MITA Encouraged by Governor's Quick Action on Transportation Task Force and Citizen's Advisory Commi
Monday, February 4, 2008
Posted by: Nancy Brown
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced members of a task force and a citizen’s advisory committee to make recommendations for funding transportation in Michigan. Mike Nystrom, MITA’s vice president of government and public relations, was named to the nine-member task force. Keith Ledbetter, MITA’s director of legislative affairs, was named to the 18-member citizen’s advisory committee. MITA is the only group that was named to both panels.
“MITA looks forward to being an active participant in the transportation funding discussions,” Nystrom said. “We are hopeful that there will be interim reports released by the committee with immediate action items to address our transportation funding problems, which are at a crisis point.”
MITA has been calling on the Michigan Legislature and Governor Granholm to invest an additional $1 billion annually to help solve Michigan’s transportation funding crisis. Under current investment strategies, Michigan will fall $44 billion short of the necessary road and bridge funding unless it develops a new strategy, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation’s federally required 25-year plan.
It is estimated that the state has a $700 million annual shortfall in maintaining the MDOT-managed system and at least $2 billion in additional needs at the local level. Last year, MITA unveiled a comprehensive plan for a dedicated and sustainable funding stream to make roads and bridges throughout Michigan safer, repair deteriorating streets and relieve traffic congestion in rapidly growing communities.
“This task force has an opportunity to help turn Michigan’s economy around and to help create jobs that are sorely needed,” Nystrom said. “There are immediate needs on every front, and therefore we look forward to getting started immediately and aggressively tackling this challenge.”