WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — A new report reveals that it would take more than $3 billion to fix roads and bridges in Wayne County.
Wayne County released a report that would develop and implement a 10-year Asset Management Plan. The $3 billion would need to be invested over the next decade to achieve the goal of having 90 percent of its roads and bridges in fair to good condition and all critical bridge needs addressed by 2029, according to the report.
“We are the birthplace of the modern road system and we are one of the most significant economic regions in the country, but our roads are falling apart,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “We need about $3 billion over the next 10 years, and that’s not even counting our subdivision roads. We can’t put Band-Aids on our roads and bridges forever, it’s time to pay the piper.”
According to the report, 58 percent of roads are in poor condition in Wayne County and the root cause is decades of underinvestment. It would take more than $40 million just to maintain current road conditions.
Roads and bridges will deteriorate to unacceptable levels of service without additional investment, the report says. Thirty-one percent of bridges are in poor to serious condition – $70 million is needed just to address priority bridge structures, including the Miller/Rotunda Road and Grosse Ile Parkway bridges.
“An increasing number of our road and bridges are in poor to critical condition, and they are going to deteriorate faster without significant investment,” Evans said. “Developing an Asset Management Plan will help us get more out of our money through preventative maintenance, but there’s no way we can address our infrastructure crisis without a massive infusion of cash.”
The next steps in the initiative include developing fixes and and developing a plan to guide investments in the system. The plan will emphasize preventative maintenance, which keeps good roads in good conditions longer and is less expensive than rehabilitation or reconstruction.
“The average age of bridges in Wayne County is nearly 70 years old, but we count on them daily to get to work or the doctor or sports events for our kids,” said Beverly Watts, Director of Department of Public Services for Wayne County. “It’s the oldest, largest and most unique set of local bridges in the state. There are 18 different types of bridge substructures, three movable bridges and 12 bridges that are on the National Register of Historic Places. Fixing and maintaining them is costly.”
The plan will be ready in November, and will be updated and revised as new information becomes available.
“We can’t just wait for things to shake out at the state level, we need to get the most out of every penny we have now,” Evans said. “And if something gets done in Lansing, we’ll have that much better of a plan to put additional funding to use.”
The full preliminary report will be available online and datea will be updated as new information becomes available.
View a full overview below: