Victory votes for $1.3B plan to fix bridges in severe condition

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Roger Victory on Thursday voted to invest $1.3 billion in federal recovery funding to repair Michigan bridges listed in severe condition.

“Our local roads and bridges are critical to our economy and way of life — from helping tourists enjoy our numerous sites and destinations to enabling farmers and manufacturers to get their products to market,” said Victory, R-Hudsonville. “This once-in-a-generation funding can help drastically improve the safety of our bridges for generations to come and ensure our local communities can meet the needs of their local roads. It is also the type of effective investment of taxpayer dollars that the good people of Ottawa County expect and deserve.”

Senate Bill 529 would use $1.3 billion in federal recovery funds to fix bridges across the state in severe condition through bundling, where the design and construction of multiple projects around the state are contracted at the same time. Of the nearly 12,000 bridges in Michigan, 7,038 are managed by local municipalities. Of that number, over 400 are in critical need of repairs.

SB 529 would fund repairs for the 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.

Michigan has over 4,000 rail crossings with public highways within the state, and in 2020, was ranked the 15th worst in the nation for the total number of collisions, injuries and fatalities at highway-rail crossings. The funds would help reduce or in some cases eliminate train-vehicle interactions through grade separation at crossings throughout the state.

SB 529 has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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