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TRIP Reports: Despite Recent Transportation Funding Increase, Michigan Road And Bridge Conditions Continue, $3.3 Billion In Needed Transportation Improvements

TRIP Reports on Michigan Roads & Bridges

Despite Recent Transportation Funding Increase, Michigan Road And Bridge Conditions Continue To Deteriorate And Traffic Fatalities And Traffic Congestion Are Increasing. A Total Of $3.3 Billion In Needed Transportation Improvement Projects Still Lack Funding

Increased transportation funding provided by Michigan’s legislature in 2015 will allow the state to move forward with numerous projects to repair and improve portions of its transportation system; however, the funding is not sufficient to prevent further deterioration of the state’s roads and bridges or to move forward with $3.3 billion in needed projects, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Modernizing Michigan’s Transportation System: Progress and Challenges in Providing Safe, Efficient and Well-maintained Roads, Highways and Bridges,” finds that even with the additional transportation funding- which is not guaranteed beginning in 2019 – state pavement and bridge conditions will decline. Traffic fatalities in Michigan increased significantly in the last two years and the state has experienced the eleventh highest rate of increase in vehicle miles of travel since 2013.

As a result of the funding increase passed in 2015, state funding for local roads and bridges, state roads and bridges and transit will increase from $2.2 billion in 2015 to nearly $3.4 billion in 2023. The legislation will provide a total of $4.2 billion in additional funding through 2023, of which $2.3 billion from the General Fund is not guaranteed and will be distributed at the discretion of the legislature beginning in 2019.

And, despite the recent infusion of funding, Michigan’s state-maintained roads and bridges are expected to continue to deteriorate. The condition of state-maintained roads is projected to deteriorate significantly over the next five years, with the share of lane miles in poor condition increasing from 20 percent in 2016 to 46 percent by 2020. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) estimates that, based on available funding, the number of state-maintained bridges rated in poor condition will increase by 50 percent between 2016 and 2023.

“This report stresses the critical need of the region to improve its transportation infrastructure,” said Brad Williams, vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “As one of our 2017 legislative priorities, the Detroit Regional Chamber is committed to supporting the efforts by federal officials to increase investment in all forms of infrastructure.”

Vehicle travel in Michigan has increased by 10 percent between 2013 and 2016 – the 11th highest rate of travel growth among states during this period. Michigan has also experienced a significant increase in traffic fatalities over the last two years, increasing 20 percent between 2014 and 2016. In 2016 traffic fatalities surpassed 1,000 for the first time since 2007. There were 876 traffic fatalities on Michigan’s roads in 2014, 963 in 2015 and 1,047 in 2016.

“To continue our economic growth, the industries that drive Michigan need a well-maintained and dependable infrastructure network,” said Josh Lunger, director of government affairs for the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. “This report shows the significance of the 2015 transportation funding package, and how critical it is that the Legislature make these commitments a top priority.”

The following statewide projects are either underway or will be underway or completed by 2020, partly due to increased transportation revenue in the state. The report also lists projects in Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids.

“This report highlights the critical need to invest more in our transportation infrastructure,” said Tim Daman, president and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC). “Better roads save drivers money and enhance our economic competitiveness. Thriving cities have infrastructure in place to support business and economic growth. That’s why improving our transportation infrastructure is a top priority for the LRCC.”

The chart below details projects outside the state’s largest urban areas that will not move forward prior to 2020 due to a lack of transportation funding. The report also includes projects in Detroit, Lansing and Grand Rapids.

   “Michigan’s legislature took an important step in 2015 towards improving the condition of the transportation system and setting the state back on the road to economic recovery,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP. “While that was a good start, numerous needed improvements remain unfunded. Adequate investment in Michigan’s transportation system is a critical component in the state’s economic comeback.”

Executive Summary

Nine years after the nation suffered a significant economic downturn, Michigan is beginning to recover, with its population and economy starting to grow again and vehicle travel increasing in response to the growth. But, the rate of recovery could be slowed if Michigan is not able to provide a modern, well-maintained transportation system. The rate of economic growth, which will be greatly impacted by the reliability and condition of the state’s transportation system, continues to have a significant impact on quality of life in the Great Lakes State.

An efficient, safe and well-maintained transportation system provides economic and social benefits by affording individuals access to employment, housing, healthcare, education, goods and services, recreation, entertainment, family, and social activities. It also provides businesses with access to suppliers, markets and employees, all critical to a business’ level of productivity and ability to expand. Reduced accessibility and mobility – as a result of traffic congestion, a lack of adequate capacity, or deteriorated roads, highways, bridges and transit facilities – diminishes a region’s quality of life by reducing economic productivity and limiting opportunities for economic, health or social transactions and activities.

