MDOT Director To Lawmakers: “How Many People Should Die” Before roads Are Fixed?

Jan 21, 2014

Michigan’s top transportation official is criticizing state lawmakers for delaying a long-term fix for road funding.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, the director of the Michigan Department of Transportation says the Legislature is putting drivers’ lives at risk.

Lawmakers say Michigan voters are not ready to accept a tax or fee increase to boost road funding by more than a billion dollars a year. Some say the roads may have to get worse before they can get better.

MDOT Director Kirk Steudle rejects that attitude.

“Are they suggesting that a bridge fall down?” he asks.  “Did they suggest how many people should die?”

Steudle and interest groups supporting increased road funding unveiled a report that suggests bad roads are costing Michigan drivers billions of dollars each year. That includes money for vehicle repairs, lost time stuck in traffic, and medical bills.