Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — After reopening the state’s economy and restoring jobs following COVID-19, Michigan voters rank fixing roads and other infrastructure as their top concern and the most important issue facing the state, a new EPIC-MRA poll found.
In the survey of 600 voters conducted May 30 to June 3, not a single respondent — 0 percent — rated Michigan’s roads and bridges in excellent condition.
And while correcting the economic and jobs impacts of COVID-19 is the top concern of Michigan voters, fixing the roads and other infrastructure ranked even higher than “protecting public health by reducing virus cases and death.”
“Obviously, addressing the economic impact of COVID-19 is the most important issue right now, but fixing roads and other infrastructure is still very much on the radar screen of Michigan voters,” said EPICMRA’s Bernie Porn. “Now that we are moving toward the new normal, more people are out and about again, and we can’t help but notice that the roads haven’t fixed themselves in the past three months of the state shutdown.”
Here are some of the key infrastructure-related findings of the survey, which was conducted for media outlets and a variety of other organizations that “piggy-backed” questions onto the questionnaire, including the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (MITA):
The top issue of concern to Michigan voters at 36% was “reopening the state’s economy and restoring jobs lost because of the coronavirus. o At 19% — second highest – was “fixing and improving Michigan’s infrastructure, including roads, bridges, dams, drinking water, and wastewater treatment systems.” o Third at 12% was “protecting public health by reducing coronavirus cases and deaths.” o Only 2% of respondents said “keeping state and local taxes low” was the top issue facing the state.
- 0% rated Michigan roads and bridges in “excellent” condition
- By comparison, 89% rated Michigan’s roads and bridges in “poor” or “just fair” condition.
- Voters want the Legislature and Governor to fix all aspects of Michigan’s aging and crumbling infrastructure: 63% said it’s “most important” to fix and improve “all aspects of state infrastructure,” including roads, bridges, community drinking waters systems, wastewater and stormwater systems.
- 77% said improving and fixing all infrastructure systems should be a “top priority” or a “very important but not top priority” of the state.
- 80% said that once COVID-19 is behind us, it should be a “top priority” or “very important” for the Governor and Legislature to come up with a long-term plan to raise the $2.5 billion a year needed to fix and improve roads, bridges and other infrastructure.