Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Road and Bridge Programs

$1,118,733,000[210]

All from Special Revenue Funds

Program Description:

This division is responsible for the construction and maintenance of Michigan's 117,659 mile highway system.[211]

Recommended Action:

The state should immediately implement fundamental structural changes to this division.  Indeed, as Dr. John C. Taylor of the Wayne State University School of Business has suggested in a Mackinac Center for Public Policy report:

[T]he Governor should form a Michigan Commission on Highway Infrastructure Reform to study and report on ways to reinvent the roadbuilding and maintenance system.  Just as with welfare reform, we need to re-examine the entire system, and consider fundamental changes.  Possible changes that a commission should consider include reforms in the organization and the operations of state, county and city road operations, and the interface between these entities.  The role of county road commissions as independent entities should be specifically considered.

[T]he proposed commission should also investigate the way other states operate at the local level, the productivity of existing operations relative to other states, the potential for savings, and possible state incentives to eliminate duplication and improve productivity and efficiency.  The commission should also examine opportunities to eliminate duplication between state and county operations and potential savings from consolidations or increased contracting relationships, and the potential to increase the privatization of state, county and city highway operations.

Aggressive reforms in the organizational structure and methods of securing highway infrastructure and repair could generate substantial savings . . . a reinvention of how government and the private sector function in the roadbuilding and maintenance business can save at a bare minimum 10% of the current maintenance costs.[212]

Thus, if Taylor's estimates are correct and the state implemented such changes, a savings of $111,873,300 could be realized within the next fiscal year, as spending could be reduced from $1,118,733,000 to $1,006,859,700.