News Story

The Roads Are Crumbling And Have Always Been Crumbling

Michigan media has been breaking the story going on 30 years

Michigan’s roads are crumbling.

That hasn’t been disputed in published reports that have appeared every year going back nearly 30 years.

Since at least 1991, there has not been a time when Michigan newspapers haven’t reported about the poor condition of the state’s roads.

Here’s a sample of news reports and commentaries over the last 28 years to illustrate that point.

Jan. 29, 2010

Livingston County Daily Press

Headline: Roll slowed on road funds

“Denise Jackson, the Michigan Department of Transportation’s statewide planning administrator, said the delayed projects will mean thousands of lost jobs in Michigan and fewer chances to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges.”

May 17, 2009

Detroit Free Press

Headline: Better, more equitable funding for roads should be a state legislative priority

“A campaign to raise $1.8 billion more each year to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads was launched last week with proposals to nearly double vehicle registration fees, switch from a flat tax to a percentage tax on gasoline and authorize local increases of other taxes.”

April 4, 2007

The Herald-Palladium

Headline: House gets gas tax bills

“‘Our roads are crumbling,’” said State Rep. Craig DeRoche, R-Novi.”

July 2, 2005

The Herald-Palladium

Headline: The state’s crumbling roads

“They [policymakers] point out that Michigan’s roads and bridges are deteriorating faster than the state can afford to fix them.”

June 29, 2003

Detroit Free Press

Headline: Michigan should get full return for its gas tax dollars

“That’s the equivalent of a stiff 12 percent administrative fee — money that could be used to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges.”

Jan. 31, 2000

Detroit Free Press

Headline: Plan would expand roads

“MDOT officials say the state has made good progress in rebuilding crumbling roads as a result of a 4-cent gas tax increase in 1997 and more than $300 million a year in added federal highway aid.”

Sept. 18, 1998

Detroit Free Press

Headline: Roads rougher at election time

“Most experts say Michigan’s roads started crumbling long before [Gov. John] Engler took office, largely because the state was not spending enough.”

June 3, 1997

Detroit Free Press

Headline: Words fail and roads crumble as hot air floats over Mackinac

“How sad.”

“The politicians indulged in huge amounts of hot air, finger-pointing, harangues, nasty exchanges, etc. about how best to fix, build and rebuild Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges during last week’s three-day Greater Detroit outing on Mackinac Island.”

Jan. 28, 1997

Detroit Free Press

Headline: Crumbling roads ruin state’s image

“In case you’ve been in a coma for the past year or so, roads are in atrocious condition and deteriorating by the day.”

Oct. 27, 1996

The Herald-Palladium

Headline: Report: Our roads crumbling

“The drumbeat of charges that Michigan roads and bridges are crumbling was renewed last eweek by a study calling on Michigan to spend an extra $5.4 billion over 10 years for smoother, safer roads.”

March 29, 1996

Detroit Free Press

Headline: Gov. Engler gets a needed push on a gas tax hike

“They may have little effect on Gov. John Engler, but at least a few people have had the gumption to raise the noise level about Michigan’s crumbling roads.”

May 1, 1995

Lansing State Journal

Headline: Ease up on plans to raise the pump price

“Michigan’s crumbling roads and 700 bridges on the state’s critical list are in need of help. Few will dispute that. Paying for a massive road rehab is the $350 million question.”

Jan. 5, 1995

Detroit Free Press

Headline: Only way to fix roads is to raise gas tax

“The County Road Association of Michigan commends the Free Press for supporting an increase in transportation funding to fix up Michigan's crumbling roads and bridges ... Recent studies have shown that Michigan roads are among the worst in the country.” — letter to the editor from James Little, director, County Road Association of Michigan

July 29, 1994

Detroit Free Press

Headline: Governor Q&A

“Clearly we must rebuild our crumbling roads. Michigan spends less on its roads than 47 other states.” — former U.S. Rep. Howard Wolpe, D-Kalamazoo.

Nov. 13, 1992

Detroit Free Press

Headline: Freeway land grab milks taxpayers

“‘It’s not just M-59 that’s a problem. There’s a real problem in Michigan with our crumbling roads and bridges,’ said State Rep. Curtis Hertel, D-Detroit.”

Oct. 27, 1991

Detroit Free Press

Headline: New transportation boss speaks out on bloated department, crumbling roads

“‘Basically, we have poor roads in Michigan. They are poorly built, the bidding process is not right, and the quality of construction is not right,’ Transportation Commissioner Chuck Yob said.”

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.