By Michael Siracuse, Fiscal Analyst and David Zin, Chief Economist
Despite the passage of a road funding package in 2015, designed to add $1.2 billion in new revenue to the Transportation budget annually, the condition of Michigan’s trunkline and local road systems continues to decline. The cost associated with fixing any roadway depends upon the condition of that roadway; roads in poor condition are significantly more expensive to address than other roads.
As more and more of Michigan’s roads deteriorate into poor condition, the cost for fixing Michigan’s roads will continue to rise sharply. Michigan’s roads now require an additional $2 billion dollars annually to fix because there are 20% more roads in poor condition today than there were in 2015. This paper provides a background on the road funding legislation adopted in 2015, describes the quality of Michigan’s road system and the dynamics of maintenance and repair costs, and discusses several approaches that could be considered to direct more funding to Michigan’s road system.