Rob Coppersmith, the executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, issued the following statement in the wake of the Pittsburgh bridge collapse:
“The bridge collapse in Pittsburgh this morning should serve as an unfortunate wake-up call for Michigan’s leaders. According to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, 1,219 bridges in Michigan, or 10.8% of Michigan’s bridges, are classified as structurally deficient, meaning one of the key elements of those bridges is in poor or worse condition. This is unacceptable.
“We need immediate action to prevent a similar bridge disaster here in Michigan like what we saw today in Pittsburgh. Sadly, we’ve seen this in other places in recent years, with bridge failures in Atlanta, Minneapolis, and other places across the country.
“It’s estimated that Michigan needs to dedicate $2.5 billion for bridge repairs. More will be needed to keep our other bridges in safe condition. Action has been taken in recent months with Sen. Wayne Schmidt’s legislation to dedicate $1.6 billion towards repairing bridges and federal action to dedicate another $563 million towards bridge repairs. But more is needed now. The time is now for Michigan’s leaders to take action to prevent a disaster here at home. Let’s fix our bridges now.”