Michigan Restores 34 Road Projects Previously on Hold

Fri June 13, 2003 - National Edition

A legislative committee has unanimously approved a spending plan forvthe current budget year that would restore 34 road projects delayed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

The supplemental budget bill for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30 directs the state Department of Transportation to spend the money necessary to complete the new projects as originally scheduled.

A five-member Senate-House conference committee unanimously approved the bill. It now goes to the full House.

In April, Granholm announced the ”Preserve First’ program, which emphasizes repairing existing roads rather than new construction in an effort to save money.

Republicans have argued the projects are in the state’s five-year road plan and that money already has been appropriated to complete them.

The road projects delayed by Granholm include proposed freeway interchange construction in the Detroit metropolitan area and roadwork in the Grand Rapids, Saginaw Bay and northern Lower Michigan areas.

The projects represent about $175 million in work. Overall, the state plans to spend about $500 million on road work in the current budget year.