Sen. Proos, MDOT announce Southwest Michigan road projects

LANSING—Sen. John Proos and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials announced on Thursday more than $3 million in Southwest Michigan road repair projects.

“This is great news for Southwest Michigan families and job providers, who are keenly aware of the difference between the condition of our roads and those of our neighboring states,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The most important reason for improving our roads is ensuring the safety of drivers and their passengers. However, quality roadways are also vital to supporting local businesses and attracting tourists and new job providers.

“Thousands of Southwest Michigan families depend on tourism, and better roads can foster return visits by ensuring a tourist’s memory of Michigan is only about their wonderful vacation.”

The transportation projects are being funded by grants from MDOT through the $115 million state Roads and Risk Reserve Fund. Proos helped announce four projects in the 21st District with a total investment of $3,015,000.

“This investment is an example of Michigan maximizing its ability to fix our roads with the resources already available,” Proos said. “We are able to fund these critical projects today because, during the last three years, we’ve improved state efficiency and accountability and approved state budgets that were fiscally sound and structurally balanced.”

The projects in the 21st District include:
• $1.1 million for repairs on M-43 from 64th Street to the Blue Star Highway;
• $750,000 for work on Cleveland Avenue from Wagner Road to Warren Woods Road;
• $130,000 to repair M-63 over Hickory Creek in Berrien County; and
• $1,035,000 to resurface Red Arrow Highway throughout Bridgman.

In 2012, Proos sponsored Senate Bill 351, which went into effect in this year’s budget. The bill ensured Michigan devoted existing revenue from sales tax collections on gasoline sales, which are not constitutionally earmarked, directly toward fixing roadways. With a federal matching rate of roughly 4 to 1, this reform meant more than $400 million in additional road funding.

This year, Proos sponsored Senate Bill 6, which would make this road funding source a permanent part of the state’s budget.

“Safe roads are vital to the well-being of our residents and our economy,” Proos said. “That is why I will continue working to improve state efficiency so we can address all of Michigan’s infrastructure needs — without raising revenues.”


Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Proos will be available on the senator’s webpage at Click on “Podcasts.”