While politicians like Rep. Beth Griffin pat themselves on the back for an election year funding boost of $175 million for roads keep a few facts in mind.
1. Road reconstruction can cost up to $1.5 million per mile. If you do the math, the extra $669,434 for Van Buren County does not go very far.
2. Driving on roads in need of repair in Michigan costs each driver $540 per year
3. The Governor’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission concluded that an extra $2.2 billion (yes billion with a ‘B’) per year is needed for roads.
4. The roads package Republicans passed in 2015 takes $600 million per year out of the general fund potentially impacting education and public safety. Also it doesn’t fully kick in until 2021 while the roads are in critical condition today.
No wonder the Republican former Secretary of State and current Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller described it as “just a drop in the pothole”. Michigan roads are in bad shape and it will take more than election year gimmicks to fix them.
We need real solutions and long term planning not the same old politics as usual.