2014-02-20 / News

State ranks low on roads

Last among 50 states for road, bridge funds

OKEMOS, Mich. – Michigan ranks dead last in per capita spending on infrastructure, while neighboring states invest far more, according to 2010 Census Bureau data.

Michigan spends $154 per person annually on its infrastructure, while neighboring states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania) spend between $60 and $376 more per person. The state that holds the number one spot is Alaska, which spends $2,032 per person, according to the report.

“Our neighbors and other states choose to invest wisely in their roads and bridges because they understand that this investment will save money and lives, in addition to improving their economic climate and attracting new businesses,” said Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.

By choosing not to invest in the state’s infrastructure, Nystrom said, Michigan passes the burden onto drivers, who are currently enduring not only one of the worst winters on record, but an extremely early and intense pothole season.

“The annual cost per motorist of our potholed roads and deteriorating bridges was recently estimated by TRIP, a national transportation research group, at over $1,000,” Nystrom said. “If we invest more in our infrastructure, those hidden costs to motorists will decrease, and we will all be saving when we ‘hit the highway,’ not the pothole.”

Nystrom said that in the long run, deciding to postpone infrastructure investment will lead to not only more potholes, but more roads and bridges that need to be closed for repairs due to unsafe conditions, such as what happened recently with a major bridge in Auburn Hills.

“We can’t delay any longer, or the price tag will continue to rise,” Nystrom said. “We currently need $2 billion in additional annual infrastructure funding, and we look forward to working with the governor and legislature to reach that goal now.”

MITA is a leading advocate for increased infrastructure funding in Michigan to save lives and money. For more information, visit www. mi-ita.com.

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