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How does MDOT decide which roads to fix first?

Potholes on a road in Ann Arbor.
Daniel Hensel
Michigan Radio
There are plenty of potholes on Michigan roads. But who decides which ones get patched first?

This week, Governor Snyder is expected to sign a bill sending an extra $175 million in one-time funds to our state and local roads. That money supplements $2.3 billion in ongoing funds this year. 

Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, joined Stateside again to answer one more MI Curious question about Michigan's roads. 

See his answers to some of your other MI Curious questions here.

We know that even with the supplemental budget, there still isn't enough to fix all the roads in Michigan. That leads us to today's MI Curious question. Julie Chuey? of Westland wanted to know:

"How does the state choose which projects are a priority? Why do lower income areas seem to receive less quality and quantity of funds than the higher income areas?"

Hear Steudle describe Michigan's current road funding process above.

On that note, Craig Thiel, research director for the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, believes taxpayers aren’t going to get the bang for their buck, thanks to Michigan's outdated road funding formula that he says doesn't address the way we use our roads today.

Thiel joined Stateside to explain how our formula for allocating funds for road improvement – which dates back to 1951 – doesn’t keep up with our current road conditions. He also explains why Michigan has stuck with this formula all these years, and he makes a case for a better way of dividing up the highway funding.

Listen above.

On Tuesday March 20, from 8:00 AM to 9:30 AM, there will be a Leader’s Issue Forum at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce offices in Lansing to discuss Michigan’s roads and infrastructure. In attendance will be State Rep. Triston Cole, State Sen. Tom Casperson, chair of the Transportation Committee, and Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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