Whitmer barnstorms road fund message; MDOT to begin 30 projects

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Continuing on her Road to Opportunity tour, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stop took her The Arab American Community Luncheon in Dearborn on Monday.

"We have a $2.5-billion-dollar road problem," she said. 

The announcement comes on the same day as The Michigan Department of Transportation started 30 construction projects across southeast Michigan on Monday.

One of the major projects is on I-94 in Taylor into Romulus between Telegraph and I-275.

"We'll be working nights and weekends to rebuild the shoulders," said Diane Cross, spokesperson for MDOT. "That will leave only two lanes open.

"And then in August we will make that around the clock with only two lanes open all the time, and that's when we are really expecting we will see delays for drivers in the morning and afternoon rush. That will affect anyone going to the airport.

While Whitmer focuses on efforts to fix roads and bridges in Michigan, GOP state legislators rejected the governor's proposed .45 a gallon gas tax increase to raise the money needed.

"You go from one Pure Michigan destination to the next, and the roads are crumbling beneath the car," Whitmer said.

Whitmer had strong words for the state legislature for going on break without having a deal in place for tax revenue to fix the state's roads.

"The legislature is on vacation they need to get back to work," she said. 

MDOT officials say they can't comment on funding issues involving the state...but they can use the money to improve the state's roads and bridges.

"We definitely need it," Cross said. "As soon as we get it we will use it."

As construction work continues, MDOT officials want motorists to do everything possible to keep crews safe.