Millions Needed To Fix Michigan Roads Damaged By Great Lakes High Water

Feb 11, 2020

In this Jan. 14, 2020, photo, washed up debris accumulates on the beach in Fennville, Mich. High water is wreaking havoc across the Great Lakes, which are bursting at the seams less than a decade after bottoming out. The sharp turnabout is fueled by the region's wettest period in more than a century that scientists say is likely connected to the warming climate. No relief is in sight, as forecasters expect the lakes to remain high well into 2020 and perhaps longer.
Credit AP Photo/John Flesher

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Road damage from the overflowing Great Lakes and other waterways may carry a whopping price tag for Michigan. Brad Wieferich of the state Department of Transportation said Monday about 40 locations have been hit especially hard.

He says initial estimates suggest about $5 million will be needed for immediate fixes. But the costs of long-term repairs and upgrades could reach $100 million. Erosion and flooding are posing challenges across much of the Great Lakes region.

The lakes are setting record high levels during one of the wettest periods on record. Director Liesl Clark of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy says inland lakes and streams are full as well, and the ground is saturated. Forecasters say no relief is on the horizon.