How do Michigan roads rank in US? Libertarian think tank crunches the numbers – The Detroit News

Posted: November 23, 2021 at 4:13 pm

Michigan's road conditions deteriorated ashighways improved nationwide, according to a new report by the Reason Foundation.

Thestate ranked34th nationallyin highway performance and cost effectiveness in 2021, dropping 10 spots in the libertarian think tank's Annual Highway Report compared to the 2020 report, and landingin the bottom 10 states in several measured categories.

The report released Thursday looked at highway data from 2019 and congestion data from 2020, and gradesstate roads in 13 categories. Those include pavement condition, traffic congestion, bridge structures, traffic fatalitiesand spending per mile.

Michigan was one of only four states, includingNew Mexico, Ohio and South Carolina, to declinein the rankings by 10 spots or more in the same time period, compared with the 2020 report, which looked at 2018 and 2019.

There were1,219 bridges and more than 7,300 miles of highway in poor condition in Michigan, according to an August report released by the White House.

Since 2011,commute times have increased by 4.6% in the state andindividual drivers paid an average of$644 ayear in costs related to driving on damaged roads.

The report came days after President Joe Biden signed into lawthebipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which will include around $7.8billion in fundingfor highway and bridge repairs over five years in Michigan.

This is in addition to the $3.5 billion of bonds that the Michigan Department of Transportation was authorized to issueover fouryearsforthe repair and rehabilitation of 122 major highways, per the self-described "Fix the Damn Roads" governor,Gretchen Whitmer's request.

The fiscal year 2019 budget wasset by the Legislature under the Snyder administration.

"Our pavement is deteriorating more quickly than we can maintain itwith current funding levels," said Diane Cross, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transport, on Sunday."The governor's $3.5 billion Rebuilding Michigan plan, now complemented by the federal IIJA, will slow the decline but everyone agrees that long term, we need more and sustainable investment."

The Governor's Office said Whitmer is working on the roads and acknowledged more work was needed to "make up for the prior decades of disinvestment" and working with the Legislature and federal government for more funding.

After decades of disinvestment in the states aging infrastructure, Michigan has made a strong shift toward focusing on the type of investments that we need to rebuild roads and bridges across the state," saidBobby Leddy, press secretary for Whitmer.

"Since taking office, Governor Whitmer has fixed more than 9,000 miles of roads and secured additional funding to fix 100 bridges in serious or critical condition without raising taxes. And the governors Rebuilding Michigan plan is creating tens of thousands of good-paying jobs to fix our states roads and bridges with the right mix and material to ensure the repairs last longer."

Michigan's best rankings in the Reason Foundation's report were in the rural fatality and overall fatality rates on highways, 7th and 14th respectively.

On the other end of the findings, thestate's worst rankingswere in urban Interstate pavement condition and congestion, with commuters spending 42.07 hours a year in rush hour traffic. Drivers in onlyfour other states in the country spend more than 40 hours in traffic, according to the report; New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Illinois.

"Despite not having a metro area that ranks in the top 10 for population, Michigan has the fifth worst traffic congestion in the country, said Baruch Feigenbaum, lead author of the reportand senior managing director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation.

Compared to nearby states, the report found that Michigans overall highway performance is worse than Wisconsin,Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, but better than Illinois.

"Michigan is one of the few states that could benefit from spending slightly more on its highway system to improve the overall condition," continued Feigenbaum.

Michigan spends around $92,500 per mile of state-controlled road.

The country's most cost-effective highway systems, according to the report, were North Dakota, Virginia, Missouri, Kentuckyand North Carolina, while the worst combination of highway performance and cost effectiveness was found in New Jersey,RhodeIsland, Alaska, Hawaii, and New York.

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How do Michigan roads rank in US? Libertarian think tank crunches the numbers - The Detroit News

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