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

By nearly every measure, Michigan’s roads and bridges are in rough shape. 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.

A November 2016 report (“Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother”) by the national transportation research firm TRIP assessed the substantial maintenance needs facing Michigan’s roads and bridges.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. An August 2016 TRIP report found 27 percent of Michigan bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
  6. In 2013, 37 percent of Michigan’s major rural roads were rated in poor condition, the highest rate nationally. (Source: 2015 TRIP report)
  7. Thirteen percent of Michigan’s rural bridges were rated structurally deficient in 2014, the 14th highest rate in the nation. (Source: 2015 TRIP report)

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