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Hackel Points Finger At Mich. Legislature: Find Political Courage To Fix Roads

CLINTON TOWNSHIP (WWJ) - Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel is calling out state lawmakers over what he says is their collective lack of political courage to find a permanent funding solution to Michigan's pothole problem.

"Whatever decision they come up with - I will applaud," said Hackel. "If they can come up with an annual, a billion and a half to two billion dollars a year, whatever it is the legislature does, I'll be the first one to say thank you, you've done your job. That was a well done job by our legislature here in the state of Michigan."

Hackel says he thinks many lawmakers are not moving forward on a funding solution out of fear of not getting re-elected.

He tells WWJ that the various road commissions and even MDOT have taken the brunt of the complaints over the conditions of the roads in Michigan counties.

"I'm embarrassed on behalf of the state of Michigan to say that this is the new normal," he said. "We have pothole season - this is unacceptable ... and it has been for a long time. It is the responsibility of the legislature here in Michigan to come up with a funding solution. Plain and simple."

Where the funds would come from is not clear: it could be from an increase in the gas tax, licensing fees or both.

Hackel's comments came in an appearance with over 100 motorcyclists at Wolverine Harley Davidson in Clinton Township to stress the safety risk potholes present to those riding on two wheels.

Meanwhile, The Road Commission for Oakland County has come up with a plan to target potholes.

The plan involves hiring new full-time mechanics and office workers, hiring private companies to help patch and bring in asphalt, and the Road Commission will keep the temporary workers that they had brought on during the winter to help with the hole patching.

Craig Bryson with the Road Commission says they've already started the project and they know where the potholes are:

"We know intimately where the problems are - we know where the potholes are, we know where the roads are breaking up, we know where it needs resurfacing," said Bryson. "We have an entire design division that monitors the condition of every paved road, we have a computerized pavement management system that goes out ... with video equipment every year and tracks the condition of every single paved road that's computerized that data is monitored on a regular basis - and we prioritize our resurfacing projects based on that."

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