Pothole problems: Is there enough money for repairs? - KMSP-TV

Pothole problems: Is there enough money for repairs?

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"When you see holes in bridges going across our major freeways, when you hear of ambulances having to take alternative routes to get to emergencies and costing more time, and maybe the lives of our citizens, we all should be embarrassed," says Lance Binoniemi of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.

"The motivation right now is the public attention to this and the public saying, 'We demand better roads.' This is not what Michigan is about. This is embarrassing," says Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.

Governor's Snyder's office reports the amount spent on potholes in 2014 be double the amount of years past, up to $15 million.

"Our revenues for transportation system have not been increased since 1997. We spend the least amount per person on our transportation than any other state in the entire country," says Binoniemi. "The governor has been talking about this for two years. Legislative Republicans have been very, very slow and the only thing that is going to move the leadership near Lansing are people."

The governor reports $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion is needed just to maintain our roads; even more money is needed to improve them. With the recent spending bill adding another $215 million to the state's drained road maintenance budgets, many agree that's just a drop in the bucket.

"The 215 million [dollars] is about a tenth of what we need on an ongoing annual basis, and the 215 million [dollars] the legislature appropriated was only one-time use," says Binoniemi.

Thursday, FOX 2 learned of a possible $300 million to $500 million in additional funding, although nothing has been finalized yet. A possible $20 million could also come from the Secretary of State, the money now being used for the car registration system. Weight restrictions on truckers and a diesel tax are also in talks.

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