Michigan roads are falling apart faster than they’re being fixed

In a decade, 48% of Michigan’s busiest roads will be in poor condition

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has taken to arguing that she’s fixed the roads in Michigan. What she leaves out is that Michigan’s roads continue to fall apart faster than they’re being fixed.

“We kept on fixing the damn roads, up to 20,000 lane miles and 1,400 bridges since I took office,” Whitmer posted on Dec. 20 on X.

Although road conditions did not deteriorate substantially, according to Michigan’s 2022 Roads and Bridges Annual Report, travelers may face a bumpy ride in the future. The report is published by the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council.

“This trend is not expected to continue as paved federal-aid roads are expected to deteriorate, outpacing the potential funding available to maintain the network,” the report says.

At the current trajectory, roads will fall apart faster than they are fixed.

The rating categories for roads are good, fair, or poor condition. Of the roads studied, 25% are rated as good, 42% as fair, and 33% as poor. Forecasts show that only 20% of these roads will be in good condition in 2034. The percentage of roads in fair condition will drop to 32%, and a plurality of Michigan’s federal-aid roads, 48%, will be rated as being in poor condition.

Local roads and bridges will not fare much better, as previously reported by CapCon. In March 2023, Senate Democrats rejected a budget amendment that would have taken $800 million of a proposed $1.3 billion corporate pork package and used it to fix local roads and bridges.

“All the gains in reduction of poor bridges over the last 10 years have been lost,” the transportation council’s 2021 annual concluded.

Whitmer did not respond to a request for comment.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.