Although our elected leaders in Lansing eliminated the state’s A-F grading system for Michigan public schools, they thankfully cannot escape accountability from the American Society of Civil Engineers when it comes to the dire condition of our roads.
The group just gave Michigan roads an abysmal D grade. The non-partisan engineering society rated Michigan roads with a D- grade five years ago, which is shocking when you consider Gov. Whitmer has made fixing our roads a signature piece of her agenda for the last five years.
So while the phrase “Fix the Damn Roads” may have polled well in focus groups, the reality is that the rubber still hasn’t hit the road when it comes to actually improving our infrastructure. Michigan needs help, and catchy phrases aren’t filling potholes or fixing bridges.
Unfortunately, Michigan didn’t fare well in other infrastructure categories either. The civil engineers graded Michigan’s bridges a D+, dams a C- and energy a D. All these categories are tied to our ability to compete for good-paying jobs and economic development projects.
Elected officials should listen to the sound advice from site selection expert Christopher D. Lloyd at last fall’s West Michigan Policy Forum biennial conference. Lloyd said the state needs to invest more in our infrastructure.
“When corporate decision-makers and CEOs come into a community they look at the roads, they look at the infrastructure, they look at the utilities, and decide if this is a community that cares about its infrastructure, and they make their decisions based on that,” Lloyd said.
By improving our infrastructure, Michigan dramatically increases its chances of becoming a top 10 state.
And although elected leaders like to tout how the state is providing record funding for roads on a yearly basis, a recent study suggests Michigan has an annual funding shortfall of close to $4 billion when it comes to money to maintain the state’s roads and bridges.
Please contact your local legislator today to urge them to invest more in our infrastructure to encourage job growth and increase Michigan’s population.