Former State Rep: Roads need billions more in funding

A former Michigan state representative says the state needs billions of dollars in additional money to fix its road system.

A newly released report says the state needs to raise road spending by more than $2.1 billion per year. Former state lawmaker Rick Olson of downstate York Township wrote the report. The last time he offered a figure, in late 2011, it was $1.4 billion additional per year.

“All of the repairs that have been delayed over the years because of budgets are only going to get worse, and we’re seeing it now,” road funding advocate Bob Struck said. “Of course, this has been a terrible winter for roads, and it’s going to be extremely terrible this spring, when things start breaking up.”

Struck has been on the Mackinac Bridge Authority Board since September of 2006. He was appointed by former governor Jennifer Granholm to a 2008 citizens task force on Michigan road funding.

“We evaluated all of the costs and the needs around the state,” he said. “It was very clear that we needed to get some extra money in to take care of the roads, which at that time were a billion dollars in bad shape. Now we’ve doubled that.”

Michigan road funding comes from the state’s 19-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax. If you’d like to read the new report, you can download a copy of it by clicking here.