Michigan road funding billboards highlight pothole problem

Now that the snow is beginning to melt, giving way to countless potholes, the road construction industry is putting pressure on lawmakers to raise $2 billion a year in additional infrastructure funding by launching a second round of billboards throughout the state.

The Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association billboard campaign aims to remind legislators and the public that swift action is needed to make Michigan roads safe for drivers through the following messages:

• “Everyone Talks About Fixing Michigan’s Roads.  It’s Time to Act!”
• “Michigan Ranks Dead Last in Per Person Road Funding: Embarrassed Yet?”
• “Keep Us Safe, Make Us Strong. Fix Michigan’s Roads.”

The billboard campaign is being sponsored by the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (MITA), a leading advocate for increased state infrastructure funding. The messages will appear on billboards in the following areas: Detroit, Monroe, Macomb County, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Jackson, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.

MITA’s first batch of billboards was launched at the beginning of March and warned legislators and the public that “1 in 8 MI Bridges are in Poor Condition. How Many Have You Crossed?”

“Everyone has been talking about fixing Michigan’s roads, especially in light of this year’s horrendous pothole season,” said Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of MITA. “But if we just keep talking about it, and do nothing, Michigan will continue to be dead last in per capita road funding. We will not be safe driving on deteriorating roads and bridges. And Michigan will be unable to attract new investors and keep current businesses who help make our economy strong.”

Nystrom said it is important that this message be reinforced with legislators, who for many years have considered an additional annual investment in infrastructure but have failed to act.  The condition of Michigan’s roads and bridges is a direct result of this inaction.

“The potholed roads we drive on and the deteriorating bridges we cross every day won’t get any better until the state Legislature approves a long-term, annual source of funding, which currently is estimated at $2 billion a year in additional funding,” Nystrom said. “We can’t wait any longer. The citizens of Michigan deserve better.”