With an economy based largely on agriculture, manufacturing, technology, natural resource extraction, and tourism, the quality of Michigan’s transportation system plays a vital role in the state’s economic growth and quality of life.

In late 2015, Michigan’s governor signed into law a road funding package that relies on a combination of increased user fees, registration fees and general funds. While this increased funding will allow the state and local governments to move forward with numerous projects to repair and improve portions of the state’s transportation system, the funding is not sufficient to adequately address the significant deterioration of the system, or to allow the state to provide many of the transportation improvements that are needed to support economic growth.

Achieving the state’s goals for a modern, well-maintained and safe transportation system will require “staying the course” with Michigan’s current transportation program and doubling down on this effort by obtaining additional increases in transportation investment.

POPULATION, ECONOMIC AND TRAVEL TRENDS IN MICHIGAN

Michigan’s economy is beginning to recover following the Great Recession, with population, employment levels and vehicle travel approaching or surpassing pre-recession levels. The level of access and mobility will be a key factor in rebooting and growing the state’s struggling economy.

  • Michigan’s population is again growing and nearing pre-recession levels after beginning to fall in 2005 and dropping each year until 2011. The state’s population has increased each year from 2011 to 2016 and is currently at 9.9 million residents.
  • Michigan has approximately 7.1 million licensed drivers.
  • After falling significantly during the recession, vehicle miles of travel (VMT) have surpassed pre-recession levels and continue to increase.
  • Between 2013 and 2016, vehicle miles of travel in Michigan increased by 10 percent – the 11th highest rate of increase nationally.
  • Michigan’s unemployment rate has returned to pre-recession levels. After beginning to rise in 2005 and peaking at 14.9 percent in mid-2009, the state’s unemployment is currently 4.9 percent.

ROAD CONDITIONS IN MICHIGAN

A lack of adequate funding has left one-fifth of Michigan’s state-maintained roads and highways with pavement surfaces in poor condition. Despite recent action by Michigan lawmakers to increase transportation funding, the condition of state-maintained roads is projected to deteriorate significantly over the next five years.

  • The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) estimates that 20 percent of state-maintained roads are in poor condition in 2016.
  • Despite the increased funding made available by Michigan lawmakers, the condition of state-maintained roads is projected to deteriorate significantly over the next five years. While the additional funding has been helpful and has prevented a more precipitous decline in conditions, it is not sufficient to improve the condition of the state’s roads and highways or even maintain their current condition.
  • The number of lane miles of state-maintained roads in poor condition is projected to increase significantly in the next five years, with the share of lane miles in poor condition increasing from 20 percent in 2016 to 46 percent by 2020.

BRIDGE CONDITIONS IN MICHIGAN

Approximately one-in-nine locally and state-maintained bridges in Michigan that are 20 feet or more in length show significant deterioration and are in need of repair.  The share of state bridges that are deficient is expected to increase at current funding levels.

  • Eleven percent of Michigan’s bridges are structurally deficient. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components. Structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles.
  • MDOT estimates that, based on available funding, the number of state-maintained bridges rated in poor condition will increase by approximately 50 percent from 236 bridges to 354 bridges between 2016 and 2023.

HIGHWAY SAFETY AND FATALITY RATES IN MICHIGAN

Traffic fatalities in Michigan have increased significantly for the last two years, surpassing 1,000 deaths in 2016, the first time since 2007.

  • The number of traffic fatalities in Michigan increased 20 percent from 2014 to 2016. In Michigan, there were 876 traffic fatalities in 2014, 963 in 2015 and 1,047 in 2016.
  • 2016 was the first year since 2007 that traffic fatalities in Michigan exceeded 1,000.
  • The fatality rate on Michigan’s non-interstate rural roads in 2015 was more than three-and-a-half times than on all other roads in the state (2.19 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.59).
  • Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency services.
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic crashes.
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians and intersections; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; upgrading roads from two lanes to four lanes; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior).   TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over 20 years.

TRANSPORTATION FUNDING AND NEEDED TRANSPORTATION PROJECTS Additional transportation funding provided by the state legislature in 2016 will allow MDOT to complete numerous needed projects throughout the state. While the additional dollars have been helpful, many needed projects still remain on the drawing board due to a lack of available funding.

