No Decision for Road Funding Hurts Michigan Roads

Everywhere you go, the roads are bad.

This year is one of the worst pot hole seasons in nearly a decade. Road workers are trying to fix what they can while they continue to wait for some help from Lansing.

John Rogers, Kalkaska County Road Commission manager, said, “Road commissions throughout the state have been asking Lansing to fix their funding issues for a long time so it really comes to no surprise that this didn’t go through.”

No surprise: because road commissions like Kalkaska County started asking a decade ago.

And they’re prepared to keep at it.

“While we recognize that it is a challenge to come up with a funding solution, we remain hopeful that they will arrive at one,” Rogers said.

Until then, these road commissions have to continue to do their job.

But with resources at an all-time low, workers have to make sacrifices.

“All that is doing is just putting a band-aid on the road,” Rogers said “That’s not fixing our roads.”

The band-aid approach can only last so long but when you start putting band-aids on top of band-aids on top of band-aids, that is a completely different story.

“Even as far back as 2003, our budget was nearly $3.2 million so we’ve actually seen a decrease in funding over the last 10 years,” Rogers said.

All while the costs of supplies, from pot hole patch to road paint, keep going up.

“Every year we’re forced to make cuts,” Rogers said. “This year is no different than years past.”

But for now, they will be out there, patching holes with what they have.

“We really need our funding fixed,” Rogers said. “We need a resolution to this funding issue that we’re going through. Lansing needs to invest in our infrastructure.”

The Kalkaska County road commission says 70 percent of the community would rather pay more in taxes to help fix roads than pay to fix their cars later.

With roads getting worse and worse, they might experience a bit of both.

For more details about Michigan’s rough roads, see Evan Dean’s special report here or watch the video below.