Michigan Bill Will Transfer Road Funding From Cities to Residents

A bill was passed by the Michigan legislature recently that could change the funding formula for how repairs to freeways and highways are paid for. With Governor Snyder’s approval, the bill would change a funding system which has been in place since 1951. 

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Traditionally, larger cities were responsible for paying for part of any freeway or highway project that came through their city limits. Many expensive road repair projects in Michigan are needed in the near future, including a $1 Billion project on I-75. -The Michigan Department of Transportation told the Detroit Free Press that most of the road funding comes from the state and federal levels, and cities provide as much as 2.5% of the total cost. When the project costs millions, 2.5% can be a large bill for some Michigan cities. 

“This bill will mean more taxpayer dollars from home will stay at home, so that the city roads we drive on most often can be repaired.”

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If Snyder signs the bill, the cities would no longer be responsible for paying for the projects. Cities would then be able to take the saved money and aim it towards repairing local roads instead. To make up for the fiscal gap that cities would leave when it comes to paying for freeways and highways, MDOT would pick up the bill, meaning the extra cost would be spread across all Michigan taxpayers. “The bill will protect cities like Troy, Madison Heights, and Detroit from unexpected large bills during freeway projects, but it also means that road users statewide will bear the cost when surface roads like Woodward, Gratiot, Groesbeck, 8 Mile, Ford Road and Michigan Avenue are reconstructed," Jeff Cranson, MDOT Communications Director, explained.

The Michigan Senate bill was sponsored by Senator Marty Knollenberg from Troy, whose constituents were going to take on a tab of more than $9 million for Troy’s share of the I-75 project. The project, which includes a rebuilding and expansion of 17 miles of I-75 in Oakland County, will take 15 years to complete. “This bill will mean more taxpayer dollars from home will stay at home, so that the city roads we drive on most often can be repaired,” Knollenberg said in a statement. 

While Michigan roads may not be in the best of shape, poor road conditions can cause damage to your vehicle, and can even make you lose control of the car. If you or somebody you know has been involved in an auto accident caused by poor road conditions, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Car accidents can lead to short term and long term emotional and physical injuries, and our legal team will work alongside you to find the best solutions for your situation. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Hamtramck, Michigan Residents Take Road Repairs Into Their Own Hands

Residents of Hamtramck, Michigan are taking road damage control into their own hands as the summer approaches and potholes become a bigger problem for the community. 2014 data shows that Michigan is near the top of the list for worst roads in the U.S: Almost 40% of Michigan roads can be considered to be in “poor shape”. According to a national study by the Associated Press, funding for roads in Michigan fell 8% from 2008 to 2013, so there is not enough money to go around, for these local side streets. 

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After purchasing 17 bags of cold patch, about 900 pounds worth, for about $120, residents of Lumpkin Street were able to repair the littered potholes. Lumpkin Street is just one of the mild cases of road damage in Hamtramck, as Charest Street alone has 33 different potholes. 

“We thought we’d just do this quietly,” resident Jonathan Weier told the Detroit Free Press. “There’s holes in the ground, and there’s no one filling them, so let’s fill them.”

The efforts of this self-made repair crew have not gone without notice, as they have garnered an interview from NPR’s “All Things Considered” show and gaining financial support through a GoFundMe page that raised $4,475. They have even received the support of Hamtramck’s mayor Karen Majewski. 

“It just speaks to me about the level of commitment to and affection for Hamtramck that residents here have. There’s such a strong sense of community spirit and a feeling that we’re all in it together. People here are willing to step up and do what they can to make the city work,” Majewski told MLive. 

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Tips for Avoiding Potholes: 

Here are some tips from the Michigan Department of Transportation on how to avoid rough patches during your commute: 

  • Be Vigilant: Potholes aren’t always easy to see, especially at night. Make sure that the vehicle’s headlights are working properly before getting on the road. 
  • Vehicle Maintenance: Tires should be properly inflated. Also, it is good to have suspensions and steering components inspected. 
  • If you have no way of avoiding the pothole, it is best to slow down and then release the brakes before you hit it. You should also straighten your wheel to hit it squarely and roll through it. 
  • If you do hit a pothole, it’s important to inspect the vehicle for any damage that may have been done once you get out of the car. A properly maintained car can help avoid any further damage to the vehicle. 

If you or anyone you know has been involved in a car accident, including collisions caused by potholes or other types of road damage, please call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are very experienced in handling car accident cases, and will get you the help that you need. Call us, at 844.4MI.FIRM, for a free consultation. 

Michigan’s Decaying Roads

In 2014, the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council released data which concluded that only 17% of roads in Michigan are in good condition. This means that a whopping 83% of roads in Michigan are considered to be in either fair or poor conditions.

The reason for such bad roads is, “a recent spate of historically harsh winters; a load weight limit for heavy trucks that is twice as high as any other state in the nation; the fact that we spend less per mile on road repairs than our neighboring states; the state doesn't always do an adequate job of following up on road construction warranty work, according to a recent state auditor general report, among other factors.”

On May 5th, 2015, Michigan voters will vote on Proposal 1, which intends to raise Michigan sales tax in order to create at least $1.2 billion a year, to add to Michigan’s road and bridge repair budget. Though Governor Rick Snyder is a huge proponent of the proposal, many opponents are worried that this may not be enough money to undo the damage, that it will cause deficits in various state funding, and that it may increase gas prices.

Whether Proposal 1 is passed or not, Michigan drivers still need to worry about the current conditions of roads and bridges. Despite melting ice and warmer temperatures, there are still pot holes, bumps, poorly laid asphalt, and dangerous debris, which can all cause car crashes.

The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC helps those who have been injured in auto accidents.  If you were injured in an accident caused by dangerous Michigan road conditions, call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation with our experienced local team.  Our injury accident attorneys are ready to help.


Detroit Free Press

Southeast Michigan Counsel of Governments