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Report details how much Michigan's bad roads cost drivers

Potholes on Beech Daly Road just north of Warren Avenue in Dearborn Heights. (WDIV)

DETROIT – A new report released this week looks at the cost of Michigan's crumbling roads to drivers.

TRIP, a national transportation research group, released their analysis of Michigan's infrastructure, explicitly stating the need for more funding.

"While increased transportation funding provided by Michigan’s 2015 road funding package has allowed many projects to proceed in Detroit and throughout the state, additional investment is needed to complete numerous projects that would improve Michigan’s road and bridge conditions, relieve traffic congestion and enhance traffic safety and efficiency," the report states.

According to the TRIP report, more than two-thirds of major roads in Detroit are in poor or mediocre condition, nearly one-in-ten bridges are structurally deficient, and drivers lose 54 hours per year in traffic congestion.

Driving on deficient roads costs the average Detroit area motorist $2,544 annually – a total of $14.1 billion statewide – in the form of additional vehicle operating costs as a result of rough roads, congestion-related delays and traffic crashes. 

In the Detroit area, 70 percent of major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Forty-four percent of major roads in Detroit are in poor condition and 26 percent are in mediocre condition.

Driving on rough roads costs the average Detroit area driver $824 annually in the form of accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear. Statewide, 24 percent of major roads are in poor condition and 20 percent are in mediocre condition. 

Nine percent of bridges (20 feet or longer) in the Detroit area (225 of 2,581) are structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration to the major components of the bridge.

Statewide, 11 percent (1,175 of 11,180) of bridges are structurally deficient. Forty-three percent of Michigan’s bridges (4,815 of 11,180) were built in 1969 or earlier. Bridges 50 years or older often require significant rehabilitation or replacement.

Detroit area drivers are dealing with increasingly congested roadways, as population and vehicle-travel rates return to pre-recession levels. The average driver in the Detroit area loses 54 hours each year as a result of traffic congestion.

Lost time and wasted fuel as a result of congestion cost the average Detroit area motorist $1,278 annually. 

The TRIP report also concludes that fixing Michigan's roads would likely lead to a decrease in traffic fatalities and serious crashes.

"While the recent influx of funding has allowed Michigan to make strides in improving its transportation system, more work still needs to be done to provide the state’s residents, businesses and visitors with a smooth, safe and efficient transportation system,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Michigan will need to continue to make transportation investment a top priority.”

See the full report below:


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