Fish may benefit from replacing culverts with bridges

By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Replacing culverts with bridges may benefit fish because of improved connectivity of streams in a watershed, a pilot project in the Huron-Manistee National Forests shows. But doing so also creates risks of more pathways for invasive species to spread and of fine sediments that can smother fish spawning beds, a study by U.S. Forest Service and University of Notre Dame scientists cautioned. “These trade-offs need to be weighed on an individual basis,” said Nathan Evans, a doctoral student at Notre Dame and lead author of the study. “Each stream is different. The pros may outweigh the cons in one stream.

It’s agreed: bridges need work, but who will pay?

By DANIELLE WOODWARD
Capital News Service

LANSING — Officials are predicting it will take $101 million annually in additional funding to save Michigan’s deteriorating bridges. State-owned bridges need about $70 million for repair and bridges owned by local agencies like counties, cities and villages need $31 million more, said Jeff Cranson, director of communications for the Michigan Department of Transportation. Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced that one in eight bridges is rated structurally deficient, meaning it needs to be monitored and inspected regularly. “Bridges are rated as structurally deficient, functionally obsolete or in good condition,” said Lance Binoniemi, vice president of governmental affairs at the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. The three major elements of a bridge are decks, beams and supporting substructure.

Committee on Ways and Means discusses future projects

By Kasey Worst

Old Town Lansing Times staff writer

OLD TOWN LANSING – Members of the Lansing City Council Committee on Ways and Means discussed the possibility of a new drain project at a meeting on Friday, March 14, 2014. The meeting

The discussion began with a resolution that approved a list of bridges to be sent to the Michigan Department of Transportation that the city believes need repairs, maintenance or replacement. The list was to apply to funding for the 2017 fiscal year. Carol Wood, chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, said the state only has a limited amount of money to put toward bridges each year. Wood said they would not all receive the funding they requested from the state.