(WLNS) – Construction begins Wednesday on over-passes along I-96 in Ingham County.
Those bridges will receive temporary supports, but as 6 News Intern Cat Reid explains, it’s only a temporary fix for a much bigger problem.
The I-96 overpass at south Cedar Street in Lansing was built in 1963. Now, it’s one of 1,300 Michigan bridges deemed structurally inefficient by the Federal Highway Administration.
“That’s not the way that Michigan, the state that put everyone on wheels, wants to be portrayed,” said Denise Donohue, County Road Association of Michigan.
On Wednesday the Michigan Department of Transportation will begin placing temporary supports at overpasses along I-96, but they’re merely short term fixes for long term structural problems.
“The repairs needed at the bridges are one example of the additional funding we need basically statewide to keep our roads and bridges in good condition, and with additional funding we would be able to do repairs such as what is needed at these bridges along I-96,” said Kari Arend, MDOT spokeswoman.
Now the question is where will Michigan find the money to prevent bridges like this one from crumbling? Many believe that answer lies in the May budget proposal.
Proposal 1, “what it does for county road commissions, bottom line is simply give us substantial funding that we could begin to make progress on these roads.”
The benefits of passing prop 1 is a major focus for this week’s county road association meeting in Lansing.
The proposal calls for a wholesale tax on fuel that would go directly towards maintaining Michigan’s 90,000 miles of roads.
“The wholesale tax at the pump is also constitutionally dedicated to roads and transportation. So I think those are all things the public wants to see.”
But the May ballot proposal vote is almost three months away. In the meantime many bridges in Michigan will have to make do with temporary solutions.
The Williamston road over-pass will be the first bridge repaired and installing supports at each bridge will take roughly a week.
Keep this in mind. There will be lane closures and M-DOT wants to remind drivers to slow down to protect workers.