LANSING, Mich. — Senate Republicans on Wednesday introduced MI Safe Drive, a budget supplemental that would dedicate $1.5 billion to fix bridges in severe condition throughout the state.
“This is a great opportunity to fix a significant portion of the U.P.’s and state’s ailing bridges with federal funding that won’t stick our local governments or residents with the cost of doing the work,” said Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Waucedah Township. “No one should be in fear of risking their safety travelling over bad bridges and we shouldn’t wait any longer to repair them.”
It is estimated that, across Michigan, about 400, or 6%, of locally managed bridges are considered to be in severe condition. Senate Bill 529 would use $1.5 billion in federal recovery funds to fix them through bundling, where the design and construction of multiple projects around the state are contracted at the same time.
Additionally, the bill would dedicate $126 million in federal funds for a new Local Grade Separation Grant Program to transform railroad crossings so that road traffic would travel either over or under railroads. To be eligible for the grant program, local road agencies would be required to provide matching funds of 20% or more.
“I have been hearing from local road commissions about various bridges that have weight limit restrictions and are in need of repairs,” McBroom said. “This funding will help address some of those structural issues.”
SB 529 now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration.