Senate approves funding to overhaul state’s failing bridges

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate on Thursday approved MI Safe Drive, a plan that would dedicate $1.3 billion in federal funding to fix local bridges in severe condition throughout the state, including at least 19 in the 25th Senate District, said Senate Majority Floor Leader Dan Lauwers.

“The MI Safe Drive plan is a great way to fix a significant number of failing bridges throughout Michigan, and in the Thumb region, without sticking residents with the bill,” said Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “With the 25th District — Huron, Sanilac, St. Clair and (part of) Macomb counties — having the greatest number of bridges within the state, there is no doubt that bridges are the costliest transportation-related asset for local governments. Given the high cost and the sheer number of bridges in need of fixing, the funding we approved today will ease those cost burdens and repair or replace bad bridges sooner to help keep our families safer on the road. I encourage my colleagues in the House of Representatives to approve the plan as soon as possible.”

Senate Bill 529 would use $1.3 billion in federal recovery funds to fix bridges across the state in severe condition. Of the nearly 12,000 bridges in Michigan, 7,038 are managed by local municipalities and over 400 of them are in critical need of repairs. SB 529 would fund repairs for bridges in severe condition.

The bill also includes over $195 million to cover local road agency revenue losses and $126 million in federal money to improve safety at several intersections between railways and roadways.

SB 529 now goes to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

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