House Transportation Committee considers road maintenance bill

State Rep. Steve Carra, a member of the House Transportation Committee, shared with fellow committee members his plan to require long-term contracts for road construction and maintenance, which could increase road quality and save taxpayer dollars.

Carra said any strategy needs to include building more durable roads in the first place. By pairing construction with long-term maintenance, Carra said his plan will give contractors a greater role in the entire process and focus their interests to make roads last longer.

Carra’s House Bill 5369 would require the Michigan Department of Transportation, whenever undertaking a new construction or full reconstruction of a highway segment or bridge, to negotiate a contract for designing, building, operating, preserving and maintaining the road or bridge.

Each contract would continue for at least 10 years after completion of the initial construction project. The lowest compensation for the contractor in any year of the contract would be at least equal to 10 percent of the highest-paying year of the contract. A contractor would not be allowed to institute tolls as part of operating the road.

The bill remains under consideration by the committee.

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