  • In late 2015, Michigan’s governor signed into law a road funding package that relies on a combination of increased user fees, such as gas taxes and registration fees and allocations from the General Fund.
  • As a result of the funding increase, state funding for local roads and bridges, state roads and bridges and transit will increase from $2.2 billion in 2015 to nearly $3.4 billion in 2023. The chart below details the amount (in millions) of state funding for local roads and bridges, state roads and bridges and transit.
  • The 2015 transportation legislation will provide a total of $4.2 billion in additional funding through 2023, of which $2.3 billion from the state’s General Fund is not guaranteed and will be distributed beginning in 2019 at the discretion of the legislature.
  • Additional transportation funding provided by the 2015 legislation will allow Michigan to move forward with numerous projects that otherwise may have remained unfunded. The list below details a sampling of projects in Michigan’s major urban areas as well as throughout the state that are either underway or will be underway or completed no later than 2020, partly due to increased revenue.
  • Despite additional transportation funding provided by the 2015 legislation, numerous needed transportation projects in Michigan remain unfunded. The list below details projects in Michigan’s major urban areas as well as throughout the state that lack adequate funding to proceed prior to 2020.
  • The value of these needed transportation projects in Michigan that lack adequate funding to proceed is $3.3 billion, including $2 billion in the Detroit area, $483 million in the Lansing area and $234 million in the Grand Rapids area.

FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION FUNDING IN MICHIGAN

Investment in Michigan’s roads, highways and bridges is funded by local, state and federal governments. Signed into law in December 2015, the five-year federal surface transportation program includes modest funding increases and provides states with greater funding certainty, but falls far short of providing the level of funding needed to meet the nation’s highway and transit needs. The bill does not include a long-term and sustainable revenue source.

  • Signed into law in December 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), provides modest increases in federal highway and transit spending, allows states greater long-term funding certainty and streamlines the federal project approval process. But the FAST Act does not provide adequate funding to meet the nation’s need for highway and transit improvements and does not include a long-term and sustainable funding source.
  • The five-year, $305 billion FAST Act will provide approximately a 15 percent boost in national highway funding and an 18 percent boost in national transit funding over the duration of the program, which expires in 2020.
  • In addition to federal motor fuel tax revenues, the FAST Act will also be funded by $70 billion in U.S. general funds, which will rely on offsets from several unrelated federal programs including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Federal Reserve and U.S. Customs.
  • According to the 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report, a significant boost in investment in the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs.
  • AASHTO’s report found that based on an annual one percent increase in VMT annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase 36 percent, from $88 billion to $120 billion, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobility needs, based on an annual one percent rate of vehicle travel growth. Investment in the nation’s public transit system needs to increase from $17 billion to $43 billion.
  • The Bottom Line Report found that if the national rate of vehicle travel increased by 1.4 percent per year, the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 64 percent to $144 billion. If vehicle travel grows by 1.6 percent annually the needed annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges would need to increase by 77 percent to $156 billion.

TRANSPORTATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN MICHIGAN

The efficiency of Michigan’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Businesses rely on an efficient and dependable transportation system to move products and services. A key component in business efficiency and success is the level and ease of access to customers, markets, materials and workers.

  • Annually, $860 billion in goods are shipped to and from sites in Michigan, mostly by truck.
  • Seventy percent of the goods shipped annually to and from sites in Michigan are carried by trucks.
  • Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to re-locate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system.
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2015 survey of corporate executives by Area Development Magazine.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U. S. Census Bureau, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO),the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). All data used in the report are the most recent available.

 

 

 

James Joseph Elliott passed away August 4, 2016 at the age of 94

James Joseph Elliott May 03, 1922 - August 04, 2016

James Joseph Elliott May 03, 1922 – August 04, 2016

James Joseph Elliott passed away August 4, 2016 at the age of 94. James was born in Hastings, Nebraska, the youngest of seven children born to Joe and Anna Elliott. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corp with the 7th Regiment 1st Division while attending Hastings College. James was in the landing invasion of Okinawa and active in combat with the Japanese for the 86 day fight to secure the island. He then served in China for 9 months and was honorably discharged in 1946. James married Leitha Seberg and they shared 27 years together. After the passing of Leitha, he later married Jeannie Markert and they resided in Visalia for 28 years. Jeannie passed away on January 10, 2007. He leaves behind his companion of ten years, Betty Peters of Visalia. James is also survived by his children, Anne Hickman and Gregory Elliott and wife Mary, all of Bonanza, Oregon. James leaves the Elliott grandchildren, Teri Torres and husband, George Torres and Daniel Hickman and wife, Pamela; three great grandchildren Austin Torres, Hunter and Bryce Hickman. James was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Jeffrey Hickman and granddaughter Leanna Torres. He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church of Visalia for 27 years where he served as an usher for many years. James’ greatest love was for the Lord. He was a very spiritual man. He was a member of Avenue of the Flag, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. James volunteered at Kaweah Delta District Hospital as a Blue Boy and was a member of Lifestyle Center for 18 years. James worked as an advertising/public relations executive for over 60 years. Baseball was his passion. Our Dad had a great sense of humor; loved his family and loved life. Memorial services will be held on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 1111 S. Conyer Street in Visalia. Remembrances may be made to Grace Lutheran Project “The Next 100 Years” or Avenue of the Flag, PO Box 1261, Visalia, CA. Tributes and condolences may be made at www.millerchapel.com. Arrangements entrusted to Miller Memorial Chapel, 1120 W. Goshen Ave., Visalia, CA (559) 732-8371.

