Michigan lawmakers discuss future funding for road and bridge infrastructure

Road Closure
Posted at 6:07 PM, Feb 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-08 18:07:17-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Billions of dollars have gone to fixing roads and bridges in Michigan.

The money that’s in the state’s road infrastructure fund is slowly but surely running out.

Back in 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration borrowed $3.5 billion in bonds to fix roads and bridges in the state.

 This year, MDOT will begin spending the last $700 million of that $3.5 billion.

 According to the Governor’s office, by the end of the 2023 construction season, Michigan fixed nearly 20,000 lane miles of state-owned roads and 1,400 bridges.

 “This is a decades-old problem no one wanted to solve, we’re making a difference in it and we’ve got a lot more good work to do here,” said Governor Whitmer.

 As far as Governor Whitmer’s proposed 2025 budget, there is no new funding that will be dedicated to the roads except for the $700 million that the state already has.

“Ultimately a longer-term solution is going to have to be found, people of Michigan are expecting it, but at this moment, I’m really proud to say that we are going to continue at the clip that we’ve been rebuilding roads and bridges across Michigan,” Governor Whitmer added.

 State Representative Donni Steele says she believes the state needs a lot more than $700 million to continue fixing the roads.

 “We need about $3 billion on an annual basis to bring up our roads to what you would call good,” said Representative Steele.

Representative Steele added that she believes the governor should prioritize spending money on the roads over other programs like free college and childcare.

 “I say our role in government is to get back to the basics in budgeting and worry about the things stay as a pun in our lane of what our job is and our fundamental role is in government, which is, you know, making sure our infrastructure structure is good,” Representative Steele added.

The Governor has stated that finding funding for road infrastructure is an ongoing conversation.