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E-M:/ Build Michigan III becoming Fix Michigan III
- Subject: E-M:/ Build Michigan III becoming Fix Michigan III
- From: Kelly Thayer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 03 Feb 2003 13:39:50 -0500
- Delivered-To: email@example.com
- Delivered-To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- List-Name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-To: Kelly Thayer <email@example.com>
Feb. 3, 2003
FROM: Kelly Thayer, MLUI
Kelly Thayer, Michigan Land Use Institute, 231-882-4723, ext.
Dusty Fancher, Michigan Environmental Council, 517-487-3606, ext.
Build Michigan III becoming Fix Michigan III
Hello Enviro-Mich Folks:
Following up on Dusty Fancher's original posting...
Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Friday quietly announced with a press release
that she has taken the first step toward turning the Michigan Department
of Transportation away from road expansion and toward real repair. The
ship is turning, slowly!
Gov. Granholm has begun dissecting Build Michigan III - former Gov.
Engler's $900 million new-and-wider road program launched in 2000 - by
delaying some major widening projects, totaling $153 million, while
moving forward with the repair portion of the same projects. In other
words, Build Michigan III is gradually becoming Fix Michigan III.
That's been the Michigan Transportation & Land Use Coalition's
message from the start. Organized by MEC and the Institute, M-TLC (and
its 36 member groups and their 250,000 constituents) has done more than
four years of groundwork on state transportation policy reform, and it
continues to pay big dividends. Indeed, this is a victory for all those
who are working to move the state, and its communities, toward fiscal
sanity, mobility for all, and road policies that help build communities,
not bisect them and overwhelm them with sprawl!
The four projects in Gov. Granholm's announcement involve:
* The I-375 East Riverfront Access project in Detroit, which is put
on hold until right-of-way issues can be resolved. This has been a major
focus of Transportation Riders United (TRU) and, perhaps, re-ignites the
debate over the design of this project.
* The M-53 project from I-696 to 14 Mile Road in Warren.
* The M-59 widening project from I-96 to US-23 in Livingston
* The M-84 project from Kochville Road to Euclid Road in Saginaw.
Please see the governor's press release below for a bit more detail.
MDOT's spokeswoman Stephanie Litaker gave this example to me this morning
of how MDOT's shift in priorities will work under what I'm calling Fix
"We are using the $153 million to focus on preservation; some BM III
projects have both expansion/preservation mixes, and while it will not be
likely that the expansion portion will proceed the preservation aspect
may. For example, the M-59/US-23 interchange project in Livingston
County. The project initially called for expanding M-59 to a five lane
boulevard and the reconstruction of the interchange. The expansion
been deferred, while the interchange work will continue."
The need for this common-sense, truly conservative change in MDOT's
priorities couldn't come at a better time.
* MDOT's interstate bridges are in the worst shape in the nation, and the
interstate roads rank 5th worst.
overall Michigan’s highways and freeways have not improved a bit since
1997, when former Gov. John Engler announced a 10-year plan to renew the
state’s roads, a brand new analysis by the Michigan Land Use Institute
In 1998 -
one year into the state’s current road repair program - 57.5 percent of
the roads had a life expectancy of just 7 years or less before needing to
be wholly reconstructed. In 2000, 57.4 percent of Michigan’s roads had
the same short life span of 7 years or less - a miniscule 0.1-percent
improvement since 1998 after the state plowed about $2 billion into
maintenance during the two-year window. In addition, 20 percent of
the state’s roads in 2000 were dead and needed replacing, which is the
same year Mr. Engler hatched a $900 million program (Build Michigan III)
to borrow money to significantly expand the road network.
mind that Michigan defines a “good” road as having at least 3 years of
life left. It’s a standard so feeble that the state frequently claims
it has nearly reached its 2007 repair goal, to make 90 percent of roads
good, despite glaring problems. As a direct result, the wretched roads
cost each Michigan motorist about $260 a year, or $1.8 billion total in
damage to shocks, tires, mufflers, and other vehicle parts, according to
the American Society of Civil Engineers.
* MDOT is spending at least 25% of its FY 2003 road budget on road
expansions, $249 million on adding lanes and $92 million on new roads -
thus a total of at least $341 million of this year's $1.36 billion budget
2002, it was at least 33%, with $229 million on widenings and $258
million on new roads, or at least $487 million of $1.5 billion.
2001, it was at least 35%, with $162 million going to widenings and $382
million going to new roads, or $544 million of the $1.54 billion road
$1.2 billion for more pavement in just 3 years, while Governor Engler
claimed repeatedly that MDOT's focus was repair. In fact, the current
MDOT 5-year Road & Bridge Program, Vol. IV - 2002 to 2006 says on
page 10 that, "MDOT's emphasis continues to be the maintenance of
the existing system. Ninety-four cents out of every dollar will be used
to preserve and maintain the existing system. The remaining six cents
will be used for roads."
What was once a pothole problem, moreover, has into a full-blown road
repair crisis. The state is allowing some roads to decay prematurely
while pouring cash into patching other portions of Michigan’s highways
and freeways - some of the nation’s oldest - that it says would be more
cost-effective to rip up and rebuild now, the Institute has
In effect, Michigan has been choosing to push its road repair predicament
indefinitely into the future until the road system ceases to function
normally, motorists sit surrounded by orange construction barrels, and
massive new taxes are levied to address the mounting negligence. With her
announcement, Gov. Granholm has signaled her intent to move Michigan in a
much more sustainable direction.
Look for these details and more, in narrative form, in a forthcoming
fix-it-first article from the Institute.
Kelly Thayer, MLUI
Governor Granholm's press
Granholm Defers New Road
Projects; Focuses Investment in Repair
Friday, January 31, 2003
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that several
transportation projects in Build Michigan III (BMIII) will be deferred
until additional federal funding can be secured and other issues
resolved. Approximately $153 million in Build Michigan III funds will be
invested to focus on preservation rather than expansion.
“Michigan families deserve better roads right now,” Granholm said. “We
must focus on fixing the roads we have today before we look to expanding
tomorrow. I am directing that our transportation spending in Build
Michigan III focus on preservation first. While these expansion projects
are all worthy, it makes no sense to invest in them until more federal
and local funding is secured.”
Under the proposal, all or portions of four projects have been deferred,
pending local agreements and available funding to complete subsequent
I-375 East Riverfront Access project in Detroit is deferred. This project
supports the relocation of General Motors Headquarters to the Riverfront
and related development, and is put on hold until right-of-way issues can
be resolved. The deferral totals $68 million.
M-53 project from I-696 to 14 Mile Road in Warren to support expansion of
the GM Tech Center is deferred until funding agreements can be reached
with the City of Warren. The deferral totals $4 million.
the $30 million reconstruction of the M-59/US-23 interchange will
continue, the M-59 widening project from I-96 to US-23 in Livingston
County is deferred. The deferral totals $56 million.
M-84 project from Kochville Road to Euclid Road in Saginaw, which totals
$25 million, is deferred.
The Michigan Transportation & Land Use
Coalition (M-TLC) is a project of the
Michigan Land Use Institute
Michigan Environmental Council
* The Coalition's top 5 priorities are:
1. Fully Fund Transit
2. Increase Public Involvement
3. Fix Roads First
4. Plan Statewide to Integrate Transportation and Land Use
5. Preserve Railroad Corridors
* For more information on Coalition membership and top priorities, please go to:
Mr. Kelly Thayer
Transportation Project Manager
Michigan Land Use Institute
205 South Benzie Boulevard
P.O. Box 500
Beulah, MI 49617