Lane Expansion and Federal Funds

While the above funding increases would allow for improvements to the existing road system, they will not generate sufficient money to allow for lane expansion on critical corridors in southeast Michigan, such as I-75, I-94 and U.S. 23, or for critical roads in western Michigan. The state should aggressively pursue federal permission to build new automated congestion-priced toll lanes on key corridors. These new lanes on existing roadways would allow drivers with transponders to use the new roadway and pay a price per mile that would vary with the amount of traffic. The lanes could be publicly or privately owned, although public ownership is more likely given that the existing lanes are public and could not be sold under current guidelines without paying back the federal government for its initial investment in the roads. These kinds of “express” or “hot” lanes are already operating in several cities, including Minneapolis and San Diego.