How do Michigan’s roads rank in the United States? A libertarian group crunches the numbers

Michigan’s road conditions have deteriorated as freeways improve across the country, according to a new report from the Reason Foundation.

The state ranked 34th nationally in terms of highway performance and profitability in 2021, dropping 10 places in the libertarian think tank’s annual highway report compared to the 2020 report, and landing in the bottom 10 States in multiple categories measured.

The report released Thursday examined road data from 2019 and congestion data from 2020, and classifies national roads into 13 categories. These include the condition of the roadway, traffic jams, bridge structures, fatalities and expenses per mile.

Michigan was one of four states, including New Mexico, Ohio and South Carolina, to drop 10 or more places in the rankings during the same period, compared to the 2020 report, which covered 2018 and 2019.

There were 1,219 bridges and more than 7,300 miles of poor freeways in Michigan, according to a report released in August by the White House.

Since 2011, commute times have increased 4.6% in the state, and individual drivers have paid an average of $ 644 per year in costs related to driving on damaged roads.

The report came days after President Joe Biden enacted the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will include approximately $ 7.8 billion in funding for highway and bridge repairs. over five years in Michigan.

This is in addition to the $ 3.5 billion in bonds the Michigan Department of Transportation has been authorized to issue over four years to repair and rehabilitate 122 major highways, according to the self-described “Fix the governor of Damn Roads” asks Gretchen Whitmer.

“Our pavement is deteriorating faster than we can sustain with current funding levels,” said Diane Cross, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Transportation in the metro Detroit area Sunday. “The governor’s $ 3.5 billion plan for rebuilding Michigan, now completed by the federal IIJA, will slow the decline, but everyone agrees that in the long term we need more investment and sustainable. “

Michigan’s top rankings in the Reason Foundation report were for rural and overall highway fatalities, 7th and 14th, respectively.

At the other end of the results, the state’s worst rankings were urban pavement condition and congestion, with commuters spending 42.07 hours per year in rush-hour traffic. According to the report, drivers in just four other states in the country spend more than 40 hours in traffic; New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Illinois.

“Despite the lack of a metropolitan area ranked in the top 10 for population, Michigan has the fifth worst traffic jam in the country,” said Baruch Feigenbaum, senior author of the report and senior general manager of transportation policy at Reason Foundation.

Compared to neighboring states, the report found that Michigan’s overall road performance is worse than Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, but better than Illinois.

“Michigan is one of the few states that could benefit from slightly more spending on its highway system to improve overall condition,” Feigenbaum continued.

Michigan spends about $ 92,500 per mile of state-controlled highway.

According to the report, the nation’s most profitable road systems were North Dakota, Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky and North Carolina, while the worst combination of road performance and profitability was found in New Jersey. , Rhode Island, Alaska and Hawaii. , and New York.

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