Michigan lawmakers seek public comments on road plan

| Friday, March 04, 2005

Michigan lawmakers are taking the state’s five-year transportation plan to the streets in hopes of getting feedback from residents and community leaders.

House Speaker Craig DeRoche, R-Novi, said the House and Senate Transportation panels would hold the first of a half dozen public hearings on Monday, March 7.

DeRoche said the hearings would help lawmakers figure out how the Michigan Department of Transportation’s five-year plan to spend nearly $1.3 billion annually to repair highways and bridges affects communities and area residents.

But House Minority Leader Dianne Byrum told The Associated Press the hearings don’t get to the root of the problem.

She pinned that on Congress, which still is working on a new multiyear federal highway and transit bill.

The latest effort in the U.S. House would send $284 billion for the nation’s roads.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved the bill – which funds fiscal years 2005-2009 – on a voice vote March 2. The bill is expected to come up for House floor debate early next week.

The Michigan transportation hearings are set for:

  • 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 7, at the Canton Township Hall in Canton;
  • 7 p.m. March 17 at the Grand Region MDOT Transportation Service Center in Grand Rapids;
  • 6:30 p.m. March 21 at the Oakland County Transportation Service Center in Waterford;
  • 4 p.m. March 28 in Brighton;
  • 5 p.m. April 7 in Port Huron;
  • 6:30 p.m. April 14 at the Wilcox Engineering Building in Cadilla.

The locations of hearings in Brighton and Port Huron have not yet been set.

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