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Roads Need Massive Repairs, State Must Give Locals Their Share of Stimulus
Local road, bridge repairs and transit critical to Michigan’s economic future
LANSING, Mich. — The federal stimulus plan earmarks 45 percent of transportation funds to local planning agencies for local road and bridge repairs and transit projects that will create thousands of jobs and help rebuild Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure, the Michigan Municipal League said today.
The State must follow through on the 45-percent requirement because local road, bridge and transit needs are significant, and thousands of jobs would be created by funding hundreds of shovel-ready infrastructure projects in local communities across Michigan, the League said.
“Bone-jarring potholes and deteriorating bridges can be found in every local community in Michigan,” said Dan Gilmartin, the League’s Executive Director and CEO. “That’s why Congress and President Obama insisted that 45 percent of the funds go to local planning agencies. The road and bridge repair needs of local communities are just as great as those of State roads and bridges, and our mayors and village presidents are ready to move on projects that will create jobs now.”
(NOTE: Attached are photos of potholes that can be found today on roads in local Michigan communities. One photo shows a line of potholes on Chestnut Street, a north-bound one-way road that runs between the state Capitol and Michigan Department of Transportation building in downtown Lansing.)
An investment in roads, bridges and transit in Michigan communities will create the types of places in our state that will prosper once again, Gilmartin said.
“Michigan’s economy will not prosper again until we create the types of communities where talented young people want to live,” he said. “A well maintained infrastructure, with significant public transit options, is critical to creating the types of local communities in Michigan that will prosper with new jobs and high personal income.”
The League has presented a 35-page list of priority local infrastructure projects to the Michigan Congressional delegation, federal administration, state Legislature and Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
Gilmartin and the League recently released their Prosperity Agenda intended to function as a guideline for legislators in creating the kinds of places where people choose to live, work and play and economies thrive.
“Prospering communities across the country – places like Denver, Austin, and Boston - that have high levels of personal income, significant investment and growing populations also have a well maintained infrastructure,” he said. “This is not a coincidence. Michigan legislators need to recognize this.”
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