Michigan Spends Less Per Lane Than Most States
Friday, November 21, 2014
Posted by: Nancy Brown
(WLNS) November 20, 2014 - The early winter weather is causing some challenges for some drivers to drive in and it's been a busy time for road crews working to get salt on the roads.
As you know, Michigan's roads have been an issue for many years. 6 News Nick Perreault compares our state with others.
States are all required to use the same specification under federal guidelines. In terms of repair the difference appears to be funding.
Over the past decade Ohio has spent $1 billion more and Pennsylvania $2 billion more a year than Michigan.
Is money the only reason behind our crumbling roads?
"Anyone who crosses a border between Indiana or Ohio, when they get to Michigan, they can certainly feel the harsh roads.”
How harsh you might ask?
"We rank dead last in per capita spending on our infrastructure.”
Lance Binoniemi with Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association or MITA says multiple independent studies show Michigan's lack of funding creates some of the worst roads in the country.
"Michigan hasn't increased their investment or revenues for our transportation system since 1997,” said Lance Binoniemi, VP, Governoment Affairs, MITA.
You heard right, not an increase for more than a decade and a half.
Forcing crews to use this stuff instead of repaving miles of needed roadways.
"Depending on weather, traffic, whatever it may be, this stuff might pop up as quickly as we put it down, put it's the best product we have right now to use to keep that roadway in good condition,” said Kari Arend, MDOT spokesperson.
MDOT estimates roughly 1,500 miles of 10,000 they're responsible for or 15 percent of state trunk lines are in poor condition.
"We're putting band aids in Michigan, that's why we're seeing it pop up every single spring.”
Binoniemi says when states like Ohio and Indiana repair roads they're using the same material, just more of it.
"We're putting on very thin layovers, because that's the only thing we can do with the money that we have.”
You might ask where are these other states getting funding from. In Wisconsin they have a 33 cents gas tax towards their roads, Michigan's is currently 19.
An increase could come through. It passed the senate last week. Binoniemi hopes the house will follow suit to help the roads in Michigan.