Robert Slattery Jr., director of information systems and planning for the Genesee County Road Commission, said Michigan roads handle at least two times the weight limit of other states in the nation.
"The roads will continue to get worse and worse until we get adequate funding in transportation," Slattery
opinion, lax weight limit restrictions and environmental factors - sudden warming and freezing during the winter - that Michigan roads face are a recipe for disaster because commuters are beating up roadways while government is underfunding their maintenance.
Roads have been underfunded for at least the last 40 years, Slattery
said, and Michigan has never ranked higher than 40 out of the 50 states for per-capita expenditures on transportation infrastructure.
Currently, Michigan ranks 45.
"We surely have roads that people cannot get around on," Slattery
said about road conditions' potential effects on tourism.
said increasing the gas tax would be the fairest way to fund maintenance in the near future because "people who drive Michigan's roads more should pay more."
As hybrids and electric vehicles become more popular, it may cause the government to think differently about funding roads, Slattery
said, but until then a gas tax increase "is a short-term solution for alleviating the situation."
Higher gas taxes could decrease fuel consumption, he
said, encouraging conservation of resources and forcing manufacturers to develop more alternative fuels and vehicles.
"Gas prices fluctuate so much that a 10- or 20-cent gas tax increase would be almost forgotten overnight," Slattery