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Lansing leaders join Gov. Snyder's call to fix the roads
December 05, 2014
Gov. Snyder, local leaders say immediate action needed as deteriorating roads across mid-Michigan risk lives, damage vehicles, hamper job growth
Friday, Dec. 5, 2014
LANSING, Mich. – Further delays in enacting a long-term solution to Michigan’s deteriorating roads and bridges needlessly risk lives, slam families and businesses with additional costs, and stifle job growth, Lansing-area community leaders said today at a roundtable discussion with Gov. Rick Snyder.
The governor has offered a fair, comprehensive plan that will raise the necessary $1.2 billion annually for local and state infrastructure repairs. About 60 percent of the revenue will go to counties, cities and villages for their roads and bridges. He reviewed the initiative with roundtable participants at the headquarters of Two Men and a Truck after inspecting aging, deteriorating infrastructure at I-96 and Cedar Street in Lansing.
“The message from every corner of our state is clear,” Snyder said. “It’s time to fix the roads. Michiganders are tired of dodging potholes, whether it’s on the highway or in their neighborhoods. They’re fed up with getting socked with auto repair bills because Lansing has ignored the problem for too long.
“There’s nothing Michigan can’t do, as we’ve seen these past four years. Our economic turnaround is a model for the nation. But, to achieve our full potential, we need a modern infrastructure that keeps families safe and invites investment from job creators. I commend the Senate for its earlier approval of a comprehensive plan, and appreciate recent action by the House that continues this critical dialogue. But we need to reach agreement on a long-term, sustainable action plan that gets a $1.2 billion solution sooner and alleviates unintended consequences for our schools and local communities. Let’s finish the job.”
The plan passed by the Senate will result in county road commissions, cities and villages seeing an average funding increase of 73 percent by 2018. For example, over four years in mid-Michigan:
- Ingham County will see $7.2 million more in road dollars, with $4.7 million going to Lansing.
- Clinton County receives an additional $3.6 million.
- Eaton County receives an additional $4.4 million.
- Jackson County receives an additional $6.2 million, with $1.4 million for the city of Jackson.
- Shiawassee County receives an additional $3 million.
Crumbling roads and bridges have a significant impact on the state. An estimated 100 lives can be saved each year if Michigan improves its infrastructure, according to a 2012 analysis by The Road Information Program (TRIP). In addition, one in nine bridges across Michigan is rated as “structurally deficient,” which means their conditions show deterioration. Family budgets take a big hit as well, with poor roads causing an average of $539 in additional annual vehicle operating costs due to repairs, tire wear and increased fuel consumption, TRIP reports.
In addition to saving lives and reducing auto repair bills, investing in our roads and bridges will contribute to the creation of about 12,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Michigan hasn’t updated its overall investment in roads since the gas tax – which currently is the primary source of revenue – was adjusted in 1997.
Basic elements of the governor’s plan that recently were approved by the state Senate include:
- Eliminating the current 19 cents-per-gallon gasoline tax and 15 cents-per-gallon diesel fuel tax at the pump, and instead charge a tax on gasoline wholesalers.
- Increasing the wholesale tax by 2 percent each year for three years, occurring every Jan. 1.
- Doubling the fines for violations of truck weight limits and dedicating half of that revenue to the State Trunk Line Fund.
“There’s a time for discussion and a time for action, Snyder said. “After nearly 20 years of discussion in Lansing, taxpayers deserve action. There’s no getting around it. The bill will only get bigger the longer we wait. We can pay today or pay twice as much tomorrow. It’s time for Lansing to step up so Michigan can keep moving forward.”
New Video: Gov. Snyder's office has released a new video that illustrates the conditions of Michigan's roads, the costs of inaction, and the benefits of investing more in our infrastructure. Watch the video at http://youtu.be/FNVMtUTuWj4
You may embed the video with the following code: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FNVMtUTuWj4?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>