DOT wants to help Michigan appropriate transportation funds

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The Department of Transportation on Monday, May 5, announced a series of measures designed to help Michigan take advantage of more than $400 billion in private infrastructure funds available worldwide for investments in transportation projects.

The new measures — which include technical assistance for state and local officials, as well as expediting federal reviews — are designed to allow Michigan to take advantage of private-sector funds once the State Legislature authorizes their use.

“It’s time to take the brakes off this state’s engine of growth and give businesses the transportation network they need to compete and succeed in today’s global economy,” U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters said. “Faster roads, more reliable deliveries and cheaper shipping can and will make a difference.”

Peters announced she was making DOT’s finance team available to help local community and state officials take advantage of a variety of approaches to funding highway and other needed transportation projects. She also announced that DOT would provide expedited reviews for any proposal from Michigan to widen Interstate 94 that the finance team helps develop.

Peters said she was working with members of Michigan’s congressional delegation, including Congressman Tim Walberg, to improve the federal transportation program when it is renewed next year.