Tag Archives: roads

House committee begins road funding hearings

A special state House committee has begun deliberations on how to find more than $1 billion for roads and transportation. That’s after voters overwhelmingly said “no” to the Legislature’s last plan on the May ballot.

House Republican leaders say they want a solution in hand in less than a month. They say the plan is to search for savings and efficiencies before tackling the tougher questions about raising revenue. Continue reading

Snyder, lawmakers sort through Proposal 1 wreckage

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Voters said no Tuesday to Proposal One by a margin of almost four-to-one. But, as unhappy as people were with the ballot question, they’re still unhappy with the state of Michigan’s roads. So Governor Rick Snyder and lawmakers say they’ll go back to work on finding money for roads – and they will heed the lessons of Proposal One. Continue reading

Audit slams MDOT over road warranties

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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

Experts urge safe driving with extreme cold temperatures

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It isn’t only snow and ice that can pose risks to Michigan drivers during the winter, but also brutally cold temperatures. When temperatures dip below zero as they have in recent days, Nick Jarmusz, director of public affairs with AAA, said drivers should never hit the road with a tank that’s close to empty.

“Keep at least a half-tank of gas in your car at all times during cold weather to avoid engine freeze-up,” Jarmusz said. “That way, if you do get stranded, you have enough gas to periodically run the engine to keep the car warmed up.”

In addition, Jarmusz said it’s best to check your vehicle’s battery before a cold spell. Faulty batteries cause more car-starting problems than any other factor. He said, at zero degrees, even a good battery has about 35 percent less starting power.

If a car is to break down, state courtesy vans and police are often on the lookout for stranded drivers. If your car freezes up or breaks down, or if you get in a wreck, Jarmusz strongly recommends staying with your vehicle.

“If you start venturing away from your car, the elements are going to be a bigger danger to you than if you were to stay and wait,” he said. “If you’re on a road you can either flag down help or wait for an emergency vehicle. If you have your cell phone, you can call for help.”

Perhaps most importantly, Jarmusz said, is to take precautions before even beginning a drive. When roads are slippery, he said, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive can help a great deal to get a vehicle going – but once it’s at cruising speed, they do nothing to help you slow down or stop. Also, he said “no” to cruise control on snowy or slippery roads.

“It maintains a specific speed, and if you begin to slide, the vehicle is going to want to keep the wheels spinning at the same rate, in order to maintain the same speed,” says Jarmusz. “What it’s going to do is contribute to loss of control, and if you run into a less-traction situation, the wheels are going to keep spinning.”

If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, he said applying constant, firm pressure is best to bring the vehicle to a controlled stop under slippery conditions.

Snyder to sign part of road funding proposal Monday as opposition organizes

Snyder1Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to start signing bills Monday as part of a package to boost state road funding. The legislation is contingent on a May ballot question that would raise Michigan’s sales tax from six percent to seven percent. Continue reading

Snyder says workforce, roads – but not tax cuts — will be focus of second term

Bob Fluke of Lansing brought a gay pride flag to the inauguration. He wants the governor and lawmakers to make the issue a priority.

Bob Fluke of Lansing brought a gay pride flag to the inauguration. He wants the governor and lawmakers to make the issue a priority.

Governor Rick Snyder delivers his second inaugural address from the steps of the state Capitol

Governor Rick Snyder delivers his second inaugural address from the steps of the state Capitol

Governor Rick Snyder has begun his second term as Michigan’s 48th governor. He took the oath of office in a ceremony on the steps of the state Capitol in the freezing cold.
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Libertarian thinktank ranks Michigan 32 in highways


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Despite all of the construction Michigan drivers seem to encounter during the warmer months, the state has a mediocre highway system – this according to a national, libertarian thinktank organization.

A new report by the Reason Foundation ranks Michigan 32 in highway performance and cost-effectiveness.
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Roads, pot, civil rights on agenda as state lawmakers return from summer break

By Jake Neher

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The state Legislature returns Tuesday after a two month summer break.

Republican leaders still have some big priorities to accomplish before the end of the year. None are bigger than finding a way to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads.

But it looks like that and other major bills will have to wait until the Legislature’s “lame duck” session in December. Top lawmakers say they do notexpect many major votes between now and the November election.

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Lawmakers looking for new road funding ideas

DSC07421State lawmakers are hitting the reset button on talks over how to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads.

A state Senate workgroup met for the first time Thursday to hammer out a solution. Senators and staff involved in the meeting say it consisted of members offering wide ranging ideas for how to address the issue.
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Top state House Dem: Road solution not likely before November election

State House Minority Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills)

State House Minority Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills)

The top Democrat in the state House says a road funding solution will probably have to wait until after the November election.

State House Minority Leader Tim Greimel says too many lawmakers are not willing to make the tough vote until they’re past their reelection bids. That’s because boosting infrastructure spending by more than a billion dollars a year would likely mean raising taxes to pay for it.
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