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Transportation head: At least $1.5B more needed for highways

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The new director of the Michigan Department of Transportation says at least $1.5 billion more is needed to improve the condition of state highways, nearly double what is now being spent.

Paul Ajegba disclosed the figure in his advice-and-consent hearing before a Senate committee Tuesday. He bases it on a 2016 infrastructure report done for former Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican.

Ajegba, whom Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed to run the department, says he is working to compile how much additional funding is needed for municipal roads. While he does not yet have an overall funding number, he says the "core" reason for crummy roads is a lack of investment.

Whitmer plans to include a road-funding plan in her budget proposal. The Senate is not expected to oppose Ajegba's appointment.