Michigan lawmakers have voted to spend $450 million more a year to repair crumbling roads and bridges. 

The plan calls for structural changes in the state’s transportation funding, focusing on increased efficiency to increase road funding to a minimum of $450 million in 2015.

The funding will then grow to $500 million annually, with the potential for even greater investments in the future.

“People in St. Clair County talk to me almost every day about the condition of our roads, and we’ve listened by making fundamental reforms to the way the state allocates transportation funding,” said state Rep. Dan Lauwers.  “It’s a solid step forward.  It is by no means a solution to our overall road challenges, but is a step in the right direction.  Bad roads and bridges are hazards to Michigan motorists, and a threat to our economic recovery.  Good roads and infrastructure are one of the strongest precursors to economic development because it lifts up both job providers and consumers.”

Lauwers introduced a bill in the legislative package.  House Bill 5460 requires the state, county road commissions, and cities and villages to secure warranties for all new construction projects, new reconstruction projects and all projects that exceed a cost of $1 million.  Currently, the state is only encouraged to secure warranties when possible.

The road improvement bills now go to the Senate for consideration.