The bumpy process of prioritizing road funding

Apr 7, 2014

Each spring, Michigan faces the problem of repairing roads damaged during the winter.
Credit Flickr - _chrisUK

Last week, Michigan House Republicans proposed a new funding plan that would allocate nearly a half billion dollars each year through 2018 to repair the state’s crumbling roads and bridges. Fixing Michigan roads is a perennial problem each spring, and the situation is particularly dire after such a severe winter. Certainly, everyone wants their own neighborhood streets and highways repaired first. But transportation planners and engineers must rely on hard data to make decisions about which roads get fixed, and when.

Bill Conklin, the managing director of the Ingham County Road Department, says there isn't enough funding to always maintain roads sufficiently.

Jeff Reid, an associate region engineer with the Michigan Department of Transportation, says cracking, potholes, and ruts are all taken into account when measuring road quality.