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Nov. 22, 2022

Potholes, Roads and the Future of a Michigan Rustbelt Town

Potholes, Roads and the Future of a Michigan Rustbelt Town

Potholes and crumbling infrastructure are problems for Michigan rustbelt cities like Flint, Michigan. Roads expert Dr. John Daly talks about fixing the damn roads.


Potholes and crumbling infrastructure are problems for Michigan rustbelt cities like Flint, Michigan. Roads expert Dr. John Daly talks about fixing the damn roads. 

Providing good roads cost money.  In Michigan, the primary source of money for roads is a 7-cent per gallon tax at the gas pump. In Germany, they tax themselves over two bucks a gallon of gas to have a great road. Why is this so difficult for a state that put America on wheels?  

Rustbelt cities face more than just aging infrastructure. Many towns and cities like Flint, Michigan, whose water crisis exposed failing pipelines, also have failing roads, bridges, and storm drain systems. This urban crisis is felt in higher expenses for motorists to repair their cars after dodging potholes. Bad roads and public infrastructure result in lost economic development opportunities.  

Dr. Daly discusses his assessment of Flint's declining infrastructure and the cost of fixing the roads to an acceptable level.   Daly shares his opinion about the viability of the city and its future. 

Picture of John Daly

The wildcard to finding a solution to fixing aging roads and bridges is leadership. In places like Flint, Michigan, there is a screaming need for creative solutions to its hollowed-out city with blocks and blocks of vacant homes. While a vacant house can be torn down, the near-bankrupt municipality must maintain the aging paved roads in front of those houses. Is downsizing or shrinking cities like Flint and Detroit possible? How difficult is that to do?   Get some answers to these questions and others.

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