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Michigan needs additional $3.3b for infrastructure projects

by Jody Barhanovich

Despite recent transportation funding provided by Michigan’s legislature in 2015, $3.3 billion of additional funding is needed for transportation infrastructure project improvements, according to TRIP, a Washington, D.C.–based research firm funded by parties with a stake in road infrastructure projects.

Michigan enacted a $4.2 billion funding increase in 2015 that was intended to last through 2023; however, the funding is not enough to keep pace with the necessary repairs and upgrades to Michigan’s aging infrastructure, according to the TRIP report. Currently, an estimated 20 percent of roads are in poor condition, and that figure is predicted to escalate to 50 percent by 2020, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.

More than 20 statewide projects are either under way or will be under way or completed by 2020, partly due to increased transportation revenue in the state. The bulk of these projects are in the Detroit metro area; Lansing, which has $483 million of unfunded road and bridge projects; and the Grand Rapids area, which has $234 million of needed funding.

“Michigan’s legislature took an important step in 2015 towards improving the condition of the transportation system and setting the state back on the road to economic recovery,” says Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP, in the report.

“While that was a good start, numerous needed improvements remain unfunded. Adequate investment in Michigan’s transportation system is a critical component in the state’s economic comeback.”

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