Repair Priorities: Michigan

Michigan’s road conditions

As of 2008, 60% of Michigan’s state-owned major roads were in “good” condition, meaning they were smooth and without potholes. 40% of Michigan’s roads had fallen out of good condition, meaning they will now be increasingly expensive to repair and maintain.

Michigan’s highway spending priorities

Between 2004 and 2008, Michigan spent 9% of its highway capital expenditures on road expansion – $199 million each year on average – and 59% on repair and maintenance of existing roads – $1.3 billion.

During that time, Michigan reduced the total state-owned road network by 119 lane-miles. This decrease, despite investment by the state in roadway expansion, may be due to the state transferring ownership of some lane-miles to other jurisdictions.

Michigan would need to spend a minimum of $647 million annually for the next twenty years to get the current backlog of poor-condition major roads into a state of good repair and maintain all state-owned roads in good condition. Michigan should be commended for its commitment in recent years to improving road conditions through repair investments. Continuing to prioritize maintenance moving forward will be crucial to preserving the state’s roads in good condition.

Michigan’s road condition goals

Michigan uses the Sufficiency Surface Condition Rating and the International Roughness Index to measure pavement condition. The state aims to maintain at least 90% of state-owned major roads in “fair” or better condition between 2005 and 2030.

For more information about Michigan’s pavement management program, including the source and methodology for the above information, see the appendices of Repair Priorities.

Read more about Michigan’s transportation spending

Smart Transportation Michigan: Save Money and Growth the Economy
This Smart Growth America report provides more extensive analysis of Michigan’s transportation spending priorities and recommendations for how state leaders can make the most of Michigan’s transportation funds.

Click here to download the report (PDF)