Michigan roadway infrastructure is deteriorating, annual study shows

June 21, 2024

Most of Michigan’s roads and bridges are in fair or poor condition, according to an annual report from Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC). Condition forecasts show roadway infrastructure will continue to deteriorate faster than can be fixed.

Paved federal-aid roads make up 1/3 of Michigan’s roads and carry 95% of traffic. However, only 26% of these roads are in good condition, and they are expected to get worse, outpacing the potential funding available to maintain them. By 2035, over half of paved federal-aid roads will be in poor condition.

There is a similar trend for non-federal-aid roads, also called “local roads.” Almost half — 47% — of these roads are in poor condition and need rehabilitation or reconstruction.

The report also shows that more than 11.2% of bridges in Michigan are in poor or severe condition, which translates to 1,264 bridges requiring major rehabilitation or replacement. Since 2014, there has been a consistent decline in the number of bridges in good condition, and an increase in those rated as fair.

The study forecast predicts that this trend will continue, with 20% of bridges in poor or severe condition by 2035. These numbers highlight the ongoing statewide deterioration of bridges and underscore the urgent need for increased investment.

Gaps in funding — over $1 billion at the city level, and more than $2 billion for county roads and bridges — are the biggest culprit for the ongoing issues in Michigan’s roadway infrastructure. To reverse these trends, the state would need to either reduce project costs or increase funding to close this gap.

Photo by Notorious4life

Gracie Warhurst

Gracie Warhurst has joined Strategic Partnerships, Inc. as a writer and digital content creator for the new Government Market News portal. With a rich background in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, Warhurst has experience as editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, assistant web editor, and project manager for an AI journalism project. She also contributed as a reporter during the development of SPI's news portal. Warhurst graduated summa cum laude in December 2023 with a Bachelor's in Journalism and a certificate in creative writing, making her a valuable asset to the SPI team.

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