Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel explains how a new digital tool that tracks road conditions in Macomb County works during a May 22 announcement in Mount Clemens.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel explains how a new digital tool that tracks road conditions in Macomb County works during a May 22 announcement in Mount Clemens.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Macomb County introduces tracking tool for road conditions

$2.3 billion needed to fix county roads, bridges

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published May 28, 2019

 Macomb County officials estimate that more than $2.3 billion in funding is needed to fix all 1,278 lane miles of poor roadway and 39 deficient bridges under the county’s jurisdiction.

Macomb County officials estimate that more than $2.3 billion in funding is needed to fix all 1,278 lane miles of poor roadway and 39 deficient bridges under the county’s jurisdiction.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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MACOMB COUNTY — Most people know how bad Michigan roads are.

One step Macomb County leaders are taking to further address the problem is with a new digital tool.

A road funding map was unveiled May 22 at Macomb County Communications & Technology Center, or COMTEC, in Mount Clemens.

The new interactive mapping tool tracks road conditions and associated costs to repair the 1,773 miles under the jurisdiction of the Macomb County Department of Roads, or MCDR. It also provides current information for taxpayers and legislators.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said that more than $2.3 billion in funding is needed to fix all 1,278 lane miles of poor roadway and 39 deficient bridges under the county’s jurisdiction.

MCDR is responsible for maintenance and upkeep of 1,773 of the 4,066 miles of roadway in Macomb County.

To view the road conditions and costs map, visit macombgov.org.

There, folks can view roads by jurisdiction, poor roads and bridges, community analysis, road revenues, road expenditures, and more.

The county used two engineering firms — Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick and HNTB — to obtain data and decide how to update all the information.

The tool identifies which roads have been rated as being in poor condition requiring complete reconstruction and the associated costs for each.

“We’re the only county that has done this asset management plan to this extent and made it available to the public,” Hackel said.

Using Pavement Surface Evaluation Ratings, or PASER, data and engineered estimates, it was determined that 20% of primary and local roads are in good condition, 22% are in fair condition and 58% are in poor condition.

“Now that we have this complete set of data, we stand ready to tackle the road repairs in Macomb County,” Macomb County Department of Roads Director  Bryan Santo said. “But as we’ve stated before, obtaining the necessary funding is a top priority. It’s the first step in any improvement project and we are looking for a solution that works.”

The cost to fix poor roads in Macomb County is estimated at $2.3 billion, with $976 million needed for major roads, $78 million needed for bridges and $1.24 billion needed for subdivision roads.

In 2019, Macomb County will receive $70 million from the state in Michigan Transportation Funds, or MTF, for road repair and reconstruction.

“That doesn’t get us much,” Hackel said. “All that doesn’t go into fixing the roads. That’s the number that needs to increase. The funding we get doesn’t even come close to solving the problem.”

A change analysis from 2015-16 to 2017-18 shows that 18% of poorly rated primary and local roads and bridges that Macomb County maintains were in a degraded condition; 67%, or 370.8 miles, were no change; and 15% were improved condition.

“We’re not getting to a point where the roads are in better condition,” Hackel said.

The “Community Analysis” map shows the estimated reconstruction costs for all poorly rated roads and bridges that Macomb County maintains. Residents may click on a community on the map to see the total amount of poorly rated roads and bridges in that community, along with the estimated reconstruction costs and the amount of state funding from the MTF.

Now that the figures are publically available, Hackel hopes to pressure the Michigan Legislature into action.

“What more do they need to hear and why aren’t they solving the problem?” he said.

Hackel added it’s the legislature’s responsibility to fund the roads.

“If we get the funding, we’ll fix the roads. There isn’t a road or bridge you can’t fix if you have the funding,” he said.

To learn more about MCDR initiatives, visit roads.macombgov.org/Roads-Home.

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