LANSING, Mich. — Legislation sponsored by state Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, aimed at providing financial assistance to communities that house moveable bridges was granted final approval by both the House and Senate on Thursday.
“Currently, operational and maintenance costs for these bridges are the responsibility of the owner,” Green said. “The problem is that they are treated just like any normal stretch of road when it comes to funding. Communities that have a moveable bridge do not receive any additional funding, despite the significantly increased cost of maintaining these bridges.”
Senate Bill 105 would establish the Moveable Bridge Fund to assist local governments in paying for the operational costs of moveable bridges. There are currently 24 moveable bridges across the state, four of which are located in Bay City. Roughly half of Michigan’s 24 moveable bridges are locally owned, and the remaining bridges are owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation.
The Moveable Bridge Fund would be used to fund the operational costs of all publicly owned moveable bridges in the state. It is estimated that the fund would save Bay City and other localities hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.
“Taxpayers and local communities around the state are facing financial difficulties because of the presence of these bridges,” said Green. “This is an issue I have been working on with the Michigan Department of Transportation since I was first elected to the Senate. We have studied several methods, and I think assisting local governments with operating costs will actually save tax dollars and allow money to be directed toward local infrastructure needs.”
Green’s legislation passed in both the House and Senate with bipartisan support and will now go before Gov. Rick Snyder for consideration.