A plan from state Rep. Gary Eisen, of St. Clair, giving local communities more options to conduct road projects was unanimously advanced by the Michigan House this week.
Eisen’s legislation, House Bill 4476, raises the ceiling on projects that can be free of competitive bidding from the current $100,000 to $300,000. It also restricts a county to a maximum of $800,000 annually expended under the non-competitive bid option.
The expansion will allow local road agencies to address more small- and medium-size projects themselves if they wish, naturally creating additional competition to lower prices on work.
“This is a sensible solution to get more of our local roads fixed more efficiently and make taxpayer dollars go farther,” said Eisen, who serves as vice-chair of the House Transportation Committee. “Statistics show local roads are in the worst shape in Michigan. With this added flexibility and emphasis on local control, this is a win-win for communities across the state.”
The original threshold of $100,000 was established within Public Act 51 of 1951. Current law specifies that all road construction projects conducted by the Department of Transportation or local road agencies – whether they be new build or preservation – with a price tag over $100,000 must be bid competitively.
HB 4476 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.
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