CONTACT: Mike Nystrom MITA Vice President of Government and Public Relations (517) 347-8336 - office More Funding Needed to Address Michigan's Long-Term Transportation Needs
LANSING - Today's announcement that the Michigan Department of Transportation is speeding up $618 million in highway and bridge projects is welcome news for the state's economy and transportation infrastructure industry, and a step forward in putting to work the hard-won funding gains that MITA helped secure in the federal transportation bill last summer.
“MITA is very supportive of Governor Granholm's decision to accelerate the start of highway and bridge projects and improve Michigan's aging transportation system,” said Mike Nystrom, MITA vice-president of government and public relations. “Michigan must find a long-term structural funding solution to pay for critical transportation projects to encourage business growth and development as well as to meet the transportation and safety demands of its citizens. Today's announcement is an important next step in that process.”
MDOT will raise the $618 million by issuing bonds and will create or maintain an estimated 11,000 new construction jobs with the accelerated projects. The bonds will be paid back, however, with money from the Michigan Transportation Fund, thus offsetting funds that would be available for future transportation projects.
“MITA appreciates the efforts of the governor and MDOT to address Michigan's immediate transportation needs with the federal and state revenues that are available,” Nystrom said. “This funding will supplement the increased road dollars Michigan wrestled from Congress this year, but it is only one part of a long-term solution that includes a comprehensive change in how Michigan funds future road projects. We look forward to working with the governor, Michigan's lawmakers and the business community in finding a way to adequately fund the state's transportation infrastructure.”