Friday, July 4, 2014

State Road Projects Ignore Downriver

The Michigan Department of Transportation list of road repairs, all $114,942,610 of it, has been released.  And, except for a small project in Allen Park and one in Riverview, it virtually ignores Downriver.  

Yes, there is a $3 million appropriation for Allen Road in Woodhaven, to fix the railroad crossing that every day ties up trafffic and causes ambulance and police nightmares.  But that money is nowhere near enough to complete the project and will possibly never be accessed.  It's like me promising my 15-year old $5,000 towards a new Escalade, but he needs to find the rest.  If he's driving a Cadillac, it won't be because of me.

By the way, the original request was for $5 million to rework utilities at the crossing when they widened it.  I guess they have enough to move half a pipe.

The Michigan legislature came up with this list, which oddly enough allocates virtually all of the money to districts represented by Republican legislators who control both houses of that legislature.  So they spent it on their own districts in high-traffic locales as Clyde Township and Gogebic County, both of which get projects more expensive that the two Downriver improvements.  

The potential Allen Road grant has only come after continuous protests from leaders and citizens over the problems caused by the train crossing, including petitions, signs, and an active Facebook campaign.  Although Rep. Somerville is taking credit for it, the real credit should go to Woodhaven Mayor Pat Odette who has been a leader in the fight for a new train crossing.

Shame on the Republicans for putting politics over good government.