LANSING — While average gas prices in Michigan are nearly 41 cents per gallon less than they were the same time last year, Michigan roads are being funded in real inflationary dollars the same as they were nearly 40 years ago; and yet, the cost of construction materials, such as steel, concrete, asphalt, and diesel fuel have escalated dramatically due to global demand, the Michigan Transportation Team announced today.
Regardless of how much the price at the pump has fluctuated in recent years, funding for Michigan’s roads has continued to decline, said Mike Nystrom, co-chair of the MTT and executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association.
“The price of fuel has gone through numerous fluctuations, and recently we have seen a significant decrease compared to prices just one year ago,” Nystrom said. “However, as we all enjoy the short-term decrease in gas prices, our roads and bridges continue to crumble due to continually declining investment.”
Nystrom explained that whether the price of gas goes up or down, the amount of money collected at the pump for transportation investment has been set at 19 cents per gallon since 1997; and this method of collection does not allow for any inflationary growth.
“We cannot continue to discuss the declining condition of Michigan’s roads and bridges,” Nystrom added. “We need to work with the Legislature to pass a comprehensive, long-term funding solution immediately.”
In spite of reforms and efficiencies that were put in place by the Michigan Legislature and also those enacted by the Michigan Department of Transportation and local road agencies, transportation funding in Michigan has continued to decline. It is estimated that $1.6 billion in additional transportation funding is needed annually, and bills that provide the means for that funding are currently pending in the Legislature.
The Michigan Transportation Team is a broad-based, bipartisan partnership of business, labor, local government, associations and citizens with the common goal of improving Michigan’s transportation infrastructure. MTT is committed to promoting the development and maintenance of a safe, convenient and efficient transportation network that serves the public, private and economic needs of Michigan. For more information on transportation funding, visit http://justfixtheroads.com/.