A Healthy Economy Relies on Good Highways
Maintaining and growing Michigan's economy depends on the preservation, modernization, and efficient operation of its transportation system. MDOT maintains jurisdiction over trunkline pavements which include all I, M, and US routes. The trunkline system is 9,668 route miles (34,025 lane miles) and carries 66 percent of commercial truck traffic and 53 percent of all traffic. These roads are important trade routes, business corridors, and key to Michigan's economic development policy. In 2016, there were 4 billion commercial annual vehicle miles traveled (CAVMT) on trunkline roads. In 2014, 309 million tons in freight valued at $630 billion was moved on Michigan's highways by commercial truck. Two-thirds of Michigan goods sold are transported on Michigan's highways.
Michigan's border crossings are vital links for international commerce. The Ambassador Bridge in Detroit is the busiest commercial border crossing in the nation, with almost 2.5 million trucks crossing in 2014. The Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron is the second-busiest on the northern border, with nearly 1.6 million trucks. Supported by Michigan highways, 39 percent of U.S./Canada trade valued at $211.9 billion was transported through a Michigan border crossing in 2016.
Businesses place a high priority on a safe and high quality integrated transportation system for their customers, employees, and the movement of raw materials and finished goods. Today's families are highly mobile and depend on a safe, reliable and effective transportation system. Quality of life considerations when determining where to live and work include transportation considerations for getting to and from work and school, conducting business, and participating in recreational and entertainment activities. In Michigan, 90 percent of all jobs are on roads that support business and industry, often referred to as commercial corridors. In addition, 80 percent of Michigan visitors and tourists travel by car and spend $18 billion each year.
Lastly, the transportation program has positive economic influence for Michigan communities. The FY 2018-2022 Highway and Bridge Program will support an estimated 104,000 jobs over the 5-year program, or an average of 20,780 jobs annually. This equates to approximately $6.4 billion in real personal income, and $8.7 billion in gross state product.
Highway Pavement Condition
MDOT uses Remaining Service Life (RSL) data to monitor the performance of pavement on the trunkline system, and to make program development and investment decisions. RSL measures a pavement’s overall condition, and is defined as the estimated remaining time in years until a pavement’s most cost-effective treatment requires either reconstruction or major repair. When pavements reach an RSL of two years or less, they are considered to be “poor” and require more expensive fixes.
MDOT utilizes an asset management approach to maintain overall pavement health, and employs an appropriate mix of fixes to keep the pavement infrastructure in the best condition possible. In 1997, the State Transportation Commission adopted pavement condition goals, with the blended freeway and non-freeway goal established as 90% Good or Fair. To restore and maintain pavement at or above 90% Good or Fair condition will require an additional investment of $1.3 billion per year between 2018 and 2030.
Interesting Road Facts
- 1909: Nation's first mile of concrete highway built by the Wayne County Road Commission (Woodward Avenue between 6 Mile and 7 Mile roads in Detroit).
- 1922: Nation's first practical highway snowplow was built in Munising.
- 1941: Michigan's first four-lane divided expressway, the Detroit Industrial Expressway, ran between Detroit and Willow Run.
- 1955: World's first freeway-to-freeway interchange at I-94 (Edsel Ford) and M-10 (John Lodge) in Detroit, permitting motorists to make turns "simply by moving in the direction they wish to go."
- 1956: Michigan became one of the first state highway departments to use a digital computer to perform highway computer programming work.
- 1960: Nation's first state to complete a border-to-border interstate (I-94 running 205 miles from Detroit to New Buffalo).
- 1993: World's first transportation agency to automate management and processing of construction products from the construction site through contractor payment, saving taxpayers more than $20 million per year. This was accomplished with the innovative Construction Project Record Keeping System which since has become the FieldManager suite of software.
- The longest highway in Michigan is I-75, which runs 395 miles from the Ohio border to the International Bridge in Sault Ste. Marie.
- Eight Michigan highways began as Native American trails, US-2 (from Sault Ste. Marie to Green Bay); I-75 (from Detroit to Saginaw); I-94 (from Detroit to St. Joseph; I-96 (from Detroit to Grand Rapids); I-94 (from Detroit to Port Huron); US-41 (from L'Anse to Marquette); and US-12 (from Ypsilanti to Chicago).