Channel 19

Todd Dills

One jarring ride through Detroit

| January 07, 2009

It’s January, which means it’s “>Worst Roads” time for us at Overdrive, and “>Worst Roads” week here at the Channel 19 blog. Our yearly Highway Report Card survey, approaching its second full decade of existence, gives our owner-operator readers the chance to rank states and segments according to their level of washboarding, hobby-horsing, potholes, tolls, you name it. Michigan was back in the top five in the Worst Roads category, and a report from the folks at TRIP, released after our report went to press, largely confirms what you found to be the biggest problem in a state that its own DOT describes as having been in the bottom 20 percent of states in highway funding for more than 40 years.

“>I-94, 75, 96 — they’re always trying to work on them,” said owner-operator Kevin Greene of the extremely rough ride he typically sees around the Detroit area. “They’ll tear your truck apart.”

Michigan’s republican legislators and transportation interests have been clamoring recently, too, to pass legislation enabling public-private partnerships on toll road projects there, but in the current economic environment, many have suggested, that model may not be as palatable to the public as some lawmakers around the country continue to think it is. Get the goods on Michigan and other states in this month’s Overdrive’s digital magazine (click the front-page image and flip to p. 24). For the recent TRIP report, click here.

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  • NightWind

    Truckers perhaps better than most have known for years that the country’s infrastructure is in dismal shape putting it mildly. Last years tragic collapse of the bridge in MN last year emphasized the under staffing of each states respective DOT inspectors. It’s too bad that it took a tragedy of this magnitude to bring the facts to the publics attention. Hopefully President Elect Obama’s plans for creating new jobs by addressing the country’s aging infrastructure will spur each state to utilize the funding (if it passes)needed to correct the safety issues of the highways and bridges.