Jim will be missed and remembered by his numerous friends in the construction industry where he plied his skills as an advertising and public relations executive for the Associated Construction Publications (ACP) from 1972 to 1990. Jim was ACP’s Western Regional representative responsible for all 14 ACP magazines (California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Bulletin [no loner with the ACP magazines],Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder) – a big territory, from Oregon to the Dakotas all the way to Texas. After leaving the ACPs Jim was an independent rep for several publications including the Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) association magazine.

Jim really was an industry icon.

Greg Sitek

CASE Construction Equipment Announces 2016 “Diamond Dealer” and “Gold Dealer” Award Winners

Diamond Dealer Logo copyNorth American dealers recognized for excellence in five categories related to sales and support of CASE construction equipment.            

CASE Construction Equipment has released its list of 2016 “Diamond Dealer” and “Gold Dealer” award recipients as a part of its North American Construction Equipment Partnership Program. The awards recognize dealerships across the US and Canada for leadership in growing the CASE dealer network, as well as excellence in five categories: sales performance, marketing and communications, product support, parts support and training.

The 2016 Diamond Dealer award winners are: ASCO (Texas), Birkey’s Construction Equipment (Ill.), J.R. Brisson Equipment (Ontario), Burris Equipment Company (Ill.), Groff Tractor (Pa., Md. and N.J.), Hills Machinery (N.C., S.C.), HiTrac (Manitoba), Kucera Farm Supply (Ontario), McKeel Equipment (Ky.), Miller Bradford & Risberg (Wis., Mi. and Ill.), Nueces Power Equipment (Texas), Redhead Equipment (Saskatchewan) and State Equipment (Ky., W.Va.).

The 2016 Gold Dealer award winners are: Crawler Supply Company (La.), Diamond Equipment (Ill., Ind., Ky. and Tenn.), Eagle Power & Equipment (Pa., Del.), Hopf Equipment (Ind.), Longus Equipment (Quebec), McCann Industries (Ill., Ind.), Medico Industries (Pa.), Monroe Tractor (N.Y.), OCT Equipment (Okla.), Potter Equipment (Ark., Mo.), RPM Machinery (Mich., Ind.), Scott Equipment (La., Ark.), Sequoia Equipment (Calif.), Townline Equipment (N.H.), Triebold Implement (Wis.) and Yukon Equipment (Alaska).

“I would like to congratulate these exemplary dealers who have displayed true leadership and dedication in growing the CASE brand,” says Scott Harris, vice president for CASE Construction Equipment in North America. “These high-performing dealerships live up to the CASE brand promise throughout every aspect of their business; hiring the right people, delivering a differentiated level of service in market, and building enduring relationships with customers.”

CASE’s Partnership Program is designed to increase dealer performance per the results of a dealer assessment while encouraging them to excel in their role as a “Professional Partner” to customers.

ARTBA Announces: Contractors from Virginia, Michigan and Florida 
Receive National Safety Awards

292e959e-725e-47e9-b81f-3973809ceb6bTransportation construction companies from Virginia, Michigan and Florida were recognized for their outstanding corporate worker safety programs at the 2015 American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s (ARTBA) National Convention in Philadelphia. An awards ceremony took place during a Sept. 30 luncheon.

