The Michigan Department of Transportation said without significant investment, 40 percent of Michigan’s major highways will be in poor condition in three years.
George Pulaski is one frustrated driver.
“They’re just all beat up, and they’re patched and patched and patched. I just think there is a better way to take care of them,” said Pulaski.
Those concerns were heard by State Representative Lynn Afendoulis (R-Grand Rapids) at a town hall event Monday night in Kent County. This comes on the heels of a new report that reveals more than 40 percent of Michigan’s roads are now in poor condition and more than 10 percent of our bridges are deficient.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to fix the roads focuses on a gas tax to the tune of 45 cents per gallon. MDOT says the plan would result in 90 percent of state roads to be in good or fair condition by 2029.
However, Whitmer’s plan has its critics.
Kent County resident Jim Platz thinks the proposal might be too steep.
“The gas tax—I’m not sure is the right one…you think about a family with four kids and they are at the median income of poverty, this affects them a ton,” said Platz.
Afendoulis says lawmakers are looking at alternative funding solutions.
“I think we need to take a look at new funding sources at existing opportunities for funds that might be hidden some place in the budget…we have to be creative because this is an urgent problem,” said Afendoulis.
The MDOT Director Paul C. Ajegba urged those at the town hall to consider the gas tax. “This is simple. The longer we wait, the more it will cost to restore our roads and bridges,” he said.
Ajegba said investment is necessary for the safety of Michigan drivers, transparency and quality of repairs and fixing roads not vehicles.