Line 5 Tunnel Law Ruled Constitutional by Michigan Court of Appeals

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that legislators did not violate the constitution when they passed legislation in late 2018 that established the The Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority. MITA Executive Vice President Mike Nystrom was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to chair the authority, which was created to authorize the construction of an oil pipeline tunnel, housing Line 5, beneath a channel linking Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Attorney General Dana Nessel issued an opinion in March 2019 that the authorization bill was unconstitutional because its provisions far exceeded what its title specified. Enbridge requested a ruling from the Court of Claims, where it was found that lawmakers had adequately followed the constitutional requirement to express a bills’ general purpose or object its title.

Enbridge and the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority have continued with the project since the authority was granted in late 2018, making engineering and geological preparations and applying for the appropriate permits needed to build a tunnel. Their plan is to construct a tunnel underneath a hundred feet of bedrock to house Line 5, a project estimated to cost Enbridge $500 million.

In addition to pre-construction activities occurring, Enbridge has also moved forward with contractors to construct the project, including Michigan-based Jay Dee Contractors, a long-time MITA member. It is Enbridge’s goal to have the tunnel completed by 2024.

Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office said Thursday it plans to appeal the Court of Appeals decision upholding the constitutionality of the law and to ask that the Michigan Supreme Court review the previous decisions.

If you have any questions, please contact Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President, at or Lance Binoniemi, Vice President of Government Affairs, at