It is not surprising that Michigan roads are bad, given the quantity of moisture the state receives from rain to snow, the freezing temperatures, and other factors.
If you live in Michigan, you’ll know the struggle of driving the road every day and taking good care not to hit any potholes on your way somewhere.
That said, find out more about why roads in Michigan are indeed disappointing!
Why Are Michigan Roads So Bad?
1. The State Is Too Spread Out To Be Accessible By Public Transit
Michigan roads are bad because the State is too spread out to be accessible by public transit. So if you’re trying to get around Michigan, it will be difficult, especially if you don’t have a car.
Further, the state is so big that it takes forever to drive from one side to the other; you must stop and find parking.
So, if you’re trying to get somewhere in Michigan (like from Detroit to Kalamazoo), expect your trip to take at least four hours. That’s not even going through rush hour traffic.
Also, Michigan roadways are filled with potholes and drainage issues that cause accidents regularly.
2. The State Has A High Population Density
The state is home to more than 10 million people, which puts a strain on its road network.
In addition, Michigan has many commuters who drive to work, which means more people use the roads than they have the capacity for.
That said, the state has an aging population and fewer young people moving in, meaning it’s difficult to maintain the roads because there aren’t enough funds for road repairs or maintenance.
Also, Michigan has many farms that use heavy machinery on its roadways, which can cause damage and traffic jams when equipment breaks down during harvest season.
3. Michigan’s Roads Are Poorly Maintained
You might be surprised to learn that Michigan has some of the worst roads in the country. They’ve been named as such by the American Society of Civil Engineers since 1995.
So, it’s not just because they have a lot of snow and ice on our roads, although that certainly doesn’t help.
It’s because Michigan is a state with a lot of diverse terrain and geography, which means there are many different ways for water to get into our roads—and when it does, it can cause severe damage to our infrastructure.
Of course, potholes are just one example of how Michigan’s roads can be damaged by water infiltration. When you drive over a pothole, it causes damage to your car’s suspension system and tires.
And although they might not seem like much at first glance, potholes can lead to accidents if they’re not appropriately repaired (or if they happen at an unsafe speed).
4. Michigan Has Unpredictable Weather
Michigan is a very dry state with a lot of wind, rain, and snow. The wind causes problems for Michigan roads because it blows sand and debris into the roadways.
Therefore, this can cause severe damage to cars and motorcycles and the pavement itself.
In addition, the rain and snow also create road problems because it decreases visibility and makes it harder for drivers to see other cars around them.
5. Roads Have Been Neglected For Decades
Michigan’s roads are bad because they’ve been neglected for decades and need repair. The state has invested in roads, but not enough to keep up with aging infrastructure.
In addition to Michigan’s aging roadways, other factors that contribute to the quality of its transportation system are a lack of funding for repairs and other infrastructure projects.
6. Michigan Doesn’t Have Enough Money For Road Maintenance
If you’re a Michigan resident, you may have noticed that our roads are falling apart. With so much rain in recent months and years, it’s no wonder they’re in such bad shape.
Further, the state’s infrastructure is old, and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has been unable to maintain it.
As a result, this has meant that roads have become pothole-ridden and bumpy, making driving more difficult for drivers and passengers alike.
7. Not Enough Funds To Generate
Michigan is a state with a population of over 10 million people and one of the highest gas prices in the nation. And yet, Michigan has one of the country’s lowest road funding per capita.
This is not surprising, given that Michigan has a very low tax rate, which means it doesn’t have much money available for other things like road funding.
Therefore, this lack of funding has led to several problems, such as road maintenance and construction.
8. Michigan Roads Are Full Of Potholes And Cracks
It’s not just that Michigan has a lot of snowfall but also that many residents drive on these roads daily.
Of course, the state’s population is increasing, and as a result, so is the number of cars on Michigan roads.
Therefore, it means more traffic and more wear on the roadways. The state also has an aging infrastructure, which means that the roads are getting worse over time, not better.
9. Difficulty Completing Road Repairs
The repair/repaving projects take longer than expected because of the weather conditions at times like winters and summers.
That said, some highways have less traffic flow due to heavy snowfall or rains during these seasons, causing extra road damage.
They have been repaired after heavy rains during summer due to waterlogging on already damaged pavement areas, leading to larger cracks forming due to freezing temperatures during winters.
To know more, you can also read our posts on why roads are black, why they put salt on roads, and why Germany has so many roads.
The bottom line here is that Michigan roads are in disrepair, and it’s because of a lack of funding from the state.
Don’s flip-flop on an extra gas tax just isn’t going to cut it, and neither is the legislature touting Michigan being a low-tax state.
The only thing that will reverse this problem is if the government realizes what the people already know: roads matter and must be fixed.