Potholes on Mound Road

(Photo: WWJ/Sandra McNeill)

Mark Hackel: Current Road Repair Plans Are 'Not Going To Get Us Anywhere'

The road repair debate rages

July 18, 2019 - 3:04 pm

(WWJ) As another sinkhole opened up in Macomb County due to poor infrastructure maintenance, County Executive Mark Hackel announced a new plan.

A lemonade stand.

Hackel joked that's the best option on the table as legislators wrestle with solutions for fixing Michigan's oft-lamented roads.

"The only thing new are a couple of solutions that I've heard that are coming from the state that are just problematic for me," Hackel told WWJ's Sandra McNeill. "I mean this whole idea, this ploy about teacher pensions, talking about selling bridges, that's not going to get us anywhere."

Macomb County Commissioner Dan Brown said the problem is that too many of metro Detroit gas pump tax dollars are going to repair roads Up North.

"We have enough money in the system right now to repair our roads. We don't need new taxes, what we need is to reallocate the money that we're already being taxed in road funding to direct it to where the people are," Brown said.

While the road repair debate rages, repairs will begin Monday to repair Powell Road in Romeo with leftover county road paving funds.

No comprehensive plan is in place since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proposed a 45 cent per gallon gas tax hike to cover the expense of massive road repairs, and Republicans balked, countering with a bevy of their own proposals.

Some plans call for cutting into school aid  money, public university funds, earmarks for local communities, or teacher pension funds to pay for roads. Whitmer and other Dems have said many of those are non-starters.

About $2.5 billion is required to get the roads back in passable shape, experts say.