Latest State Budget Offers Little in Long-Term Road Fixes

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

There's no other way to put it, Michigan's roads are crumbling.

After this winter, it's only going to get worse. So much so, that the $254 million in one-time dollars proposed in the state's 2015 budget will offer few improvements. That's according to Mike Nystrom of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.

"A one-time hit of $254 million is barely one-eighth of what we need every year," said Nystrom.

"And when you consider half of that will be added to federal money for construction projects...,"after that, the remaining amount will be split up, state-wide, based on need," said Kari Arend, MDOT Spokeswoman. "Not a lot of money when you think about it."

In the meantime, road conditions continue to get worse and more costly.

"I think what this highlights, this week, is the need for a more comprehensive transportation package," said Arend.

Governor Snyder is well aware of that. Last year, he proposed a $1.2 billion yearly investment that never made it past the legislature.

"It's not enough to fully solve the problem, so I'm going to continue to talk about the need to add road funding," said the governor, Wednesday.

That's why some are questioning his proposal to give $100 million in tax credit to lower and middle income families; on average $75 dollars each, which likely wouldn't cover vehicle damage from poor roads.

"We have to fix the roads in order to help them save money in the long-term," said Nystrom.

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