What will it take to fix Michigan’s roads?

Even though the percentage of roads in ‘good condition’ is slowly increasing, the state has not done enough to fix its poor roads, says local journalist Chad Livengood.

As we move deeper into this election year, we’re going to hear more about Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s pledge to “fix the damn roads” and whether she has lived up to that promise. But Whitmer is not the first Michigan governor to spend lots of political capital and time promising to fix the roads.

Her predecessor, Governor Rick Snyder, spent years in Lansing trying to pass a comprehensive road funding plan. What he ended up with was the 2015 package that raised $600 million yearly by increasing registration fees and the state’s gas tax — eventually taking another $600 million from other areas of the state budget.

“I looked at the data on ‘poor condition roads’ an in 2015, 39 percent of roads were rated in poor condition. this year, based on current projections, 40 percent of roads are rated in poor condition. So, we are really just barely treading water here,” — Chad Livengood, Crain’s Detroit Business


Listen: How we are funding our roads and how far that money is going.

 


Guest

Chad Livengood is a senior editor for politics and policy at Crain’s Detroit Business. He says Michigan has had a slow phase-in of $1.2 billion per year for road funding, even though engineers say we need $2 billion annually.

“I looked at the data on ‘poor condition roads’ an in 2015,” says Livengood. “39 percent of roads were rated in poor condition. This year, based on current projections, 40 percent of roads are rated in poor condition. So, we are really just barely treading water here.”

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