Legislation paves way for building bridges at most problematic rail crossings

After years of work on the issue and months of negotiations, House Bills 4523 and 4524, which would create a statewide fund to build bridges at the most dangerous rail crossings in Michigan, passed the House today with overwhelming bipartisan support.  

State Reps. Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton) and Phil Green (R-Millington), the primary bill sponsors, say this brings us one step closer to improving public safety and creates new economic opportunities.

“This is a huge victory not only for our Downriver community but our entire state,” said Camilleri, who initially developed the statewide grade separation fund legislation back in 2017. “Fixing our train issue has been one of my top priorities for years, and the passage of these bills today brings us one step closer to solving one of our state’s most pressing transportation problems once and for all. This program will improve public safety, unlock new economic opportunities and improve lives, and I am so grateful we have been able to work across the aisle to get this done for the people of Michigan.”

Based on a successful program in Indiana, these bills would create a dedicated fund within the Michigan Department of Transportation’s budget to build grade separations at priority crossings statewide. 

“Across the state, rail grades have led to lengthy wait times and routing issues for local emergency services while trains move through crossings,” Green said. “This program will help alleviate those issues and the substantial cost of grade separation by providing grants that prioritize addressing those crossings.”

Among other key locations, Camilleri added that this fund could help build bridges at crossings in Huron Township and Trenton, which currently cause hours of delays for drivers and pose a serious public safety risk.