DETROIT (WWJ) — A new report says Michigan has miles to go before its freeways and roadways are up to par.

The new report was released Monday by national transportation research group TRIP from Washington D.C. Director of Research and Policy Rocky Moretti said that Michigan’s “infrastructure deficit” is only getting deeper.

“Over the next several years, unless the state is able to move forward not only with repairing the existing system but as the report points out the very critical projects — both highway and transit — to help support the economic recovery of the region are not funded,” Moretti said.

The TRIP report concludes that Michigan’s roads continue to cost taxpayers millions:

“The life cycle of Michigan’s roads is greatly affected by the state and local government’s ability to perform timely maintenance and upgrades to ensure that road and highway surfaces last 11 as long as possible. The condition of Michigan’s roads and highways continues to decline and is forecast to worsen over the next decade as a result of a lack of funding.”

Moretti said that driving on Michigan roadways costs motorists nearly $5 billion each year, which averages out to about $700 per driver.

“Michigan is facing a significant infrastructure deficit, specifically over a third of its major roads are in poor condition,” Moretti said. “Data suggests that over the next decade that’s going to increase to over 53 percent of the roads in poor condition. Then 12 percent of the state’s bridges are structurally deficient, and again over the next decade that number is expected to climb to 14 percent.”

The state’s recovery is threatened by increased road and bridge deterioration, according to Moretti, and the lack of needed transportation improvements to serve economic development.

“We do point out in the report that poor roads are costing the average motorist in the state $646 annually driving on those poor roads, or $4.8 billion statewide,” Moretti said.

TRIP does not side with or against Proposal 1, which aims to raise state sales tax by one percent –from six percent to seven percent — in an effort to fund road repairs.

You can read the full report HERE.


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