Insights | Blog
How do we fix our Crumbling Roads and Bridges?
While recently driving on I-75 on our way to a long ski weekend, I couldn’t help but notice how the road was fraught with patched seams on areas of roadway that were less than 5 years old. Imagine my surprise when a report was issued the next day by the State of Michigan Auditor General that the MDOT does not properly and timely pursue warranty claims on road construction.
What makes this report even more frustrating is that the same findings were given to MDOT in 2010!
Governor Snyder and our esteemed legislature have decided that the only way to fix our crumbling roads and bridges is to raise the sales tax via an off year, midterm election in May. In order to get the ballot proposal approved, pork was added to the proposed tax increase.
The proposal if passed, would increase the state sales tax to 7% from 6% and remove the sales tax from fuel sales. It projects to raise $1.2 billion a year for road and bridge repairs, $300 million for schools, $100 million for mass transit, and about $95 million for local governments.
This means that only 70% of the money is actually for roads. And by all accounts MDOT cannot seem to manage its road repairs and maintenance matters now.
Michigan has a disproportionate need for adequate roads over most other states. We are a net exporter of manufactured goods that are predominately shipped via trucking. Our auto plants rely on the roads for supplies and materials, our farmers rely on the roads and our tourism industry relies on the roads.
Let’s get the MDOT to do its job correctly before we start spending more on fixing roads that were never built properly in the first place. In the private sector companies that ignore warranty claims do not survive. Why can’t MDOT develop the proper plan to address such a simple but important issue?