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Michigan governor seeks ways to bolster the state's transportation infrastructure


On Wednesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder called on state legislators to help revitalize Michigan's deteriorating transportation infrastructure and issued several recommendations aimed at improving infrastructure.

The state needs a modern transportation system that moves people and goods efficiently, reliably and safely, and a multi-modal system that is more active, urban-based and tech-savvy, he said in a prepared statement.

"Michigan's infrastructure is living on borrowed time," Snyder said. "We must reinvest in it if we are to successfully reinvent our economy. We can continue being a transportation leader through bold, innovative approaches to upgrading our infrastructure. It's time to seriously engage in this discussion that is so vital to our state's future.”

His proposals include eliminating the state's 19-cents-per-gallon gas tax and 15-cents-per-gallon diesel tax in favor of a percentage wholesale tax on fuel; increasing annual infrastructure investments by $1 billion to $1.4 billion; and distributing new transportation funding based on road usage and traffic volumes.

Moreover, further developing Michigan's transit-rail, bus, aviation and port systems is essential, Snyder said. In addition, the state’s freight-rail projects, such as the Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal and Detroit Railroad Tunnel expansion, are ready for construction pending additional investments, he said.

“Michigan also has secured $440 million in federal rail funds to accelerate passenger-rail service from Detroit and Pontiac to Chicago,” said Snyder.

In terms of improving ports, he plans to work with Michigan's congressional delegation to secure additional funds to dredge Great Lakes ports and pursue construction of a new shipping lock in Sault Ste. Marie.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/28/2011