Detroit News: Bridge plans may stop roadwork
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
As construction crews hustle to finish their work before winter sets in, an impasse over a proposed second Detroit-Windsor bridge threatens to halt 136 Michigan road projects in two weeks.
A conference committee of lawmakers from both parties and both houses deadlocked Tuesday on whether the state should build the span or let the owner of the Ambassador Bridge build it.
That stalled approval of the entire Michigan Department of Transportation budget, which is to take effect Oct. 1.
"Apparently, partisanship and bickering have replaced creating jobs as the top priority for some state politicians," said Mike Nystrom, vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. The association is the largest trade group representing heavy contactors, including road builders.
Nystrom said the state will have to lay off 2,750 of its own workers, in addition to workers who will be furloughed from construction companies. And the road improvement delays will be "one more blow to Michigan's already-crumbling transportation system."
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