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Wayne County crews working extra hours on potholes, funding anticipated

Posted at 8:16 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 20:16:47-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Drivers like Shayla Walker are pleased to see patchwork taking place by crews like one spotted by 7 Action News in Romulus on Merriman Road near I-94. However, she says she'd be even more thrilled to see a complete road redo on the worst routes.

“Yeah, several (of my) cars had underbody damage. One time, it punctured one of my... the transmission. So, it’s rough driving around in Michigan," Walker said.

“Whoever is going be the next governor, I need them to get like a 3- to 5-year plan and just start over because (the roads) only last for a couple years and then we back worse to where we started," she continued.

Tuesday morning, 7 Action News questioned Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who campaigned on fixing the roads. She said the legislature did not embrace the comprehensive plan she put forward, and she says lawmakers did not offer an alternative.

So, the state sold bonds in order to finance repair work on state-owned roads, including 1,300 lane miles and 900 bridges. But as it stands, some state and local roads are still desperate for patchwork.

"Now, we’ve got an ability with these additional dollars that are coming from the federal government to do local and continue our work on the state trunklines bridges. So, I propose $6.3 billion. It’s a billion more than we even invested last year,” Whitmer told 7 Action News.

Wayne County Director of Public Services Beverly Watts said almost $3 billion is needed to get the county roads in good condition. That’s from the county executive’s 10-year asset management plan.

“At our agency here in Wayne County, we cannot wait for the infrastructure funding to come from the infrastructure bill because this will help us as we need funding to really do a reconstruct and rehabilitation on most of our roads in Wayne County," Watts explained.

Until that happens and with the heavy freezing and thawing lately, she said county road crews are working extra hours.

Watts said crews and contractors are working 10 to 12 hours a day, six days a week pouring cold patch.