Winning firms were the top honorees of ARTBA’s Transportation Development Foundation’s (TDF) annual “Contractor Safety Awards,” a program developed to promote worker safety and health as core values of the transportation design and construction industry. Award winners demonstrated a low “OSHA Recordable Rate” as measured against benchmark metrics established by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Finalists were selected based on their achievements, as evidenced by recordable rates below the industry average. Representatives from each company were invited to make a presentation before a panel of industry professionals during the association’s convention. An ARTBA member panel of judges evaluated the entries based on corporate safety culture, operational safety plans and worker training programs. Awards were presented in three categories, based on the number of employee hours worked during the previous year:

  • 500,000 or fewer hours: Hardman Construction, Ludington, Michigan
  • 500,001 to 800,000 hours: Branch Highways, Inc., Roanoke, Virginia
  • 800,000 or more: Superior Construction Company Southeast, Jacksonville, Florida

TRIP Reports: Michigan’s Economic Recovery Could Be Jeopardized By Transportation System Challenges, Including Deteriorated Roads & Bridges, Needed Safety Improvements And A Lack Of Transportation Funding

TRIPMichigan’s transportation system faces mounting challenges in the form of deteriorated roads and bridges, a lack of adequate safety features, highway bottlenecks and an inability to fund projects needed to support economic development opportunities in the state. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could improve road and bridge conditions, boost safety, increase roadway efficiency and support long-term economic growth in Michigan, according to a new report released today by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation organization.

The TRIP report, Michigan’s Top Transportation Challenges: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” finds that pavement conditions are projected to deteriorate significantly over the next decade under current transportation funding levels. And while the state has made progress in reducing the share of deficient bridges in recent years, the share of deficient bridges is expected to increase in the coming years due to a lack of funding. Failure to make needed improvements to Michigan’s transportation system could threaten the state’s economic recovery.

The percentage of Michigan’s major roads that are in poor condition increased significantly in recent years, from 23 percent in 2006 to 38 percent in 2014. By 2025, the share of major roads in poor condition is projected to increase to 53 percent. Driving on rough roads costs Michigan motorists a total of $4.8 billion each year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs, an average of $686 annually per motorist. These costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

Michigan has made progress in recent years in reducing the share of bridges that are structurally deficient.

However, under current funding levels, the share of structurally deficient bridges is expected to increase. The percentage of structurally deficient bridges decreased from 16 percent in 2006 to 12 percent in 2014. By 2023, the share of structurally deficient bridges is projected to increase to 14 percent. Bridges that are structurally deficient have significant deterioration of the bridge deck, superstructure or substructure. Sixteen percent of Michigan’s bridges are functionally obsolete, an increase from 2006, when 12 percent were functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet modern design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor alignment.

“Michigan drivers have a unique opportunity to address our deficient roads and bridges in a few weeks,” said Denise Donohue, director of the County Road Association of Michigan. “Proposal 1 will add $1.2 billion to road funding, and it will be constitutionally dedicated to roads. We won’t fully recover from our current band-aid approach to roads for several years, but passing Proposal 1 puts us on the right path.”

Traffic crashes in Michigan claimed the lives of 4,587 people between 2009 and 2013, an average of 917 fatalities each year. And Michigan’s rural non-Interstate roads have significantly higher rates of fatal crashes, with a traffic fatality rate of 1.76 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel, nearly two-and-a-half times the

0.75 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.

Michigan’s economic recovery is threatened by increased road and bridge deterioration, freight bottlenecks and the lack of needed transportation improvements to serve economic development. The efficiency and condition of Michigan’s transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy. Annually, $520 billion in goods are shipped throughout Michigan, mostly by truck. The amount of freight, measured by weight, shipped annually throughout Michigan is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2015 to 2030, putting further stress on the state’s roads, highways and bridges.

The efficiency of freight delivery and personal travel in Michigan is being compromised by six significant highway bottlenecks. Relieving congestion at these bottlenecks will require significant investment to improve traffic flow at these locations. The top six highway bottlenecks in Michigan include the following: I-94 at I-75 and I-75 at I-696 in the Detroit area; I-96 at US 131 in the Grand Rapids area; I-69 at I-96 and I-96 at US 127 in the Lansing area; and I-94 at I-69 in the Port Huron area.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffic flow.

“Michigan’s road and bridge conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the local, state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Michigan has made tremendous strides to recover from a devastating economic downturn, but the deteriorating condition of the state’s roads and bridges threatens the state’s future economic growth.”

MICHIGAN’S TOP TRANSPORTATION CHALLENGES

Providing a Transportation System to Support and Sustain Michigan’s Economic Revival

Executive Summary 

As Michigan continues to recover from a devastating economic downturn, the condition, efficiency and safety of the state’s transportation system is likely to play a critical role in determining the extent and pace of the state’s re-emergence as a region with a strong economy and a desirable quality of life.

