Advocacy News – March 9, 2023
Addressing Michigan’s outdated and crumbling infrastructure has been a long-time priority for the Michigan Chamber and member businesses of every size and industry across the Great Lakes State.
A new report – Michigan Transportation Infrastructure Needs and Funding Solutions – from the nonpartisan public policy firm Public Sector Consultants (PSC) took an updated deep dive into the scope of the problem and review potential solutions to fill the long-term funding gap. The report’s sobering findings helped underscore why action is needed now.
That’s why the MI Chamber joined other business and community leaders, including the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, the County Road Association of Michigan, the Michigan Municipal League, and the Detroit Regional Chamber, in a news conference earlier this week as the report was released. The group urged the state’s elected leaders to come together to make pragmatic, economically sound investments in our roads and bridges.
As President and CEO Jim Holcomb noted: “Michigan’s prosperity, competitiveness and quality of life depend on modern, reliable infrastructure. This infrastructure is what connects us, allows our businesses and our economy to grow and thrive, and creates countless opportunities for our communities and families. The time is now for a bipartisan, long-term strategy with solutions and investments that improve our roads and bridges. We can’t afford to wait.”
The PSC report found that:
- Michigan’s transportation system needs are higher than previous estimates – now $3.9B annually – and will continue to grow without needed action.
- Investment in recommended maintenance can save significant money. Spending to maintain and rehabilitate roads (called the “right fix at the right time”) is far more cost effective than waiting until a lane mile has reached the end of its design life, when reconstruction becomes the only option (and is 5-8 times more expansive per lane mile). Proper maintenance is estimated to save between $3B and $7.6B per year.
- Michigan has set a standard of maintaining roads at a 90% good and fair condition level, which has not been accomplished on a sustainable level because of a lack of funding, and it will cost more to bring the system up to standard. MDOT assessments of Michigan road conditions show that 33 percent of all federal-aid roads and 45 percent of non-federal-aid roads are in poor condition and should be reconstructed in the next two years.
Here are some brief higlights of the news coverage to date:
- Detroit News: Report estimates up to $3.9B funding gap for Michigan roads, floats tax increase
- Michigan Radio: Report: Michigan’s road and bridge funding gap is growing
- WXYZ Detroit: New report suggests Michigan needs $3.9 billion a year to fix the roads
- MLive: Michigan facing $3.9B deficit in road funding, new report finds
- WWMT Kalamazoo: Michigan underfunding roads by $3.9B per year, new report finds