Senate approves Runestad bill to reduce road repair costs for local communities

LANSING, Mich. — The Senate on Thursday passed Sen. Jim Runestad’s legislation seeking to save local communities from increased road repair costs that are associated with the use of federal funding.

“The state is in a good position to help local agencies focus more funds on fixing roads instead of devoting precious resources complying with burdensome federal administrative requirements,” said Runestad. R-White Lake. “A more efficient use of these funds will make a big difference for many of the smaller municipalities around our state and ultimately benefit drivers who rely on local road agencies and MDOT to safely maintain Michigan’s roads.”

Senate Bill 465 would allow local road agencies to elect to participate in a federal aid swap with the state in an effort to reduce overall repair costs.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) estimates that local road agencies see an estimated 20% to 30% cost increase by meeting federal standards, such as bidding requirements and reporting.

Comparatively, MDOT estimates an increase of 10% to 15% in their cost to comply with federal requirements. This is due to the fact that MDOT has an operation that is more suited to handle the administrative federal requirements than smaller municipalities, since the state department already receives 75% of those funds.

SB 465 now moves to the House for consideration.