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Michigan County Road Investment Plan Concludes $2B Additional Investment Needed for Roads, Bridges

LANSING, MI — More than three decades have passed since the last state-sponsored Highway Needs Study was completed on Michigan’s total road and bridge network. Taking up responsibility for aggregating the investment needed and creating the vision to restore the county road infrastructure, the County Road Association (CRA) of Michigan recently released the Michigan County Road Investment Plan. The Investment Plan provides a picture for restoring the 75 percent of Michigan roads and 52 percent of bridges under county jurisdiction.

The Michigan County Road Investment Plan of 2019 concluded:

  • The statewide target investment for the 90,000-mile, 5,700-bridge local network is $3.6 billion annually.
  • Of that total, $1.6 billion is already directed to county roads through FY 2019, including legislatively-appropriated income tax dollars and increased annual gas tax and vehicle registration fees through FY 2019. This means a $2-billion additional annual investment is required to achieve county road goals.

CRA has established the same restoration goal for county roads as the Michigan Department of Transportation is utilizing:

  • 90 percent good/fair on federal aid-eligible roads by 2029. These roads currently have an average rating of 45 percent good/fair across all counties.

For the local road system CRA has set the following goal:

  • 60 percent good/fair on local, nonfederal aid-eligible roads by 2029. These roads currently have an average rating of 36 percent across all counties.
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The County Road Investment Plan includes a look at the overall condition of the nonfederal aid-eligible road system. The data shows more than 64 percent of local and primary county roads (31,000 miles) ineligible for federal aid are in poor condition, compared to 55 percent (23,000 miles) of the county federal aid-eligible roads. Counties’ 36,500 miles of unpaved road conditions are not included in the report; however, the investment plan includes the cost of maintaining the unpaved system.

The investment plan addresses only funds needed to preserve and restore the current system, and does not contemplate system improvements (e.g., additional lanes, roundabouts or paving gravel roads).

“This investment plan establishes a clear picture of the condition of county transportation infrastructure, which as we all know has suffered from years of underfunding,” said Denise Donohue, CRA Director. “This investment plan represents 83 county road agencies coming together to share apples-to-apples data to enable a more comprehensive discussion of funding for all roads in Michigan.”

“Virtually every trip a Michigan driver takes includes a county primary and local road,” she said. “They are vital to Michigan commerce including transporting Michigan’s natural resources from mining to timber and agriculture; to tourism; and our daily trips to stores, work, church and schools.”

The Michigan County Road Investment Plan examined the financial needs of maintenance and capital investment on 90,000 miles of federal aid-eligible and non-federal aid-eligible roads; more than 5,700 bridges; and buildings, facilities and equipment that are critical components to running an efficient county road agency. A consultant performed the study for CRA during the first quarter of 2019, with assistance from the Baraga, Barry, Kent and Oakland county road commissions.

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The 2019 County Road Investment Plan marks the first-ever release of compiled ratings for nonfederal aid-eligible roads across all 83 counties. A three-person, three-agency, annually-certified panel is required to drive all roads and agree on PASER (Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating) levels; these are published by the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC).

“We are confident this data accurately reflects the current condition and investment needed to restore Michigan’s county road infrastructure,” said Ed Noyola, CRA Deputy Director and Legislative Liaison. “Creating a ‘road map’ if you will, of realistic goals for restoring the 75 percent of roads under county control requires good, current data, and we are pleased to be bringing this report to the table."v

SITECH
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SITECH Michigan
Deere SS
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SITECH
Your local Trimble Construction Division dealer
SITECH Michigan