Senate holds hearing on "lift bridge" funding legislation

LANSING—State Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, testified before the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday on Senate Bill 281, his measure to establish the “Moveable Bridge Fund.”

“This is an issue I have been working on very closely with the Michigan Department of Transportation and Director Kirk Steudle since the beginning of my time here in the Michigan Senate,” Green said. “Director Steudle and I have studied several methods and we believe we have come up with the best possible solution.”

The Moveable Bridge Fund would be used to fund the operational costs of all publicly owned moveable bridges in the state.

There are currently 22 moveable bridges across the state, with nearly half being locally owned and the remainder being owned by MDOT. Under current law, the cost for operating and maintaining these movable bridges is the full responsibility of their owners; however, municipalities do not receive any additional funding above the amount for a standard stretch of road. Bay City has four such bridges, two owned by the state and two by the city.

SB 281 would amend the law to cover the operational costs. If passed in its current form, the legislation is estimated to save Bay City hundreds of thousands of dollars. State Rep. Charles Brunner, D-Bay City, and Bay City Commissioner Lynn Stamiris also testified in support of the bill.

“As you can well imagine, these bridges have costs and challenges far beyond that of a typical road,” Green said. “My legislation seeks to better compensate our local communities that have one of these structures within their boundaries.

“Bay City’s bridges benefit the entire region and state. By consolidating the operating costs of all these bridges, we will actually save taxpayer dollars and free up local funds for local streets and roads.”

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Editor’s note:For print-quality versions of this and other Green photos, click the image or visit www.StateSenatorMikeGreen.comand click the Photowire link.

Photo Description: State Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, testifies before the Senate Transportation Committee on Senate Bill 281, his measure to establish the “Moveable Bridge Fund.” State Rep. Charles Brunner, D-Bay City, (right) and Bay City Commissioner Lynn Stamiris also testified in support of the bill.