MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (3/20/2018) - The check is in the mail for Michigan road crews.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation on Tuesday to boost spending on roads and bridges. The $175 million increase is 7 percent above existing spending.
The move comes as frustrated motorists continue to face deteriorating, pothole-ridden roads.
Snyder and lawmakers approved a long-term $1.2 billion transportation funding boost in 2015, through a mix of higher fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees and fund shifts. But the plan is being phased in and the term-limited governor's infrastructure commission has said at least $2.2 billion more is needed annually.
The Saginaw County Road Commission will be receiving more than $1.3 million in additional funding as its share of the $175 million. It will be spent on the following projects:
-- Birch Run Road chip and seal from Sheridan Road to the Birch Run village limits.
-- Center Road at State Street rehabilitation.
-- Ditch Road overlay from East to Sheridan Road (M‐13).
-- King Road chip and seal from Williamson Road to Reese Road.
-- Michigan Avenue and Tittabawassee Road intersection improvements.
-- Miller Road resurfacing from State Road to River Road
-- Shattuck Road resurfacing from Center Road to Wieneke Road.
-- 19.88 miles of crack sealing on various primary roads.
Snyder is urging patience, saying it will take time to smooth the roads after years of disinvestment. He also says Congress should consider raising the federal gas tax and municipalities can explore local road taxes.
State Sen. Jim Ananich, a Democrat from Flint, panned the additional funding as a drop in the bucket compared to what Michigan needs to spend on roads. He pointed out the city of Clio will only receive an extra $17,000.
“Republicans have held the gavel for seven years, but can only come up with a mere Band-Aid for a crisis that happened on their watch," Ananich said. "Not to mention they’re taxing folks more at the pump and on registrations while failing to fix the problem.”
He said Democrats proposed measures to pay for road repairs out of the state's financial reserves and also offer assistance to motorists whose vehicles are damaged by road issues.
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