FACT: One-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes are due at least in part to poor road conditions.

Cost-Saving Measures

Michigan is already maximizing the use of taxpayer dollars for roads – but it’s not enough.
“The current transportation funding system cannot give us the kind of road system we need or even keep us from falling further behind.” – Mackinac Center for Public Policy
“Whether you are poor or rich, want to get to a job, find a job to get to, or attract new business and industry to the state, you need good roads and bridges that aren’t falling apart and wrecking the cars passing under them.” – Jack Lessenberry, Metro Times

orange barrelsThe Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is considered a national model for finding innovative ways to cut costs and operate more efficiently – but it’s just not enough to close the gap between current need and decreasing funding levels for transportation. Michigan invests less in its transportation system today than do any of its neighboring states. In fact, Ohio – with a road system size comparable to Michigan – invests more than $1 billion more each year in its transportation system.

Although prices for necessary supplies like diesel fuel, asphalt and salt have gone up substantially since 1999, Michigan collected approximately the same amount of transportation revenue in 2011 as it did in 1999. To cut costs, MDOT:

  •  Saved $48.1 million by reducing staff by 15 percent and closing eight offices or facilities;
  • Saved $8 million a year by improving internal processes to reduce staff time;
  • Save $4 million each year by using electronic energy-efficient technologies;
  • Saved $933,000 by implementing innovative winter maintenance practices to maximize efficiency;
  • Saved $100,000 per year by simplifying accounting practices.

In 2011, MDOT saved $55 million through savings in the State Trunkline Fund, Comprehensive Transportation Fund and in the Aeronautics Fund – on top of $71 million in one-time savings through innovative bond restructuring and new construction materials and methods.

County road agencies are good stewards of taxpayer dollars too. An MDOT report showed that administrative expenses averaged only 6.9 percent of county road agency revenues in 2011 – despite rapid increases in health care costs in the last few years.

In short: Michigan’s transportation agencies are serious about using each taxpayer dollar as efficiently as possible. However, with current need so great and funding levels continuing to decline, it’s not possible to stretch transportation dollars any farther to produce a long-term solution for Michigan’s crumbling roads. That’s why the Michigan Transportation Team, a broad-based coalition representing business, labor, local governments, agriculture and civic organizations is calling on the Governor and Michigan Legislature to do one simple thing: “Just Fix The Roads!”

Latest News and Blog Posts

Come back frequently for the latest news on Michigan's roads crisis, along with blog posts from members of our coalition and others who agree: just fix the roads now!

How to Avoid Potholes
July 22, 2014
A clever, to the point video, that also references the TRIP report.
State Officials Need To Act On Michigan Roads
July 21, 2014
This opinion page piece from the Midland Daily News takes the Michigan Legislature to task for their inaction on road funding.
New TRIP Report: Michigan Among States With 30% or More Major Rural Roads in Disrepair
July 10, 2014
A new national report shows that 32 percent of rural roads in Michigan are in poor condition.
Michigan Laborers Road Tour Calls On Legislature to Act on Road Funding
July 8, 2014
To highlight the road funding crisis, the Michigan Laborers hosted press conferences across the state recently.
Feedback: Readers’ anger over roads as bad as the roads themselves
June 24, 2014
Reader's continue to submit angry letters to newspapers venting their frustration at the Michigan Legislature for not doing something about road funding before going...
Labor Voices: Republicans took their eyes off road
June 18, 2014
The Republican-led Legislature took their eyes off the road when they failed to pass road funding before going on break, according to this opinion...
Legislators Go On Summer Recess Without Road Funding Solution
June 13, 2014
Lawamkers are letting roads crumble while they take a summer break.