(12/19/13) - Your drive through Michigan may soon be a little smoother.
Thursday, lawmakers across Michigan revealed a list of more than 100 roads that will soon get improvements, thanks to a $115 million Roads and Risks Reserve Fund.
One of announcements was made in Saginaw County.
All of the projects will be started by next year thanks to the additional funding given to the Michigan Department of Transportation.
These are projects that were already on MDOT's list for the 2015-2016 year, but the extra money will make sure the roads on the special list become a priority and are completed by 2014.
Improvements include bridge repairs, upgrades and road resurfacing.
The $115 million will be shared across the state. Locally, Genesee, Saginaw, Bay, Midland, Gratiot, Lapeer, Arenac and Isabella counties will get money from the fund.
Lawmakers say they were able to come up with these dollars without increasing taxes, by making sound budget decisions over the last three years.
"We had to tighten our belts in some areas, we've had to cut spending in some areas that we felt were less important than roads, and additionally we have had some more sales tax money coming in and more income tax money coming in because we are seeing more and more people employed," said Kevin Daley, (R) 82nd District. "We've done a good job managing our money, now we have the money we can spend for these types of projects."
Lawmakers and MDOT say the fight to fix the state's roads is far from over, but this announcement is a positive step forward.
"We we're able to tighten our belts in other areas to increase road funding and also our economy is improving, so we have some more funding coming in, so I think this is the beginning of some projects that are really going to help," said Rep. Joel Johnson, (R) 97th District.
"This is a big deal. It's a shot in the arm for us. We do appreciate the additional funding, but it doesn't affect the $1.5 billion need for additional funding, it allows us to work on those extra projects, make them a priority and get going," said Robert Ranck, of MDOT.
The projects are expected to have positive ripple effects on the economy.
"It's going to create jobs just by building the roads, but it's also going to help people get back and forth to work. It's going to improve commerce," Johnson said.
For the full list of projects, click HERE.
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