Michigan Bill Introduced to Require Permanent Grade Separation Fund

Written by Jennifer McLawhorn, Managing Editor
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LANSING, Mich. - Proposed Legislation would require MDOT to construct local grade separation fund.

Senator Darrin Camilleri introduced Senate Bill 125 on March 1st, 2023 that would require a permanent fund be set up for infrastructure around grade separations. This includes building overpasses and underpasses. 

legislative analysis from Michigan details Senate Bill 125 and House Bill 4153 as ways to mitigate the length of time a train can hold up traffic.  The Senate Bill would require the Michigan Department of Transportation to construct a local grade separation grant program. It “would provide grants to cities, villages, and county road commissions for the separation of motor vehicle and railroad traffic (e.g., by building overpasses or underpasses at railroad/roadway intersections)”. 

An application for program funding needs to be made via a form approved by MDOT in addition to containing information from House Bill 4153. Subsequently, the December 1st deadline of each year it receives these applications, MDOT would be required to report to appropriations and transportation committees in both the Senate and the House the use of funds. The bill itself would create a Local Grade Separation Fund in the state treasury and would accept deposits from any source. 

House Bill 4153 would require MDOT to develop guidelines for approval of the funding applications for crossing projects from Senate Bill 125. These parameters for approval include if the project is within 5 miles of a rail yard, manufacturing facility, adult assisted-living facility, courthouse, medical service vehicle facility, fire station, international airport, trauma center, or a school.

As of May 23rd, 2023, the Senate Bill has been “referred to a second reading” and “reported with recommendation with substitute (H-1)”.  It will move to the House for consideration.

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