Lansing, Mich. — The Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (MITA) commends Governor Jennifer Granholm for signing legislation today to provide $80 million in much needed state funding to expedite road projects in 2006 and 2007. MITA representatives, along with other key industry partners, attended the bill signing this morning.
“This is great news for Michigan’s economy, said Mike Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations for MITA. “This plan will create 7,100 jobs and start dirt flying on critical road projects by September of this year.”
The newly signed Local Jobs Today legislation makes federal transportation funding available to cities, counties and local transit agencies through grants and loans. Local Jobs Today is expected to create the 7,100 jobs in Michigan in 2006 and 2007.
“While we are encouraged by this legislation, we also know this is a short-term fix for a long-term problem,” Nystrom said. “Michigan has a $700 million shortfall in funding just to maintain our state roads and an even greater need on the local level. This is an issue state policy makers must address very soon.”
A recent report from The Road Information Program (TRIP) gave Michigan’s roads and bridges a grade of “D” for their poor conditions. The report also noted that these grades were not a reflection on the road agencies, but rather on the lack of adequate funding for Michigan’s transportation system.
“These are Michigan-based, family-owned businesses that are going to benefit directly from this funding,” Nystrom said. “This funding only begins to address local needs; and, although it is a step in the right direction, there is still a need to adequately fund our entire transportation system.”