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State roads chief: "We're already at work" on governor's plan

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The director of the Michigan Department of Transportation said he’s already at work on Governor Rick Snyder’s proposals to fix and maintain the state’s bridges and roads.

Snyder’s plans include generating more than $1 billion in additional revenue each year for road maintenance, and using advanced technology to strengthen bridges.

Transportation Director Kirk Stuedel said he discussed the governor’s proposals yesterday with his bosses at the state Transportation Commission.

“They set the policies for the department, and we’re going to be following up with the committee chairs saying ‘It’s about time to be putting our budget together, and our budget is going to be focused a lot around the things that are in this message,’” Steudel said.

Steudel said he tried to communicate his excitement about the governor’s approach to infrastructure:

“He’s been relentless on ‘There’s a better way to do this, we’re not just going to put more money down the same old hole, we need to do things better.’ That’s where I think he outlined some real opportunities to do things better.”

Steudel said he’ll meet with legislative leaders soon to help implement the governor’s proposals.

One member of the House Transportation Committee said he’s not sure there’s enough support among Republican lawmakers to approve the governor’s suggestion of a $120 hike in vehicle registration fees. Snyder says that would raise $1 billion in extra revenue for roads.

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