The proposed $4 billion reconstruction and widening of I-94 and I-75 in metro Detroit would be the largest highway expenditures in the history of the state. As MDOT states: “These mega-projects are bigger than anything we’ve done before.” But is highway expansion the best use of southeast Michigan’s limited transportation funds?
Recent studies have shown traffic growth will be limited and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) continues to decrease. The highway expansions would also displace residents and disrupt economic growth in some of the region’s most vulnerable areas.
Meanwhile, roads across the state are crumbling, and 1 in 10 bridges is classified as “structurally deficient.” Trans4M believes that the hundreds of millions of dollars currently allocated for highway expansion is an inefficient use of taxpayer dollars. Rather, these funds are best used for repairing and reconstruction existing infrastructure, not for building wider roads that we don’t need.
- Ensure that any new state road revenues are used to repair existing road capacity, not expand highways.
- Support a Merit Based Transportation Investment Policy requiring state highway spending to serve Michigan’s economic goals.
The coalition advocated for this issue at their 2013 Advocacy Day: Performance Measures for Transportation Funding.