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Wayne County heads to Mackinac Conference armed with dire road condition study

Potholes are one problem you can report with the GRCity 311 app.
Chelsea Oakes
Creative Commons
Potholes are one problem you can report with the GRCity 311 app.

Wayne County officials hope a dire new roads study creates some "shock and awe" at the annual policy conference on Mackinac Island this week.

The study puts a staggering three billion dollar price tag on fixing Wayne County's roads and bridges. It says nearly 60% of the county's roads and 31% of the county's bridges are in poor condition.

That's up from 42% just two years ago.

Beverly Watts is the county's director of public services. She says the study shows what happens when infrastructure is underfunded, year after year after year. She says businesses are being affected

"And that's tied to economic development which is tied to jobs," says Watts. "It's not just a flat tire or a busted rim.  We need funding. By not addressing it — I  hate to look at the future of doing a drip drip drip — and not doing a significant investment in our infrastructure."

Watts says she is hopeful that the state legislature and the governor will make fixing the roads a priority this year.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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