Southwest Michigan to benefit from road improvement grant

Resurfacing Project In Vicksburg, Work In Schoolcraft Part Of Grant

State Rep. Margaret O’Brien today announced special road funding projects in southwest Michigan that will allow road improvements to take place while a sustainable long-term solution is agreed upon.

“The announcement of new road repair projects across the state illustrates the steps being taken to make improvements in Michigan’s deteriorating roads and bridges,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “We still have a long way to go to make up for the time when the state neglected our roads but recognizing the issue and working toward sustainable solutions is a first step in the right direction.”

The Michigan Legislature set aside a total of $230 million in grants from the fiscal year 2014 budget for road improvements across the state. Half of the existing state funds were available for appropriation late last year, and the other half is now being appropriated.

“I am pleased to see that the funds are being responsibly allocated to improve local roadways to ease the travel and minimize unnecessary vehicle repairs for residents due to poor road conditions,” O’Brien said.

Local road projects include:

• A $467,000 grant for resurfacing on W. Prairie Street from N. Boulevard Street to the Village of Vicksburg;

• Filling and drainage repair using $360,000 for US-131 from CN Rail North to Lyons Street in Schoolcraft.

This funding is in addition to $285 million the Legislature approved for roads and bridges in June, which is part of the fiscal year 2015 budget.

Although the state has allocated almost $870 million to improve roads and bridges since fiscal year 2012, the state spent zero general fund dollars on roads during fiscal years 2003-11.