factors contributed to Michigan’s below-average ranking.    

“The first is the condition of the pavement in Michigan. Three of the four pavement categories ranked in the bottom 10 of all states: rural interstate, urban interstate, and urban arterial,” he says. 

Michigan also ranked low in bridge conditions and urban traffic congestion. However, the state did well with its overall fatality rate, ranking 14th.    

Feigenbaum says Michigan should look to nearby states that are out-performing it to determine best practices. According to the report, Ohio and Wisconsin had better roads, ranking 24 and 26, respectively.

“If there’s one state that has particularly good pavement condition, for example, get with that state and figure out why, what is the secret, so to speak,” Feigenbaum says.

Listen: Why Michigan’s roads are worse than other states.

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  • Laura Herberg
    Laura Herberg is a Reporter for 101.9 WDET, telling the stories about people inhabiting the Detroit region and the issues that affect us here.