DETROIT— Within the next 10 years, Wayne County needs to invest more than $3 billion for 90 percent of the infrastructure to be brought to better conditions.
Wayne County public roads and bridges comprise the largest and oldest local public infrastructure system in the state of Michigan, impacting one of the most significant economic regions in the country.
According to a new report, the county’s first-ever 10-year Asset Management Plan, more than half of the county’s roads were found to be in poor conditions. Released on Tuesday, this management plan will help develop and implement a plan for roads and bridges.
An ever-growing percentage of road and bridges are in poor to critical condition, and the root cause of these conditions is decades of underinvestment. By 2029, the goal is to have 90 percent of roads and bridges in good condition.
Among public roads and bridges, the report found that 58 percent of Wayne County roads are in poor condition, 34 percent in fair condition and only eight percent in good condition. The road inventory covered a total of 897 miles of federal aid roads and non-federal aid, non-subdivision roads. It did not include the 773 miles of local subdivision roads.
Even so, without any additional investment, roads and bridges will deteriorate, according to the report. Investments will take as much as an additional $300 million annually to reach the 90 percent goals.
The report also found that 31 percent of bridges in the National Bridges Inventory federal guidelines are in poor condition, needing $70 million to address priority bridge structures, including the Miller/Rotunda Road and Grosse Ile Parkway bridges.
As a core strategy of the 10-year Asset Management Plan is preventative maintenance of good roads and bridges. Developing an asset management plan help get more money through preventative maintenance.
The next step is to develop fixes, looking at funding options and preservation strategies. Preventive maintenance, which keeps roads in good condition longer and is less expensive than rehabilitation or reconstruction, is key.
According to the report, the county has 310 structures, 231 of which are inspected and maintained as part of the National Bridge Inventory. Of the 231, 69 percent are in good or fair condition, 20 percent are in poor condition and 11 percent in serious or critical condition.
The report also found that the county has 11 “big” bridges with replacement values exceeding $10 million.
Wayne County’s 10-year plan is expected to be ready in November. It will be updated and revised as new information becomes available.
For more information or to access the full report, visit https://www.waynecounty.com/elected/executive/price-to-fix-wayne-county-roads-and-bridges-3-billion.aspx