Wayne County Has A $3 Billion Road Funding Gap

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We all want the roads in Michigan fixed. But the price? And paying more for it? That’s been a topic of hot debate among politicians and online commenters since Governor Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her plan to raise the gas tax by 45 cents a gallon to raise about $2.5 billion for the roads.

But actually “Fixing the Damn Roads” is harder than a catchphrase. There’s a real problem on the ground, with large populations, high traffic volumes and aging infrastructure. The bill is adding up, and getting bigger the longer we don’t do anything.

So to dive in on a very local level – specifically Wayne County, Michigan’s most populous county – we’re joined by Deputy Wayne County Executive Khalil Rahal and Director of Public Services Beverly Watts.

We talk about previous road funding “fixes,” where technology really is at to fix roads, where Michigan really stands per capita on funding our roads and some of the restraints Michigan law puts on local cities and counties for raising money for their roads. It’s an interesting discussion.

Then, we run down a few quick stories around town.

  • Detroit is the fastest-growing in the nation for walkable places, but still, only 10 percent of the city fits that bill.
  • A Detroit-based Unicorn startup, StockX, has a new round of funding and new CEO.
  • And the old Motorama Motel in Ferndale is going to see new life.

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