Since unemployment and population loss crested in 2010, Michigan has experienced steady economic and employment growth and seen its population stabilize and begin to grow modestly. But the state’s economic recovery is threatened by Michigan’s inability to address its transportation challenges. These challenges include deteriorating roads, highways and bridges, a lack of adequate traffic safety features, a lack of transportation facilities to support economic growth and quality of life, and a lack of adequate financial resources to address the state’s transportation challenges.

For Michiganders to enjoy an enhanced quality of life while the state sustains and accelerates economic recovery, Michigan will need to maintain and improve the condition of its roads, highways and bridges. Making needed improvements to the state’s transportation system will enhance its ability to provide efficient, safe and reliable mobility for residents, visitors and businesses.

Meeting Michigan’s need to modernize and maintain its transportation system will require a significant boost in local, state and federal funding.

TRANSPORTATION CHALLENGE: Deteriorated Pavement Conditions

The condition of locally and state-maintained roads and highways are deteriorating and are forecast to worsen significantly under current levels of funding. Repairing roads and highways while they are in good or fair condition greatly reduces long-term preservation costs because of the high cost of repairing roads in poor condition.

  • A report by the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council (MTAMC) found that the percentage of Michigan’s major roads in poor condition has increased from 23 percent in 2006 to 38 percent in
  • 45 percent of Michigan’s major roads were rated in fair condition and the remaining 17 percent were rated in good condition in
  • Michigan’s major roads and highways (all arterial and collector routes) account for 37 percent of all lane miles of roadways in the state and carry 90 percent of all vehicle miles of travel in the
  • Under current funding, the MTAMC found that the percentage of major roads in Michigan in poor condition will increase to 53 percent by
  • Keeping roads in good condition by performing minor maintenance is far more cost- effective than waiting until roads are in fair or poor condition when it becomes far more costly to make needed.
  • Roads in good condition can be maintained by preventive maintenance, which costs approximately $85,000 per lane mile. Roads in mediocre or fair condition require resurfacing, which costs approximately $575,000 per lane mile. Roads in poor condition require reconstruction to repair the surface and the base under the road, which costs approximately $1,625,000 per mile – 19 times greater than the cost of preventive maintenance.
  • A Fall 2014 poll of local Michigan governments conducted by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan found that a majority (52 percent) of the state’s local governments are only able to keep up with short-term road fixes such as filling potholes, as opposed to practicing long-term and more cost-effective preventive maintenance.
  • Driving on rough roads costs all Michigan motorists a total of $4.8 billion annually in extra vehicle operating costs (VOC), an average of $686 annually per motorist. Costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire

TRANSPORTATION CHALLENGE: Progress in Reducing Share of Deficient Bridges Threatened

Michigan has made progress in reducing its share of bridges that are rated structurally deficient, but under current funding levels, the share of Michigan’s locally and state- maintained bridges that are structurally deficient is expected to increase.

  • Twelve percent of Michigan’s locally and state-maintained bridges were rated structurally deficient in 2014. A bridge is structurally deficient if there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, superstructure or substructure. A structurally deficient bridge may be posted for lower weight, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including commercial trucks and emergency services vehicles, or it may need to be
  • Sixteen percent of Michigan’s locally and state-maintained bridges are functionally obsolete. Bridges that are functionally obsolete no longer meet current highway design standards, often because of narrow lanes, inadequate clearances or poor.
  • In 2006, 16 percent of Michigan’s bridges were rated structurally deficient and twelve percent were rated functionally.
  • Under current funding, the share of Michigan’s bridges rated structurally deficient is expected to increase to 14 percent by

TRANSPORTATION CHALLENGE: Improving Roadway Safety

Improving safety features on Michigan’s roads and highways would likely result in a decrease in traffic fatalities and serious crashes. It is estimated that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of all fatal and serious traffic crashes.

