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Study: Michigan’s rural roads Nation’s 18th worst

A recently released studysays Michigan’s rural roads are 18th worst in the United States, as the state’s crumbling infrastructure will take years to fix. The study, conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit transportation research organization TRIP concluded that nearly 20 percent of Michigan’s rural roads are in poor condition, and 13 percent of the state’s rural bridges are structurally deficient. 

“I mean we’ve always been concerned about our bridges and we’ve had a few that we’ve had to put in temporary structures to secure them, so it doesn’t surprise me when we spend so little on our roads and bridges in general,” Lance Binoniemi, the Vice President of Government Affairs at the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association said.

In 2015 however, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a $1.2-billion road funding package that raised fuel taxes and registration fees and also takes $600 million a year from the state's general fund to fix and maintain Michigan's crumbling roads and bridges. Binoniemi says that will take time to materialize.

“You know unfortunately in doesn’t come in to full effect until 2021 but it is going to ramp up between now and then, and so we are going to see a slight increase in repair work, but again, it is going to take a few years for the full impact of our road funding to see the light of day,” he said.

In a report released last February, The American Road and Transportation Builders Association found that over 1200 bridges in Michigan are “structurally deficient,” meaning one or more of the key bridge elements, such as the deck, superstructure or substructure, is considered to be in "poor" or worse condition.”

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