A new report from the state auditor general takes the Michigan Department of Transportation to task. The report examines a warranty program to hold construction companies responsible for the quality of the roads they build. It says the state doesn’t follow up often enough with contractors to ensure problems are fixed. Continue reading
The state Auditor General says a program to launch local commuter rail programs has wasted many millions of dollars. The audit found the Michigan Department of Transportation missed out on applying for federal mass transit funds that could have defrayed the state’s costs, and failed to ensure all railway crossings are safe. Specifically to task for spending nearly 10 million dollars to refurbish rail cars that are sitting idle. Continue reading
An exploratory project is being launched to bring back passenger train service to a rail line that still exists through central and northern Michigan.
The rising cost of salt could be a budget-buster for road agencies this coming winter.
“It’s a simple supply-and-demand situation, obviously, and we went through a ton of salt, all agencies across the state and the upper Midwest because of last year’s winter,” says Jeff Cranson of the Michigan Department of Transportation. “And we anticipate this year, we’re going to have another pretty rough winter and, now, we know going into it that salt prices are going to be up.”
Cranson says the cost of salt is about 50 percent more than last year. Cranson says the state and local road agencies used 656 thousand tons of salt last winter. The same amount would cost about $40 million today.
He says history suggests it could be years before the cost of road salt goes down. He says it’s one more reason the state needs to come up with more road revenue.
Governor Rick Snyder is pressing the Legislature to approve a package to raise more than a billion dollars for roads.
Two state House panels have adopted what could be the first part of a comprehensive plan to pay for road repairs. The plan would generate most of the money by re-directing sales and use taxes collected at the pump to transportation. Continue reading
If your car has been damaged by a pothole this wintry season there may be something you can do about it.
Winter Michigan highway courtesy of Michigan Department of Transportation. [/caption]Michigan Department of Transportation has found a new way to get feedback on conditions of northern Michigan roads in the winter.