  • Between 2009 and 2013 a total of 4,587 people were killed in traffic crashes in Michigan, an average of 917 fatalities per
  •  Michigan’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.00 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2013 is slightly lower than the national traffic fatality rate of 09.
  • Michigan’s overall traffic fatality rate of 1.00 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2013 is slightly lower than the national traffic fatality rate of 09.
  • The fatality rate on Michigan’s rural non-Interstate roads was 1.76 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2013, nearly two-and-a-half times higher than the 75 fatality rate on all other roads and highways in the state.
  • Roadway features that impact safety include the number of lanes, lane widths, lighting, lane markings, rumble strips, shoulders, guard rails, other shielding devices, median barriers and intersection design. The cost of serious crashes includes lost productivity, lost earnings, medical costs and emergency
  • Several factors are associated with vehicle crashes that result in fatalities, including driver behavior, vehicle characteristics and roadway features. TRIP estimates that roadway features are likely a contributing factor in approximately one-third of fatal traffic
  • Where appropriate, highway improvements can reduce traffic fatalities and crashes while improving traffic flow to help relieve congestion. Such improvements include removing or shielding obstacles; adding or improving medians; improved lighting; adding rumble strips, wider lanes, wider and paved shoulders; and better road markings and traffic signals.
  • Investments in rural traffic safety have been found to result in significant reductions in serious traffic crashes. A 2012 report by the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) found that improvements completed recently by the Texas Department of Transportation that widened lanes, improved shoulders and made other safety improvements on 1,159 miles of rural state roadways resulted in 133 fewer fatalities on these roads in the first three years after the improvements were completed (as compared to the three years prior). TTI estimates that the improvements on these roads are likely to save 880 lives over the next 20 years

TRANSPORTATION CHALLENGE: Economic Recovery Threatened by Deteriorated Roads and Bridges, Freight Bottlenecks and lack of Modernized Highway and Transit Facilities

The efficiency of Michigan’s transportation system is critical to the recovery and health of the state’s economy. The state’s economic recovery is threatened by increased deterioration of Michigan’s roads and bridges and the lack of needed transportation improvements to serve economic development.

  • Michigan’s three largest economic sectors – manufacturing, agriculture and tourism – are highly reliant on an efficient and well-maintained transportation
  • More than half of Michigan local governments (58 percent) said that poor roads in their jurisdictions had a negative impact on economic development, in response to a 2014 Fifty-one percent said that poor roads had a negative impact on the fiscal health of local governments.
  • Michigan’s population increased by approximately eight percent between 1990 and 2005, from approximately 9.3 million to 10.1 million, before experiencing a slight decline through 2010 when the state’s population declined to approximately 9.9 (9.877) million people as a result of Michigan’s severe economic
  • Michigan’s population has achieved modest growth as the state’s economy has The state’s population rose from 9.877 million in 2010 to 9.909 million in 2014.
  • Michigan’s economy faltered during the latter half of the 2000s. Employment peaked at approximately 4.7 million jobs in 2005 resulting in an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, before dropping to approximately 4.2 million jobs and an unemployment rate of 9 percent in 2010.
  • By January 2015, Michigan had added approximately 300,000 jobs, reaching approximately 4.5 million jobs, and the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 9 percent.
  • Annually, $520 billion in goods are shipped throughout Michigan, mostly by Seventy-eight percent of the goods shipped annually throughout Michigan are carried by trucks, another 21 percent are carried by rail, and the remaining freight shipped by water and air.
  • The amount of freight, measured by weight, shipped annually throughout Michigan is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2015 to 2030, putting further stress on Michigan’s roads, highways and
New international bridge crossing between Detroit and Windsor.
Improved intermodal truck-rail terminal and facilities in Southeast Michigan.
Modernizing and repairing portions of I-94 and I-75 in the Detroit area.
Improvements to Willow Run Airport in the Detroit area.
New rail tunnel between Detroit and Windsor to accommodate modern rail cars.
New intermodal rail/bus transit facilities in Troy/Birmingham, Grand Rapids, Dearborn, East Lansing, Ann Arbor and Detroit.
Completion of the M-1 Streetcar along Woodward Avenue in Detroit.
Construction of a second bus rapid transit line in the Grand Rapids area and a bus rapid Transit line in the Lansing area.
Improve and enhance public transit along the Woodward Avenue corridor from the Detroit riverfront to the city of Pontiac.
Improve and enhance public transit from northeast of Ann Arbor to south of Ann Arbor, connecting the campuses of the University of Michigan, downtown, the medical center, the train station and commercial areas.
  • The efficiency of freight delivery and personal travel in Michigan is being compromised by six significant highway bottlenecks, which are rated among the nation’s worst 250 highway bottlenecks. Relieving congestion at these bottlenecks will require significant investment to improve traffic flow at these
  • The American Transportation Research Institute reports that the top six highway bottlenecks in Michigan on highways that are critical to the nation’s freight delivery system are: I-94 at I-75 and I-75 at I-696 in the Detroit area; I-96 at US-131 in the Grand Rapids area; I-69 at I-96 and I-96 at US-127 in the Lansing area; and I-94 at I-69 in the Port Huron
  • Highway accessibility was ranked the number two site selection factor behind only the availability of skilled labor in a 2013 survey of corporate executives by Area Development magazine.
  • A number of critical transportation improvements that will improve the efficiency of Michigan’s transportation system are underway or are in the planning process. However, most of these projects will need significant additional funding to be completed. These projects include:
  • Because of a lack of adequate resources, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) plans to focus almost exclusively on preserving its current system rather than making any improvements to the system to support economic development
  • From 2015 to 2019, MDOT plans to spend an average of $671 million on road, highway and bridge repairs and only $4 million annually on expanding the capacity of the

