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 Board of Education could join the effort to pass a May ballot proposal to boost road funding.
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.
Gov. 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
Governor Rick Snyder and legislative leaders are trying to convince state lawmakers to adopt a plan to raise one-point-three billion dollars for roads, and then put the question on the ballot in May.
The state Legislature is entering the final hours of its two-year session without having reached a deal to boost road funding.
A recent air quality emissions test could be the green light road contractors need to start turning tires into roads.
According to the Michigan Department Of Transportation, Michigan has more than 120,000 miles of paved roads. Continue reading
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.
By Jake Neher
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.
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.
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.
Negotiations between Republicans and Democrats at the state Capitol over road funding may have resurrected the controversy over Michigan’s right-to-work law.
Gov. Rick Snyder wants a road funding solution on his desk by the end of this week.
The Michigan Senate could vote this week on bills that would increase state funding for roads by $1.3-1.4 billion a year. That’s almost triple the amount recently approved by the state House.
The state House has approved a transportation funding package that would ensure about 450 million dollars a year is spent on to road repairs and maintenance.
State transportation officials are giving Michigan motorists a “reality check”. Continue reading
A plan to boost state road spending by about half-a-billion dollars a year is taking shape. State lawmakers introduced four bills Thursday that are now part of the package.
While the winter brings holiday cheer, the weather creates treacherous conditions for drivers on the road.