(WJBK) - The pothole problem so out of control in Macomb County that officials now say more than 800 miles of roadway need total reconstruction.
"We're not talking about heavy maintenance we're talking about reconstruction. Tear them up, put in new roads," Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said.
But that comes at a cost -- an estimated $1.2 billion. That kind of money has not been made available from the state.
The state did lay out a plan to help pay for road work over the next few years, but Hackel says we have to start working on roads now. He's working with the local officials to essentially front the money, knowing they'll get paid back from the state over time.
He wants to use the county's delinquent tax revolving fund for half and cities to cover the other half. But he also knows that this is far from a permanent solution.
"We can't continue just throwing good money after bad dealing with patch, filling potholes -- it's not the solution moving forward. Unfortunately, it's the only funding solution that was given to us from the state for many, many years, for decades. We are so far behind in the funding levels available that are necessary to fix our roads to that extent, I don't know how the state is going to come up with funding," he said.
Hackel says with $20 million, they'll be able to do what they call heavy maintenance, which is mill and pave. Mill it, take a look at it and figure out what the structural issues are under it, and pave over it.
He says he stands with tax payers -- where is all that money going from lottery and gas taxes?
"People are sick and tired of paying for a lottery ticket, not really knowing where that money is going," Hackel said.
He says he's hoping this governor or the next will step in and say first and foremost, we have to fix the tax structure so the public truly understands where their pennies, nickels and dimes are going.