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Transportation Group Names Worst Roads in Michigan

Monday, October 20, 2008   (0 Comments)
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LANSING — The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) today unveiled a list of the state’s worst roads, naming Detroit as the worst municipality with a whopping 523 lane miles in poor condition, followed by Ann Arbor (187), Grand Rapids (178), Flint (148) and Lansing (136). The group also announced that the five top counties with the worst roads were Wayne (1,617), Oakland (1,279), Genesee (1,093), Washtenaw (989) and Calhoun (665).

The findings utilized 2007 data from the Michigan Asset Management Council PASER Road Evaluation Program, which evaluated all roads on the federal aid system in 83 counties and almost 1,800 municipalities across Michigan. Federal aid roads are those that are eligible to utilize at least some federal dollars in addition to state dollars, and are often considered the best maintained roads in the state because of their high traffic volumes. The program rated each road on a scale from 1-10, 1 being the worst. Today’s report 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 six times as much as the cost of routine maintenance.

“This analysis is shocking,” said Mike Nystrom, vice president of public and government relations at the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (MITA) and co-chair of the Michigan Transportation Team. “This isn’t a case of road agencies not doing their jobs adequately. Locals are literally starving for more dollars as our roads deteriorate into unsafe conditions that require the most expensive repairs. Meanwhile, state policymakers from these areas of the state have not yet recognized this as a priority and the problem has gotten much worse.”

Counties with the most miles of roads rated in poor condition:

1. Wayne – 1,617
2. Oakland – 1,279
3. Genesee – 1,093
4. Washtenaw – 989
5. Calhoun – 665
6. Kent – 630
7. Macomb – 583
8. Menominee – 572
9. Oceana – 539
10. St. Clair – 506

Municipalities with the most miles of roads rated in poor condition:

1. Detroit – 523
2. Ann Arbor – 187
3. Grand Rapids – 178
4. Flint – 148
5. Lansing – 136
6. Southfield – 124
7. Burton – 114
8. Saginaw – 110
9. Mt. Morris Twp. – 105
10. Dearborn – 103

MITA also did an analysis of those counties and municipalities that had the highest percentage of roads in poor condition. There were over 20 municipalities that had 100 percent of their federal aid roads in poor condition. Most of these are considered small communities in rural areas. The county with the worst percentage of roads in poor condition was Oceana County, with a whopping two-thirds of their federal aid roads in poor condition.

“Our legislators inability to act is costing Michigan,” Nystrom said. “We cannot ignore our roads any longer – we need our legislators to step up and take action.”

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 98,000 lane miles on the federal highway system and identified almost 25,000 miles of roadway considered in poor condition. Overall, Michigan has about 257,000 lane miles across the state. Details on the worst roads in Michigan can be found by visiting .

Click here for a pdf that includes press releases about specific counties and municipalities.

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