LANSING - Michigan's inability to raise enough money to match federal transportation dollars forced the state's Transportation Commission Thursday to delay hundreds of road and bridge projects scheduled for the next five years.
The state stands to go from spending roughly $1.4 billion on roads this year with the help of federal stimulus money to around $600 million three out of the next four years if it fails to raise enough of its own money to qualify for more federal funds.
That means it no longer will be able to afford hundreds of road and bridge construction projects it had included in its 2010-2014 five-year plan. One-third of Michigan roads were in poor condition in 2008, based on the Michigan Asset Management Council Annual Report of Roads and Bridges.
Denise Jackson, the Michigan Department of Transportation's statewide planning administrator, said the delayed projects will mean thousands of lost jobs in Michigan and fewer chances to fix Michigan's crumbling roads and bridges. Bus and train travel could be affected, and there will be less money to make rail crossings safer and for airport improvements.
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