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Michigan’s Heavy Trucks Blamed For Ailing Roads

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(istockphoto)

(istockphoto)

LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Critics of Gov. Rick Snyder’s call for more money to fix Michigan’s ailing roads and bridges are pointing to the state’s highway weight limit as the problem.

The Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday that Michigan has the highest maximum truck weight in the nation at 164,000 pounds. In his third State of the State address last week, Gov. Snyder asked lawmakers for an additional $1.2 billion a year to fund Michigan’s transportation system.

Chief Operations Officer for the Michigan Department of Transportation Gregory Johnson told the Free Press that Michigan’s requirement that heavier trucks ride on more axles actually reduces the impact on the state’s roads.

But Johnson says “there is no doubt there is an incremental cost” for building roads designed “for heavier loads.”

During his State of the State address last week, Snyder offered proposals meant to produce roughly $1 billion a year for road and bridge repairs, a figure that could rise in subsequent years.

The governor proposes to raise the money by replacing the retail tax on fuels, which has been stuck at 19 cents per gallon for gasoline and 15 cents per gallon for diesel fuel, with a wholesale tax would enable revenue to rise with inflation as the cost is passed along to motorists.

He also proposed raising the statewide fee on vehicle registrations and giving local governments the authority to impose further increases for local road and street fixes. (More here).

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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