Our roads and bridges are among the nation’s worst.

 

By nearly every measure, Michigan’s roads and bridges are in rough shape. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave Michigan’s roads a “D-” grade on its 2018 Report Card for Michigan’s Infrastructure. Our bridges scored a “C-”. Nearly every expert agrees the main culprit is lack of funding.

The legislature and governor approved more funding for roads in November 2015, but the money will not be fully available until 2021.

Bridge

Bad roads and bridges are in every Michigan county.

An April 2017 report (“Modernizing Michigan’s Transportation System: Progress and Challenges in Providing Safe, Efficient and Well-Maintained Roads, Highways and Bridges”) by the national transportation research firm TRIP assessed the substantial maintenance needs facing Michigan’s roads and bridges. 

  1. Twenty percent of state-maintained roads were in poor condition in 2016.
  2. The number of state-maintained lane miles in poor condition is projected to increase significantly in the next five years, more than doubling from 5,695 lane miles in poor condition in 2016 to 13,854 lane miles in poor condition by 2020 and increasing in share to 46 percent.
  3. Despite additional transportation funding provided by the 2015 legislation, numerous needed transportation projects in Michigan remain unfunded. The value of these needed transportation projects in Michigan that lack adequate funding to proceed is $3.3 billion, including $2 billion in the Detroit area, $483 million in the Lansing area and $234 million in the Grand Rapids area.
  4.  Based on available funding, the number of state-maintained bridges that are rated in poor condition will increase by 50 percent between 2016 and 2023 from 236 bridges to 354 bridges.

  5. Approximately one-in-nine (12 percent) of Michigan’s locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or longer) are currently rated as structurally deficient.
  6. Fifty-six percent of major roads in the Detroit urban area are in poor condition, costing area drivers $865 each year in additional vehicle operating costs. The Detroit urban area ranks fourth among large urban areas (500,000+ population) in the percentage of roads in poor condition and fifth in the annual cost to motorists of driving on rough roads. Driving on roads in disrepair increases consumer costs by accelerating vehicle deterioration and depreciation and increasing needed maintenance, fuel consumption and tire wear.
  7. Fifty-two percent of major roads in the Grand Rapids urban area are in poor condition, costing area drivers $742 each year in additional vehicle operating costs. The Grand Rapids urban area ranks ninth among large urban areas (500,000+ population) in the percentage of roads in poor condition and 14th in the annual cost to motorists of driving on rough roads.
  8. Fifty-six percent of major roads in the Flint urban area are in poor condition, costing area drivers $839 each year in additional vehicle operating costs. The Flint urban area ranks fifth among mid-sized urban areas (250,000-500,000 population) in the percentage of roads in poor condition and second in the annual cost to motorists of driving on rough roads.
  9. Thirty-nine percent of major roads in the Lansing urban area are in poor condition, costing area drivers $825 each year in additional vehicle operating costs. The Lansing urban area ranks ninth among mid-sized urban areas (250,000-500,000 population) in the annual cost to motorists of driving on rough roads and sixth in the percentage of roads in poor condition.

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