The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) issued the following statement yesterday in response to a bi-partisan transportation agreement between Governor Granholm, Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema and Speaker of the House Craig DeRoche.
MITA applauds the governor and legislative leaders for reaching a breakthrough on transportation funding for the upcoming year. Mike Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations for MITA, said: “this agreement will allow us to quickly begin a number of road projects all across the state of Michigan, which will create thousands of jobs.” MITA is a statewide trade association that represents more than 800 companies involved in the highway, bridge and underground construction industry.
Nystrom added that given this breakthrough on the upcoming budget, the state needs to focus on the long-term needs. According to the recently released TRIP Report, Michigan’s roads and bridges received a “D” letter grade. The report found that 38 percent of roads were in fair or poor condition, and 28 percent of the state’s bridges are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. TRIP estimated that Michigan faces a $700 million annual shortfall in road fund.
The transportation agreement paves the way for more than $400 million in road programs (and 7,000 jobs) outlined in the Governor’s Local Jobs Today plan, which will grant state funds to local communities for investments to match available federal dollars. The package also authorizes communities all across Michigan to ask voters to invest in mass transit programs.