LANSING (AP) -- Michigan needs to double its spending on roads and bridges or many will keep deteriorating and become unsafe, says a report to a task force studying how to pay for transportation projects without raising the state's gasoline tax.
The report to be issued Monday and obtained by The Associated Press estimates $6.1 billion a year is required for basic improvements to Michigan's roads and bridges. That's about twice current spending and a significantly bigger increase than previously suggested by business groups and some lawmakers.
"The status quo essentially guarantees our transportation system will continue to collapse," said Saline Mayor Gretchen Driskell, who chairs the Citizens Advisory Committee on Transportation Funding.
The 19-member panel, which Gov. Jennifer Granholm appointed, spent four months analyzing the financial needs of everything from roads to public transit. The report will be delivered Monday in Traverse City to Granholm's Transportation Funding Task Force, which will recommend alternative ways to pay for the state's transportation system.
Legislation to boost existing sources of revenue -- the 19-cent-a-gallon gas tax and vehicle registration fees -- has received little interest from Granholm or legislators.
The report says Michigan's roads are worse than those in most other states and will become increasingly congested, unplowed, dangerous and riddled with potholes unless more money is invested. Michigan's failure to maintain its roads is leading to a declining qualify of life and reduced economic competitiveness, according to the report.
"Bold action is required now," the advisory committee says in the report.