Oakland County Roads Still in Bad Shape and Getting Worse

Despite a near record construction season including the reconstruction and resurfacing of many roads, a recent press release stated that more than 40 percent of the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) road system remains in poor condition, and that percentage is expected to continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

In fact, RCOC calculates that $600 million worth of road projects is needed today just to preserve RCOC’s existing roads – and that number is going to continue to grow without an increase in road funding.

By the end of the construction season this year (usually around mid-to-late November), RCOC expects to have initiated or completed road projects ultimately worth about $50 million. “That’s a lot of money,” stated RCOC Managing Director Dennis Kolar. “However, the reality is this is just the tip of the iceberg.” (Future projects list — $600 million)*

In fact, Kolar pointed out at that the Road Commission predicts that, at current funding levels (without an increase in state road funding), nearly two-thirds of RCOC roads will be in poor condition by 2018.

“Michigan remains in a road-funding crisis,” Kolar said. “According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data available, Michigan is dead last compared to all other states in per capita state and local spending on roads, and it shows.

Kolar noted the extent of the needs on RCOC’s roads highlight the critical nature of Michigan’s road-funding situation. “It’s more critical than ever that the state Legislature address road funding,” he said. “The Legislature controls road funding in Michigan, and they must resolve this crisis.”

The longer Michigan waits to resolve the road-funding crisis, Kolar said, the more costly it will be. “Each year that we don’t repair our roads, they deteriorate further, and the cost to repair them increases.”

RCOC Chairman Greg Jamian concurred. “For the sake of Michigan’s businesses and residents, the Legislature needs to make roads a priority,” he said. “Michigan will never reach its great potential so long as our road infrastructure is sub-par.”

*This is a list of the $600 million worth of projects currently needed on RCOC roads. It is not comprehensive, and is expected to grow significantly in coming years if more funding does not become available.

About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at sarah@rochestermedia.com.

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