Michigan Roads, Auto Sales & Electric Issues

Gary S. Vasilash

The Chrysler Chelsea Proving Grounds, which is about 60 miles west of Detroit, features 4.3 miles of concrete and asphalt that look like this:


Some people who drive on the roads about 60 miles east of Chelsea might think that that looks like their daily drive, which is probably somewhat longer than 4.3 miles.

Michigan roads are somewhat notorious. One theory about why the Detroit Three do so well in developing full-size pickups is because the engineers drive to work on those roads and so want to have something that does a good job of isolating them from the severe jarring.

Why the roads are in the condition that they are in, how they can be improved, why there are no toll roads in Michigan, and simply why the Michigan Department of Transportation needs more money are some of the questions that Kirk T. Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation, answers with candor and good nature.  His interlocutors are the always-inquisitive John McElroy of “Autoline,” Peter DeLorenzo of Autoextremist.com, and your autofieldblogger.

Here’s something that you may not know: The state gas tax in Michigan is 19-cents per gallon. The state gas tax in Texas and Louisiana, places where oil is drilled, is 20-cents per gallon. The state gas tax in Ohio, where there is a good stretch of toll road running east to west, is 28-cents per gallon. Pennsylvania, where the tolls continue? 31.2-cents.

Don’t think Michigan needs more revenue to fix its infrastructure?  Think again.

Even if you don’t live in Michigan, Steudle’s observations on roads and road building are fascinating whether you’re interested in cars or construction.

Of course, it’s not all about crumbling infrastructure on this edition of “Autoline After Hours.” McElroy, DeLorenzo, and Vasilash discuss a variety of subjects from March car sales to why the Cadillac XTS is arguably the quintessential Cadillac, from the seeming fall of Volvo to the re-introduction of Detroit Electric.

You can see it all here: