Michigan roads just as mediocre as other Great Lakes States’

One of the toughest winters on record in Michigan has challenged our roads tremendously, and we are dealing with a plague of potholes and craters. Given this and other neglect, the Michigan Department of Transportation said, the state needs an additional 35 cents per day from every vehicle registered in the state to maintain roads in good/ fair conditions. That’s $127.75 per car. Even so, that’s a lot less than the $357 per car cost that the bad condition of Michigan roads imposes on each motorist.

This post seeks to put the conditions of Michigan roads in context by highlighting road conditions in the eight Great Lakes States. Although Michigan invests the lowest amount of funds into roads, per capita, in the region, it does not have the highest percentage of poor roads or cost of vehicle repairs.


The chart above shows the additional cost of motor vehicle repairs, per motorist, caused by driving on roads in need of repair. New York has the highest average cost, according to the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, at $403. Ohio has the second highest average, in the Great Lakes state region, at $367 and Michigan comes in third at $357. Click here to learn about the vague methodology behind this report.


The 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure also showed that, of the Great Lakes States, Illinois had the highest percent of roads in mediocre or poor condition (73%) in the region while Indiana has the lowest (17%). The report indicated Michigan had 38 percent of its roads in mediocre or poor condition (lowest), following. Information is based off of 2009 data; the report card did not objectively define poor, mediocre, or good.


According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, Minnesota invested $315 per capita into its total 2014 road budget while Michigan invested $174. This was the lowest in the Great Lakes region. Indiana invested the second lowest at $187.


While weather can have an affect on roads, so can the amount of vehicle traffic. According to the 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, in 2009, Indiana had the highest highway vehicle miles traveled per capita at 11,672. Michigan came in fourth in the Great Lakes region at 9,878 highway vehicle miles per capita.

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