five-bill package that would roll back recent increases in Mackinac
Bridge tolls and freeze fairs until 2006-2007 is headed to the governor.
legislation, which passed the House July 2 and the Senate July 16,
would dedicate $5.2 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,” state Sen. Jason Allen, R-Traverse
City, co-sponsor of the legislation, said in a recent statement.
“This legislation ensures that critical infrastructure repairs are
funded, while ensuring that toll fees remain low.”
lead bill – SB464 – 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 funds for repairs and
prohibit tolls for emergency vehicles.
for big rigs jumped from $2 per axle to $3 per axle May 1. Fees
for most other vehicles rose from $1.50 to $2.50. The commuter rate
went from $1.25 to $1.50.