TRANSPORTATION CHALLENGE: Inadequate Transportation Funding

Without a significant boost in transportation funding at the local, state and federal level, the condition of Michigan’s roads, highways and bridges will decline. This lack of funding will reduce economic productivity in the state and many projects needed to support economic growth and to support quality of life in Michigan will not move forward. New research indicates that the cost of making needed road, highway, and bridge improvements is far less than the potential loss in state economic activity caused by a lack of adequate road, highway and bridge preservation.

  • Upgrading all of Michigan’s major roads currently in poor or fair condition to good condition would cost $14.1
  • Seventy-nine percent of local Michigan governments said they would need a 50 percent increase in state funding for local roads just to maintain their roads in their current condition. And more than half (56 percent) said that state funding for local roads would need to more than double to allow them to improve the condition of their roads, in response to a 2014 poll.
  • The Federal Highway Administration estimates that each dollar spent on road, highway and bridge improvements results in an average benefit of $5.20 in the form of reduced vehicle maintenance costs, reduced delays, reduced fuel consumption, improved safety, reduced road and bridge maintenance costs, and reduced emissions as a result of improved traffi
  • Signed into law in July 2012, MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act), has improved several procedures that in the past had delayed projects, MAP-21 does not address long-term funding challenges facing the federal surface transportation program.
  • In July 2014, Congress approved the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, an eight-month extension of the federal surface transportation program, on which states rely for road, highway, bridge and transit funding. The program, initially set to expire on September 30, 2014, will now run through May 31, 2015. In addition to extending the current authorization of the highway and public transportation programs, the legislation will transfer nearly $11 billion into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to preserve existing levels of highway and public transportation investment through the end of May.
  • If Congress decides to provide additional revenues into the federal Highway Trust Fund in tandem with authorizing a new federal surface transportation program, a number of technically feasible revenue options have been identified by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
  • A significant boost in investment on the nation’s roads, highways, bridges and public transit systems is needed to improve their condition and to meet the nation’s transportation needs, concluded a new report from AASHTO. The 2015 AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report found that annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase from $88 billion to $120 billion and from $17 billion to $43 billion in the nation’s public transit systems, to improve conditions and meet the nation’s mobilit

A 2014 report by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) concluded that allowing the state’s major roads, highways and bridges to deteriorate would result in significant reduction in job growth and reduced state gross domestic product (GDP) as a result of reduced economic efficiency.

  • The ODOT report used a sophisticated model that integrates transportation, land use and economic activity to compare how an economy operates when a transportation system is well-maintained versus when it is allowed to deteriorate. The report found that deteriorated pavements, which result in a rougher and slower ride for vehicles, and deteriorated bridges, which need to be closed to heavy trucks, reduce economic productivity by increasing transportation
  • The report found that allowing roads and bridges to deteriorate reduces business productivity by increasing vehicle operating costs as a result of driving on rough roads, reducing travel speeds and increasing travel times because of route detours necessitated by weight-restricted
  •  As road and bridge conditions deteriorate, transportation agencies are likely to shift resources from preservation projects, which extend the service life of roads and bridges, to more reactive maintenance projects, which results in higher lifecycle costs, the report found. Transportation agencies are also likely to respond to increased road and bridge deterioration by shifting funds from modernization projects, which relieve congestion and increase business productivity, to maintenance
  • As road and bridge conditions deteriorate, transportation agencies are likely to shift resources from preservation projects, which extend the service life of roads and bridges, to more reactive maintenance projects, which results in higher lifecycle costs, the report found. Transportation agencies are also likely to respond to increased road and bridge deterioration by shifting funds from modernization projects, which relieve congestion and increase business productivity, to maintenance
  • The ODOT report estimated that the road, highway and bridge deterioration anticipated over the next 20 years will result in Oregon creating 100,000 fewer jobs and generating $9.4 billion less in state GDP.
  • Oregon could avoid losing 100,000 jobs and $9.4 billion in GDP through 2035 by spending an additional $810 million more on road, highway and bridge repairs – nearly a 12-to-1 return on investment, according to the ODOT

Sources of information for this report include the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, the American Transportation Research Institute and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). All data used in the report is the latest available.