Around the State

Northern Michigan Roads need greater Investment

LANSING, MI – Gov. Rick Snyder and State Transportation Director Kirk Steudle are calling for greater investment throughout Michigan’s transportation system to address decades of underinvestment.  State and local road agencies have insufficient funding to address all the repair needs for northern Michigan roads and bridges.

Gov. Rick Snyder holds a roundtable discussion with Flint-area community leaders to discuss the need for a comprehensive plan to fix Michigan’s roads. He is joined by (from left to right) John Daly of the Genesee Road Commission, Flint and Genesee Chamber executive vice president and COO Duane Miller, MDOT Director Kirk Steudle, Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and director of the Michigan State Police Col. Kriste Etue.

A funding plan endorsed by Gov. Snyder and passed by the Michigan Senate would provide an additional $1.2 billion annually, when fully implemented, for local and state infrastructure repairs.

Northern Michigan roads and bridges, like those throughout the state, are crumbling and need far greater investment, Gov. Rick Snyder and State Transportation Director Kirk Steudle said.

Snyder’s and Steudle made the remarks at a roundtable event in Lansing on December 5th, 2014.

Gov. Snyder was in Flint on December 8th, 2014 holding a roundtable discussion with Flint-area community leaders to discuss the need for a comprehensive plan to fix Michigan’s roads.

“When I do town halls and events in every corner of Michigan we talk about roads, and I can tell you I still haven’t found a person that likes the roads in Michigan,” Snyder said. “Pure Michigan tourism is one of our largest industries and if you think about it, are we creating a great experience when we’re bouncing people around on the roads?” Snyder asked.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a small bridge railing in Cheboygan or Alpena or something in downtown Charlevoix or in Marquette, Munising, or Ontonagon,” Steudle said. “There are bad bridges across the state; there are poor pavements all across the state.”

According to a 2012 analysis by The Road Information Program (TRIP), an estimated 100 lives can be saved each year if Michigan improves its infrastructure. Additionally, the TRIP report found that poor roads cost Michigan motorists an average of $539 more each year in repairs, tire wear and fuel consumption. In addition to saving lives and reducing auto repair bills, Snyder said that his plan would contribute to the creation of about 12,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Gov. Snyder’s plan would eliminate the current per-gallon fuel tax (19 cents for gasoline and 15 cents for diesel) and replace it with a wholesale fuel tax that would increase gradually over three years. The plan also would double the fines for truck weight limit violations, dedicating half of the revenue to the State Trunkline Fund.

About 60 percent of the revenue generated would go to counties, cities and villages for local roads and bridges. On average, county road commissions, cities and villages would receive a funding increase of 73 percent by 2018.

Michigan’s gas tax was last increased in 1997. Based on the amount of tax charged on gasoline that is invested in roads, Michigan is ranked 40th in the U.S. Also, Michigan is ranked 33rd in investment per lane mile, 47th in investment per vehicle-mile traveled, and 50th in per capita investment.

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