Whitmer takes road fix pitch to US-131

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took her plan to rebuild Michigan’s roads to Grand Rapids Monday afternoon, where she focused on the condition of US-131 at Bridge Street.

“You can see what’s happening here when the water seeps in. This bridge is considered in fair condition, but MDOT has to check in constantly because our bridges are deteriorating so quickly,” she said.

Whitmer again stressed the importance of investing more than $2 billion into the state’s crumbling bridges and roads.

“I know how critical our bridge situation is. What keeps me up at night is a bridge failure — and it’s possible. And that’s what I’m trying to avoid,” Whitmer said. “Michiganders are known for innovation and grit and doing the right thing and working hard. The Legislature should live up to those same values and get this budget done.”

It’s been nearly four months since Whitmer first pitched her plan to raise the gas tax by 45 cents a gallon to fund infrastructure repairs.

The Legislature hasn’t taken action on her proposal. In fact, lawmakers are on their summer break this week — a week earlier than expected.

“The Legislature is not meeting this week or next week. It has been 130 days, I think, since I introduced my budget and no one has come up with a real alternative that actually fixes the problem. They gotta get to work when they get (back) from their vacations because school districts’ budgets are starting next week— they don’t even know what to work with yet,” Whitmer said.

The Michigan House and Senate each passed their own version of the budget, neither of which included Whitmer’s gas tax hike. Even the road plan recently introduced by House Democrats doesn’t include the gas tax increase.

Once the House and Senate have struck a budget deal, Whitmer is expected to join the process.

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