LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Aric Nesbitt on Wednesday joined several Senate Republicans in introducing legislation that would fund repairs for every severe bridge in the state.
“Improving Michigan’s neglected roads and bridges has remained a top priority in recent years,” said Nesbitt, R-Lawton. “This funding would build on other legislative road funding initiatives by using federal funds to prioritize bridge projects across Michigan — and do so without raising taxes on Michigan workers.”
Senate Bill 529, which Nesbitt co-sponsored, would utilize $1.5 billion in one-time federal money to fund a statewide bridge repair initiative.
Of the nearly 12,000 bridges in Michigan, 7,038 are managed by local municipalities. Of that number, roughly 400 are in critical need of repairs. This legislation would fund repairs for all of the bridges in severe condition.
“Not only will this improve the safety of numerous bridges across the state, covering the costs of these bridge repairs will also help local governments by freeing up funding for additional road projects in their communities.”
The bill also includes an additional $126 million in federal money to improve safety at several intersections between railways and roadways.
Michigan has over 4,000 rail crossings with public highways within the state and was recently ranked the 15th worst in the nation for the total number of collisions, injuries, and fatalities at highway-rail crossings. These projects would help reduce accidents between trains and passenger vehicles but would also reduce congestion and allow first responders to get to emergencies faster.
“This is another major step forward for our state,” Nesbitt said. “We’ve approved funding for countless construction projects and even pushed up funding to make additional repairs sooner than originally expected. We need to keep moving in this direction and making improvements that benefit every Michigander and continue doing so without raising taxes or putting Michigan families in debt.”
SB 529 was referred to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.