By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
Posted Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019
State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) said Thursday that he introduced legislation that would create a dedicated statewide fund to build bridges over the most problematic railroad crossings in Michigan.
According to a statement from Camilleri, House Bills 5129 and 5130 introduced this week would allow municipalities to receive as much as 80 percent of the funding necessary in matching state grants to complete high-priority grade separation projects.
Camilleri said the bills were inspired by a similar program in Indiana, and would set aside $50 million per year for five years to support critical grade separation projects.
The railroad crossings that would benefit from the legislation would be determined based on priority factors including average wait times, proximity to schools, hospitals, and assisted living centers.
“All across Michigan, train crossings not only cause headaches as trains block the road for hours, they pose a huge threat to public safety, blocking access to hospitals, nursing homes and emergency sites,” said Camilleri in a statement. “By creating this dedicated fund to build bridges over our most problematic crossings, we have the opportunity to solve one of Michigan’s most critical transportation challenges and improve public safety Downriver and across our state.”