Specific sections of roadway are being showcased by the Michigan Department of Transportation by way of signs that say, “Bond Financing at Work,” which alludes to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s 2020 road bonding plan.
MDOT spokesman Jeff Cranson said about 15 green signs ($750 each) have been installed throughout the state with plans to install more. One sign, located in a construction area on Interstate 496 in Lansing, is meant to assure “that the work is being done,” according to Cranson.
“Installing these signs is consistent with MDOT’s objective to be transparent and provide the public with as much information as possible about road projects,” Cranson said.
House Republicans who have opposed Whitmer’s bonding plan added a stipulation to the transportation budget requiring that the signs mention the monetary amount paid by the state in interest and borrowing costs to repay the bonds.
Currently, the 2022 budget requires construction and borrowing costs to be listed on the signs. MDOT is not complying with the law, so the 2023 budget approved by the House includes provisions for non-compliance.
Cranson says the addition of words or signs as outlined by the House budget would increase the cost of each sign.
In 2020, Whitmer suffered from a failed bid to bump up the state’s gas tax by 45 cents a gallon to finance road renovations. In response, she launched her “Rebuilding Michigan Plan,” announcing it during her 2020 State of the State address. The next day, the Michigan State Transportation Commission authorized the department’s use of bonding.
Rough estimates by economists showed that the $3.5 billion program would total approximately $5.2 billion if the state remits annual debt bond service payments of $206.6 million for 25 years. About $529 million of the $1.6 billion issued thus far has already been spent or is spoken for, with an additional $1.9 billion in bonds to be sold in the future.
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Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/