Bridges and Dams in Michigan Targeted for Extra Funding
Governor Gretchen Whitmer said not just roads, but bridges and dams will be targeted for extra funding in the 2022 state budget and a new supplemental spending plan for this year.
According to the Lansing State Journal, the governor's plan will include $300 million from the state general fund to repair or replace up to 129 local bridges that are in serious or critical condition.
That's on top of the record $3.6 billion in proposed capital spending on roads in 2021, up from just under $2 billion in 2020. Proposed capital spending on roads for fiscal year 2022 is $3.1 billion.
In Michigan alone, there are 11,145 bridges, which includes bridges maintained by MDOT and by local municipalities. About 11% of all bridges statewide are in poor condition.
Of the bridges that MDOT oversees, nearly 27% are in good condition and 67% are in fair condition. For local bridges, the numbers look better. About 45% are in good condition and 41% are fair. (wzzm13.com)
Governor Whitmer , who campaigned in 2018 on a pledge to fix the damn roads before confronting the deadly coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, said that people should be able to drive the roads without worrying that a busted rim or broken windshield is going to sideline them and take money from things like rent or child care. (LSJ)
Matthew Chynoweth, who is the chief bridge engineer and director of the Bureau of Bridges and Structures for the Michigan Department of Transportation, said we have 59 local agency bridges currently closed due to their deteriorated condition, so those would get priority.
Overall, between $1.2 billion and $1.5 billion is needed to replace or repair 1,000 local agency bridges in serious or critical condition.