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Transportation Group Names Worst Roads in Michigan

Monday, November 9, 2009   (0 Comments)
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The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) today issued a list of the state’s worst roads, naming Detroit as the worst municipality with a whopping 586 lane miles in poor condition. Detroit was followed by Grand Rapids (200 miles), Ann Arbor (189 miles), Flint (165 miles) and Livonia (143 miles). The group also announced the five counties with the worst roads: Wayne (1,841 miles), Oakland (1,292 miles), Genesee (1,216), Washtenaw (977 miles) and Calhoun (932 miles).

"Our legislative leaders need to stop 'watching' the funding problem evolve into a crisis and take appropriate action to correct it," said Mike Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA), and co- chair of the Michigan Transportation Team (MTT). "This isn't a case of road agencies not doing their jobs. Michigan's local road systems are collapsing because funding continues to plummet."

The findings are based on the Michigan Asset Management Council Annual Report of Roads & Bridges (attached), which evaluated federally funded roads in 83 counties and almost 1,800 municipalities across Michigan.

The report found that Michigan’s roads are deteriorating rapidly. Over the course of a single year, the percentage of roads in poor condition increased from 25 percent in 2007 to 32 percent in 2008. The latest figure represents more than 17,378 lane miles of federal-aid-eligible roads.

Federal aid roads are those eligible for at least some federal dollars in addition to state dollars. They are often considered the best maintained roads because of their high traffic volumes.

The report rated each road on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the worst. It analyzed the municipalities with the most roads rating a 4 or lower. Roads in this condition are considered “poor” and require a complete structural overhaul, usually costing four to five times as much as the cost of routine maintenance.

Counties with the most miles of roads rated in poor condition:
1. Wayne, 1,841 miles
2. Oakland, 1,292 miles
3. Genesee, 1,216 miles
4. Washtenaw, 977 miles
5. Calhoun, 932 miles
6. Kent, 805 miles
7. Macomb, 753 miles
8. St. Clair, 586 miles
9. Menominee, 550 miles
10. Oceana, 534 miles

Municipalities with the most miles of roads rated in poor condition:
1. Detroit, 586 miles
2. Grand Rapids, 200 miles
3. Ann Arbor, 189 miles
4. Flint, 165 miles
5. Livonia, 143 miles
6. Southfield, 142 miles
7. Lansing, 136 miles
8. Sterling Heights, 119 miles
9. Saginaw, 114 miles
10. Mt. Morris Township, 114 miles

The Asset Management Council also identified counties and municipalities with the highest percentage of roads in poor condition in Michigan. A total of 24 municipalities had 100 percent of their federal aid roads in poor condition. The county with the greatest percentage of roads in poor condition was Oceana, with a whopping two-thirds of its federal aid roads in poor condition.

Michigan residents can voice their concerns about road funding by calling a toll-free number, 888-719-3087, set up by MTT. Callers simply enter their five-digit ZIP code to be connected, at no cost to them, with their legislative offices.

MTT is a broad-based, bipartisan partnership of business, labor, local government, associations and citizens with the common goal of improving Michigan’s transportation infrastructure. The DriveMI campaign is committed to promoting the development and maintenance of a safe, convenient and efficient transportation network that serves the public, private and economic development needs of Michigan.

About the Michigan Asset Management Council:
The Michigan Asset Management Council was created by the Legislature as a result of the Transportation Funding Study committee Report of 2000. Since then, the council has been tracking road conditions on approximately 97,979 lane miles on the federal highway system and identified 28,421 miles or roadway considered in poor condition. Overall, Michigan has about 287,780 lane miles across the state.

Data for the spreadsheet was provided by:
The Center for Shared Solutions and Technology Partnerships
111 S. Capitol Ave.
10th Floor, Lansing, MI 48933

The spreadsheet contains the number of miles of road that ranked a 4 or less (considered "poor" condition) in reports submitted to the MI Asset Management Council from 2007-2008.

This information is a snapshot in time of data that is continuously changing as repairs are completed and continued deterioration is documented by data collectors. The precise description of the data and how it was obtained is below:

1. Rating information is primarily calculated from data submitted to the MI Asset Management Council in 2008. For road segments that did not get rated in 2008 (approximately 65 percent of the system was rated in 2008 vs. 100 percent in 2007), the 2007 rating was used in order to get a 100 percent sample that would reflect the entire road network.
2. Measurements are represented in ‘Lane Miles’, Number of Lanes times (*) the centerline length in miles of the road segment.
3. All road segments are geographically referenced to the Michigan Geographic Framework (official statewide GIS basemap). Although counties and local jurisdictions are listed, the actual road ownership and maintenance responsibilities may vary.
4. Data fields included:
Total Miles, total miles of road in jurisdiction, including both local and federal aid roads.
Overall Federal Aid Miles, total miles of Federal Aid roads ONLY within jurisdiction.
Total ‘Poor’ Miles, total miles of road rated 4 or less, including both local and federal aid roads.
Federal Aid ‘Poor’ Miles, total miles of Federal Aid roads rated 4 or less.
5. The data represents the analysis of the Federal Aid System only. While some communities reported a portion of their local Non-Federal Aid System, for purposes of similar comparison between communities, these numbers and percentages were omitted.

Please download the attached document for a pdf of the data, The MI Asset Management Council Michigan's Roads & Bridges 2009 Annual Report and all the county and municipal releases. To view an Excel spreadsheet of the data, click here.

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