Freeze-thaw cycles happen when moisture enters tiny cracks in the pavement and then freezes. As the moisture freezes, it expands and further opens the cracks. As this process continues, eventually a pothole forms. This process is further explained in the graphic below:
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As shown in the table below, 258 miles of our network of 414 miles are rated Poor or worse!
As shown on the graphic below, the average rating of the entire street system has been declining for years and currently sits at 4.14.
A system-wide rating of 7 is considered desirable.
As the pavement continues to age and deteriorate, additional preservation treatments can be implemented such as micro-surfacing, chip seals, thin overlays, milling, repaving and then ultimately reconstructing. These treatments, when applied in a timely manner, can greatly extend the life of a pavement.
As shown below, preservation treatments applied in a timely fashion can more than double the life expectancy of pavement.
In order to address the current condition of the system, annual funding needs to be over $25 million.
The actual funding for street repair needs has averaged less than $4 million per year as shown on the following graph.
As the underfunding of our streets continues, the cost to fix our street network continues to increase rapidly; growing from $100M in 2006 to $211M in 2016.
Act 51 provides funding through a gas and weight tax, which gets paid at the pump. Lansing currently received approximately $11.9 million per year; most of this is used for snow plowing, potholing, mowing, routine maintenance, etc. Of the $11.9 million, only $2.4 million is used for street repairs. The Federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) provides between $1 to $1.5 million for rehabilitating major streets. The General fund is the annual amount assigned from the City's tax revenues; when the economy was poor, there was no money allocated. There is no general fund allocation in FY18. The public safety and infrastructure millage generates approximately $1.95 million per year for operational and maintenance costs including approximately $300,000 for paving local streets. All of this adds up to approximately $4.2 million annual funding.
Act 51 primarily funds maintenance and a small amount of capital improvements. Historically, the City has had regular outside sources of funding for the street system for capital improvements. Because $25 million is needed and only $4.2 million is provided, there is a $20.8 million shortfall. In order to fix this, possible solutions include changes at the state level to the gas and weight tax as well as adding an additional special millage.
Try using the pothole hotline (24 hours): (517) 483-4161. Contact your elected officials about supporting increased funding at the state and local levels.
Residents can also make service requests directly to City officials by using Lansing Connect, a mobile and online service request system for the City of Lansing.
Submit a Service Request Online
Download the Lansing Connect Mobile Application