Despite funding increase, Michigan roads to worsen, report says

DETROIT – While additional transportation funding was passed by Michigan’s Legislature in 2015, roads are going to continue to deteriorate, according to a report by TRIP.

Read More: Michigan roads to get worse before better, data shows

TRIP is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization which researches and evaluates transportation issues.

According to TRIP, state funding for local roads and bridges will increase from $2.2 billion in 2015 to almost $3.4 billion in 2023.

A total $4.2 billion in funding will be provided through 2023 as a result of the legislation, though $2.3 billion from the general fund is not guaranteed, TRIP reported. Distribution will be at the discretion of the Legislature beginning in 2019.

Despite the increase, it is predicted the number of lane miles in poor condition will increase from 20 percent in 2016 to 46 percent by 2020.


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TRIP reported the Michigan Department of Transportation estimates that based on funding, the number of state-maintained bridges rated as poor will increase from 236 bridges to 354 bridges between 2016 and 2023.

TRIP’s report noted vehicle travel in Michigan increased by 10 percent between 2013 and 2016, and there was a 20 percent increase in traffic fatalities between 2014 and 2016.

“This report stresses the critical need of the region to improve its transportation infrastructure,” said Brad Williams, vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber.

While it may not be enough funding, TRIP said, the money will allow projects to begin which would not have been possible otherwise.

Below is a list of Detroit-area projects that are underway or will be underway or completed by 2020, partially because of the increase in transportation funding (click to enlarge):

Here's a statement from MDOT:

"At the time the transportation funding package was approved in late 2015, legislative leaders acknowledged it was a good start toward addressing some of the needs in Michigan’s road and bridge system, but not all of them. It will help slow the decline, but not reverse it.

We are not delaying projects, but there are many projects we’ve identified on our system statewide, we don’t yet have the resources we need to address them. The funding package will mean we’ll be able to address more needs than we could before, but there remains many more that will need to wait. We’ll continue to do the best we can with available funding, and keep our roads and bridges in as good condition as possible."

About the Authors:

Koco joined the Local 4 News team in September of 2016. She was born and raised in Metro Detroit, attended Central Michigan University, and previously worked at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids.