On Thursday, the House Transportation Committee, chaired by Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor), will hold the final of three hearings to determine whether Michigan needs a gas tax increase to fix the state’s deteriorating road, bridge and transit systems. The committee will hear from the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association and representatives from the road building industry, including:
• Mark Johnston, president, Ajax Paving Industries, Inc. • Brian Slagter, president, Slagter Construction Company • Ronald Brenke, P.E., executive director, American Council of Civil Engineering Companies of Michigan
“Michigan needs to act now to increase funding so we can properly maintain our roads,” said Mike Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations at the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association and co-chair of the Michigan Transportation Team (MTT). “We are in a perpetual pothole season, and that means rough roads and more costly wear and tear to vehicles year-round. This year alone AAA has received more than 1,900 pothole claims.”
The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m., Thursday, April 12 in Room 307 of the House Office Building on Ottawa in Lansing.
The hearings culminate a year-long statewide effort by MTT, which has included statewide road and bridge condition reports, public opinion surveys and focus groups, a Web site, postcards to legislators and most recently a radio and billboard advertising campaign. The overall message of the transportation funding campaign, known as Drive MI, has been “Don’t Forget Our Roads.” The point of the campaign is to remind legislators that there is more work to be done besides the budget and Single Business Tax replacement during this session.
MTT is a broad-based, bi-partisan partnership comprised of business, labor, local government, associations and citizens linked with the common goal of improving Michigan’s transportation infrastructure. The Drive MI campaign is committed to promoting the development and maintenance of a safe, convenient and efficient transportation network that serves the public, private and economic development needs of Michigan.