The transportation research group TRIP issued a report earlier this month with a not-too-surprising finding: Our crumbling roads are costing Michiganders billions of dollars in additional car maintenance, vehicle value depreciation, crashes, extra fuel cost from congestion, and more.
Of the state’s major cities, Detroit suffers the most with an average added cost of $2,544 per driver per year. A whopping 44 percent of the city’s roads are in “poor” condition and only 16 percent are “good.”
The biggest cost to the city’s drivers comes from congestion, which results in time and fuel waste. The report estimates that Detroiters spend 54 additional hours in traffic per year.
Again, not surprisingly, the report urges the state to pass a funding package to address the problem because “numerous needed transportation projects in Michigan remain unfunded.” Without it, the state is slowing potential economic growth.
But Michigan isn’t solely responsible for the road conditions—the federal government has consistently underfunded road repairs and projects for years. As a result, the Federal Highway Trust Fund is expended to run out of money in 2021. TRIP estimates that there’s an $836 billion shortfall nationally in road and bridge repairs.
This report comes on the heels of another report from Lvl5 in January which rated Michigan’s roads as the worst in the nation. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, in her budget proposal, included a fuel tax increase of .45 cents per gallon, which would raise $2.1 billion for the state. Republicans have already said they won’t support the tax increase.