The Washtenaw County Road Commission’s budget was reduced 10 percent this year. Roy Townsend, WCRC director of engineering, says that’s meant less maintenance on county roads and delayed construction projects. And that’s not even Townsend’s biggest headache. What really worries him is the dismal outlook for next year’s state budget. If the state continues funding transportation at the current level, by next year it will be unable to match all eligible federal funding, Townsend explains, and $600 million paid by Michigan drivers in gas taxes will be lost.

Mike Nystrom of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association says that the U.S. House passed a bill in December “which would alleviate the requirement to match in 2011. But so far, there has been no suggestion that the Senate will take it up, and no indication they would pass it if they did.” Townsend says that unless the Senate acts–or the state miraculously finds a new source of matching funds–“the tax revenue we pay will go to other states and not to us.”