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 Much is Legislative Inaction on Road Funding Costing Us?
September 17, 2014
Legislative inaction on road funding is costing Michigan taxpayers $2.7 million per day.
Pothole Damage Claims Increased 249 Percent This Year
September 9, 2014
It shouldn't surprise us: lack of investment in infrastructure has resulted in an massive increase in pothole claims to the state.
SEMCOG: Michigan Lawmakers Need to Get On Fixing State’s Roads Now
September 8, 2014
SEMCOG urges legislative action on Michigan's roads
Editorial: Lawmakers clueless on Michigan’s road to ruin
September 3, 2014
The Michigan Legislature needs to pay attention to Michigan road funding, not wolves, according to this editorial by the Detroit Free Press.
Salt Prices Soar – Another Hit for Cash-Strapped Road Agencies
August 26, 2014
State and local road agencies are bracing for a massive increase in salt prices this year as they prepare for winter.
Susan J. Demas: Detroit flood isn’t enough to push GOP Legislature to lead on roads

After essentially taking the summer off to campaign, leaders have thrown up their hands on roads, which voters say is their No. 1 issue.
Metro Detroit Floods Expose Underinvestment in Infrastructure
August 13, 2014
Detroit Floods: Persistent underinvestment in infrastructure has dire consequences.