DETROIT (WWJ) – A new survey says Michigan’s roads are among the worst in the nation, in terms of road quality.
The survey from the National Transportation Research Group “TRIP” — appearing in Monday’s USA Today — says a full third of state roadways are in poor condition, and 12 percent of state bridges are structurally deficient.
Thirty-one and a half percent of Michigan roads rank as poor – with 34.1 percent fair and 34.4 percent good in the study by TRIP and USA Today. It’s no surprise to M-DOT spokesman Rob Morosi, who says the gas tax hasn’t been raised in Michigan since 1997.
“To have a third of the roads split between poor, fair and good, without raising additional revenue, is bringing in $100 million less per year than we did back ten years ago – I think it’s a tribute to what we have done with the limited funds we have to work with,” said Morosi.
Michigan is not alone … as one fifth of 26 states have roads ranking as poor. Morosi hopes for the state legislature to increase funding.
“We put out feelers for raising additional revenue through public/private partnerships in terms of some rest areas or freeway lighting, things of that. We’re always looking at ways to help fund this system,” said Morosi.
What about a toll road in Michigan to raise money on a highway like I-94?
“What interchanges do you close? Who do you impact the most? You can’t have 60 or 70 toll booths … it’s very difficult to retrofit an existing highway into a toll road,” he said.
Metro Detroiters WWJ caught up with were not surprised by the news …
“They don’t maintain the roads – everywhere you look – there’s always potholes – all torn up … I mean I think the roads are terrible around here,” said John Morandi, a driver with UPS.
Barret Erving of Southfield says the bad roads in Michigan have cost him plenty over the years in vehicle damage. “Cracked rims, flat tires – you name it,” he said.
The survey puts Michigan roads at tenth in the nation.
“They just patch them and let them go and then they don’t take the time to fix them the right way,” said one driver.
Nationally, the very worst roads are in the state of Kansas.