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State reports county roads and city streets in bad shape

Apr 13, 2015

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

About two-thirds of Michigan roads get no federal funding. Once you get off the interstates and highways, most of the county, city, and township roads are totally reliant on state and local taxes. A new survey indicates nearly half of those 80,000 miles of roads are in poor condition.

The numbers come from the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council.

“Year over year over year because of the lack of investment the state is making in these types of roadways, they are beginning to literally fall apart,” said John LaMacchicia with the Michigan Municipal League.

The Michigan Municipal League and the County Road Association of Michigan released the data. Both groups back Proposal 1. That measure appears on the ballot next month. It would raise the state sales tax by a percentage point, change how the gasoline tax is assessed and put more than $1 billion into fixing Michigan’s roads.

The County Road Association of Michigan issued a joint news release with the Michigan Municipal League. The two organizations support passing Proposal 1. They say many Michigan roads are on the cusp of failure is proper funding isn't found.

“On the whole, our roads have gone from a well-maintained system, experienced lack of investment, and now as a system, as the entire transportation network, are beginning to fail," LaMacchia said.

Recent polling finds Michigan voters are against the complicated sales tax increase and many believe the legislature should take simple action to make sure the roads are fixed.