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      Roadways deteriorating

      You pay to have our roadways. You also pay to use the car you are using on those roadways, as well as the gas to get from point A to point B. Spencer Nebel with the Transportation Asset Management Council says the current conditions of our roads in Michigan are rapidly deteriorating.

      "The big freeze/thaw cycle that we have in Michigan are really disruptive to road systems. It's a little more expensive to maintain roads with the temperature difference we have in the U.P.," said Nebel.

      The problem they are facing is the lack of money needed to be able to repair the conditions.

      Officials say in 2003, the Michigan Department of Transportation's budget was $1.3 billion, but that's drastically decreased to $700 million. In order to make the repairs and construction necessary, they need $1.5 billion.

      "We're running into a financial problem because of the stagnant gas tax, and so with that problem out there, we have got to do the best we can with what we have," explained Senator Casperson.

      So, several roadway agencies are discussing some efficient, but affordable methods to fix bridges, cracks, and potholes on the roads.

      Randy Van Portfliet, Superior Region Engineer, says some options include using thin overlays on cracks and recycling the current pavement by regrinding it instead of resurfacing roads.

      "The crowning. The road, with how the shape of the road is to get the water off of it. You keep it steep enough that the water gets off...that's huge," said Van Portfliet.

      Officials say they are looking at other options to increase funding.