Several Michigan business leaders called on Governor Gretchen Whitmer and lawmakers to deliver on campaign promise of fixing the state’s roads.
They held a press conference at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Lansing.
The business leaders were joined by the Fix MI State campaign to release maps that detailed crumbling conditions of the roads.
“Roads and bridges are the foundation of Michigan’s economy, but they won’t fix themselves and are costing businesses and taxpayers more money every year,” said Rich Studley, President and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. “I stand here with other leading employer organizations to urge the Governor, the House, and the Senate to take action now on the next installment of road funding.”
They said that since 2003, the Michigan Department of Transportation and local road agencies have used a uniform rating system called PASER (Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating) to collect pavement data. The data is collected by the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC). And since 2004, TAMC has prepared annual reports for the Michigan Legislature on the declining condition of Michigan’s roads and bridges.
They added that the maps released on Tuesday by legislative district highlight just how drastically Michigan roads continue to decline.
“The maps clearly demonstrate why Michigan voters have ranked fixing the roads as the top issue facing the state in many public opinion polls over the past three years.”
“The colors on these maps are just as important as those on a stop light. Green – good roads are good for Michigan residents and economy. Yellow – fair roads are the caution light that has been ignored over the past decade of decline. And most importantly, red – poor roads represent the pothole filled streets that frustrate Michigan residents, and congested highways and weight-restricted bridges that stifle business growth,” said Monica Ackerson, APR, Executive Vice President of the Michigan Road Preservation Association. “We must fund this need now, or pay a lot more later as the cost to bring those roads back to good condition doubles when a road falls from fair to poor condition.”
More information about the state’s infrastructure needs, including today’s newly released maps, can be found at www.FixMIState.org , a website created by the Fix MI State campaign, which is being led by the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association.