The Craig Fahle Show

Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle

Friday, May 30, 2014

Craig speaks with the Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

“It kind of goes back to how we spend and where we spend it,” Steudle tells Craig. At the end of the day, road funding is a contentious and indelible issue for legislators and Michigan residents. “We invest the least amount in roads than any other state on a per capita basis,” Steudle says.

As far as public opinion, Steudle says he tries not to look at any one poll too closely since there are so many. However, he does express frustration with the unrealistic expectations that many people have regarding road repairs.

“When people see an orange barrel they think we fixed that road for 30 years and we’re never coming back,” he says. When a new road is built, it is expected to last for 20 years on average, but it still needs maintenance. Steudle and Craig also discuss the fuel tax in Michigan, and what could happen if other states surrounding Michigan increase their fuel tax.

If the proposed road package goes through, it would take effect January 1st. Steudle says people should expect to see a ramp up of projects. This will mean that everyone will want their project done first and done quickly. Steudle will have to prioritize and address those concerns along with distributing funding to mass transit operations and road maintenance throughout cities and across the state.

--Annamarie Sysling