Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Road Bucks Dished Out
Oakland County got the short end of the stick when the governor unveiled a list of 34 road projects that will cost $150 million and create 2,100 new jobs this spring. Macomb County will get $23 million for 10 overpass bridges along I-696 to keep the concrete from falling on the heads of unsuspecting motorists. Oakland County gets $5.9 million for new freeway signs perhaps to keep local drivers from getting lost? For you "conspiracy theory of history" buffs, you will immediately conclude that Oakland got the shaft because the senate GOP leader resides there. After all why would a democratic governor want to pour money into Sen. Mike Bishop's backyard when there are so many more democrats who could use the boost instead? The question did come up in the governor's news conference, and she and her transportation director say no conspiracy. They reassured everyone there were no political shenanigans. The decision on where the money goes was based on projects that were teed-up for completion M-DOT head Kirk Stuedle explains. None of the $150 mil will go into your favorite pothole however. The governor says these are federal dollars that must go into federal projects, however she announces the state does have $300 million for potholes and when the weather clears, and at this rate it could be around July or August, those holes will be filled. In fact Mr. Stuedle promises within 30 days all of the potholes will get fed some asphalt. Every single one? Yep all of them. But there's a catch. The promise only applies to about 10,000 miles of roads that the state controls. That leaves another 110,000 miles that are not covered by the promise.
In other words, local counties, townships and cities, you're on your own when it comes to pothole patrols.