fix the damn roads | Michigan Radio
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fix the damn roads

rape kits in the foreground and two women blurred in the background
G.L. Kohuth / Michigan State University

 

 

Today on Stateside, ten years after thousands of untested rape kits were found in a Detroit police warehouse, we talk to the prosecutor who’s been working though those cases. Plus, a conversation about climate change and its effect on Michigan agriculture.

 

 

Gretchen Whitmer wearing yellow vest while overseeing road work
Rick Pluta / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has again called on Republican leaders to reconvene the Legislature to wrap up work on a new state budget and a plan to fix the roads.

But GOP leaders say there’s no reason to yet.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A recent study, that no Michigander needed, confirmed that we have the worst roads in the country.

But, all roads in our pothole-plagued state are not created equal.

Expressway with cars and a Pay Toll sign
soupstock / Adobe Stock

Governor Gretchen Whitmer ran on the promise to “fix the damn roads.” The Michigan House of Representatives is attempting to do just that with its proposed transportation budget for the next fiscal year.

Chelsea Oakes / Creative Commons

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.

pothole
Peter Atkins / Adobe Stock

For the next six weeks, Toledo will be on a pothole repair blitz. The plan is to fill 50,000 potholes throughout the city. That's more than twice the number that have been filled so far this year.

Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz says Toledo doesn't have quite as bad a pothole problem as some Michigan cities.  

But it's bad enough. 

Paul Ajegba (right) talks with people before Tuesday's Senate Advice and Consent committee meeting.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The man picked to implement Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s main campaign promise to “fix the damn roads” was grilled by state senators Tuesday.

Paul Ajegba has been with the Michigan Department of Transportation for nearly three decades. He was picked by the governor in December to serve as MDOT director. 

He told the Senate Advice and Consent committee that Michigan’s poor roads are a result of a history of temporary fixes to stretch state tax dollars. Ajegba noted Michigan has ranked near the bottom for per capita spending on roads.