Michigan House has approved a set of bills that would roll back
recent increases in Mackinac Bridge tolls and freeze fares until
2006-2007, Lansing’s WILX TV reported.
legislation, headed by state Sen. Jason Allen, R-Traverse City,
would dedicate $5.25 million in state funds to the Mackinac Bridge
Authority to pay for bridge repairs and offset toll increases that
went into effect this spring. It also calls for public hearings
to reduce toll rates.
the coming years, the Mighty Mac will need some repairs requiring
substantial funding, which should not come at the expense of area
residents, tourists or businesses,” Allen said in a recent statement.
“This legislation ensures that critical infrastructure repairs are
funded, while ensuring that toll fees remain low.”
House passed four of the five bills in the package July 2 with mostly
minor changes to the previously approved Senate versions. The remaining
measure is expected to be considered in the coming weeks.
lead bill – SB468 – in the package would relieve the bridge authority
of its obligation to repay the state money advanced for bonds. Other
legislation in the package would set aside at least $5.25 million
for repairs and prohibit tolls for emergency vehicles.
for big rigs jumped from $2 per axle to $3 per axle on May 1. Fees
for most other vehicles rose from $1.50 to $2.50. The commuter rate
went from $1.25 to $1.50.
bills are awaiting final approval from the Senate, and then will
be forwarded to the governor.