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Condition of primary roads in Washtenaw County improving, local roads crumbling

Andrew Cluley
89.1 WEMU

When it comes to the quality of the roads in Washtenaw County, there’s good news and bad news. The primary road system is trending in the right direction, while local roads are struggling.

Last week, the Michigan Section of the American Society of Engineersannounced the state’s overall infrastructure grades. Michigan’s roads were given a “D” grade. According to theroad commission, 78% of the primary roads in Washtenaw County are in good or fair condition. That’s up from less than 60% in 2016.

Matthew MacDonell is the director of engineering at the county road commission. He says the quality of the county’s primary roads are trending in the right direction due to a countywide 4-year, half-mill tax that provides $4 million in funding.

“That is very much relative to the bump in funding, so we are using our money wisely and using asset management strategies.”

MacDonell said the local paved roads are a different story. They depend on township and city funding. The last evaluation from 2021 shows just over 30 percent of local roads are in good and fair condition.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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