Michigan Roads Featured on History Channel
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The state of Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure is so bad, even Hollywood has taken notice. On June 22 at 9 p.m., The History Channel will air The Crumbling of America, which explores the state of the nation’s highways, bridges, water and sewage systems, and more. (The show will repeat on Sunday, June 28, at 5 p.m.)
The Crumbling of America explores the nation’s infrastructure problems using expert interviews, on location shooting and computer generate animation to illustrate the kinds of infrastructure disasters that could be just around the bend.
“It’s no surprise that Michigan was selected to highlight the dangers a crumbling transportation infrastructure pose,” said Mike Nystrom,vice president of government and public relations for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA), and co-chair of the Michigan Transportation Team (MTT). “The History Channel visited Michigan back in April, and filmed significant portions of our roadways to use in the program. We were even contacted to provide more footage of our deteriorating roadways after they wrapped filming. If this isn’t a wake up call to our legislators, I don’t know what is.”
A study done by the Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave Michigan’s roads and bridges a D rating, noting 38 percent of Michigan’s roads are in poor condition and 28 percent of Michigan’s bridges arestructurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
A recent Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) report shows 919 highway bridges are “functionally obsolete” and another 471 are “structurally deficient.” More than 250 of these bridges are at least 75 years old, meaning they were built before the last Great Depression.
“It makes it more challenging to attract job providers when Michigan keeps receiving attention for our crumbling roads and bridges," Nystrom said. "Hopefully this attention will encourage our legislators to act. If Michigan is to have a strong, viable future, we need our roadways to get us there. We must fix Michigan's roads now!"
The Michigan Legislature is currently exploring a package of bills that would increase road funding over the next five years in Michigan. The plan is expected to yield an additional $1.8 billion in new transportation revenue per year.
MTT is a broad-based, bi-partisan partnership of business, labor, local government, associations and citizens linked with the common goal of improving Michigan’s transportation infrastructure. The DriveMI campaign is committed to promoting the development and maintenance of a safe,convenient and efficient transportation network that serves the public, private and economic development needs of Michigan. Please visit www.drivemi.org for more information on transportation funding.