Sen. Johnson votes for $1.3B in bridge repair funding

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Ruth Johnson on Thursday voted to invest $1.3 billion in one-time federal recovery funding to repair Michigan bridges listed in severe condition — including over 30 bridges in Oakland and Genesee counties.

“As Michigan families drive to work or out to a local restaurant, they shouldn’t have to worry about the safety of their roads and bridges,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “This infrastructure funding would invest $1.3 billion in federal resources in fixing hundreds of the worst-rated bridges in our state.”

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.

“It’s a smart use of this one-time federal funding because these will be long-term improvements,” Johnson said. “The funds would help Michigan communities improve their roadways, which will both boost safety and support local workers.”

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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