TRAVERSE CITY — Customers filtering in to J&J Auto Parts often carry in a complaint along with their car trouble: The terrible condition of nearby Kidder Road.
“It’s pretty rough,” said Carolyn Barnett, J&J Auto Parts co-owner. “They’ve done a couple of patches on it, on the real bad parts, but they’re not going to last.”
Kidder Road from M-66 to Finkton is in need of reconstruction, according to the Antrim County Road Commission’s annual report.
It’s one of many projects identified as important by the road commission. It will cost nearly $50 million to bring all of Antrim County’s roads to good condition, the report states.
Nearly half of the county’s federally supported primary roads — 178 miles of the 210 total miles — are in poor condition.
Securing enough funds to complete all those projects is “about as good of a chance as me winning the lotto,” Antrim County Road Commissioner Glenn Paradis said.
Most of the road commission’s funding comes from the Michigan Transportation Fund, which contributed $3.7 million toward the agency’s nearly $6.5 million pot of revenue in 2016. Other hefty contributions come from townships, whose support represents 14 percent of overall revenue, MDOT contracts and federal aid.
Townships contribute to road commission projects in their jurisdictions, Paradis said. Some, such as those with high-value lakeside properties, have more funds to put toward road work than others.
But every township has its fair share of tough travel.
“There’s bad roads everywhere,” he said. “We do as much as we can with what we’ve got.”
Increased gasoline and diesel taxes and vehicle registration fees will increase road commission funding by $600 million statewide, the report states. More general fund money is slated to be put toward road work starting this…