LANSING, Mich., May 20, 2022 — In response to a Detroit man falling 15 feet through a crumbling pedestrian bridge, state Rep. Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper Woods) called for much-needed infrastructure repairs and improvements. Without more extensive and effective efforts to fix the state’s infrastructure, there is concern that this horrible incident could be a frightening harbinger of what is to come.
“It’s going to cost the state to repair the collapsing Spruce Street pedestrian bridge in Detroit. It’s going to cost the state to fix all the deteriorating bridges across the state,” Yancey said. “But we cannot put a dollar amount on the cost of a human life — which is why we need to take tangible, legislative action to fund making our bridges safe.”
These kinds of pedestrian bridges are vital through-lines in communities all over Michigan. Bridges like the Spruce Street bridge are used by children going to school and link residential areas to business districts. The 2023 budget proposed by the House includes a line item for just this kind of emergency. The one-time “Distribution to Local Road Agencies” item allocates $750 million for local community emergency funds — this funding could repair bridges like the one in Detroit.
“Budgeting funds for infrastructure emergencies is absolutely necessary. Let me be real — this is no longer about campaign slogans. Saving our infrastructure means saving lives. It shouldn’t take a tragic accident to repair our bridges, roads and other essential structures,” Yancey said.
It is not only Michigan’s bridges that desperately need attention — the awful condition of state roads has become infamously disgraceful. More than a third of Michigan roads are considered in poor or mediocre condition, and, on average, drivers spend over $600 a year fixing vehicles damaged from bad roads. Additionally, the state’s economy depends on having solid roads that serve our citizens and tourists.
“More funds need to be allocated from the state budget to infrastructure needs,” Yancey said. “The people of our state deserve safe and reliable bridges and roads. So, in order to fix Michigan’s dilapidated bridges and pothole-ridden roads, we need to fight for every penny of those proposed budget funds for infrastructure.”