Fixing the Roads Still a Top Issue for Michiganders
Fixing Michigan roads is a top concern for Michiganders. People are fed up with dismantled infrastructure that leads to flooded basements and roads. “Roads are always going to be a top issue as long as we stay at current funding levels,” said Ryan Brege, director of Alpena County Road Commissioners Office. “There have been increases in funding levels, but of course things like inflation and supply issues are not going to make those dollars not go as far as they have in the past.”
According to the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, 93 percent of Michigan residents say that fixing roads, dams, bridges, and all types of infrastructure is evenly important. “It’s completely understandable. We can only do the best we can with the money we receive. We obviously have to have the money in the workforce available to do the work,” said Brege.
In Alpena, and surrounding areas, gravel roads are challenging to maintain and require a substantial amount of funding. “In Alpena County and a lot more rural counties, there’s a lot of gravel roads. Those gravel roads are always going to be need to maintained. But without the funds to do so, we’re going to have to maintain them constantly,” said Brege.
COVID–19 delayed bridge repairs causing projects to be put on hold. “We seem to be catching up a little bit. The Bagley bridge is a really good example that had a really tight time schedule for last year,” said Ryan Brege. “We did not make that time schedule last year, and COVID-19 was certainly a factor in that.”
Executive Vice President of the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, Rob Coppersmith said, “The results of this poll show the continued need for a long–term, sustainable infrastructure plan from Michigan’s leaders. Study after study shows that Michigan’s infrastructure will continue to worsen if we don’t make the needed investments now.”