OCRC 'The Road' Newsletter | May 2022

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May 2022 | Volume 12 | Issue 5 | Bookmark and Share

Ottawa County bridges to benefit from second round of state bridge bundling program

Bridge Bundling Phase II Map

The Ottawa County Road Commission will be a participant in the next round of the state’s bridge bundling program.

The County Road Commission had the 32nd Avenue bridge over the North Branch of Crockery Creek in Chester Township selected for the next round of bridge bundling. The bridge is currently load restricted, and the bridge replacement project is estimated to cost $3.57 million.

The replacement project is tentatively scheduled to take place in 2023.

The 32nd Ave. in Chester Township was one of three bridges selected for the phase II program in Ottawa County.

Other bridges recommended for funding in the phase II program include:

  • City of Coopersville – Grove St. over Deer Creek (2024) – Currently Closed - Est. Cost: $3.31 million.
  • City of Ferrysburg -- West Spring Lake Rd. over Smiths Bayou (2024) – Load Restricted - Est. Cost: $9.92 million.

The Byron Road bridge rehab project currently underway in Zeeland Township was selected and is part of the state's initial pilot bridge bundling program.

Funding for the second round of bridge bundling is being distributed from the state’s Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) – Highway Infrastructure Program. The total amount being allocated for the phase II program is $196 million.

A statewide list of 59 candidate bridges were prioritized based on regional mobility and safety. This second phase of bridge bundling focuses on closed and load-posted bridges. Some will be permanently removed while others will be fully replaced.

MDOT bridge staff and consultants are doing all the design and construction administration work for the bridge bundling program.

MDOT expects bridge bundling, which covers several bridge locations under one contract, to streamline coordination and permitting, increase economies of scale, and improve bridge conditions on local routes around the state.

An online dashboard at Michigan.gov/BridgeBundling provides project updates and shows percent completion, detour routes, and other information for bridge bundling projects. Clicking on the interactive map pulls up details on each project, including photos documenting the ongoing work.

A look at the state's road funding mechanism

MTF Distribution Graphic

In the past, you may have heard the saying that the Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF) dollars are split 50:50 between vehicle registration fees and fuel tax.

But the times have changed!

The new 2021 MTF gross revenue breakdown is 40% fuel tax, 41% vehicle registration fees, 17% redirected income tax, 1% misc./interest earnings and 1% marijuana tax.

The MTF distributes the revenue through a formula in ACT 51 of 1951 to MDOT, Cities and Villages, and County Road Agencies.

Understanding the Michigan Gas Tax

Each time you purchase gasoline in Michigan, you’re paying a couple of road-user fees.

These fees include the 26.3 cents per gallon state gas tax, and the 18.4 cents per gallon federal fuel tax. Whether gas costs $2 per gallon or $4 per gallon, the amount collected per gallon for those two taxes remains the same.

You also pay Michigan's 6 percent sales tax. If gas were to cost $4 per gallon, that would amount to another 24 cents per gallon in taxes.

2022 Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Motorcycle Safety

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reminds drivers that safe driving and riding practices, and cooperation from all road users will help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our nation’s highways.

Know the Facts

In 2020, there were 5,579 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes, an 11% increase from 2019 (5,044). In contrast, an estimated 82,528 motorcyclists were injured, a 2% decrease from 83,814 motorcyclists injured in 2019.

Motorcyclist deaths accounted for 14% of the total highway fatalities that year.

Research shows that motorcyclists are significantly overrepresented in traffic crashes and fatalities each year.

In fact, in 2020, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were about 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured.

In 2011 and 2020, roughly half the motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes during the weekend versus weekday. Additionally, motorcyclist fatalities on weekdays have increased by 15% from 2,402 in 2011 to 2,765 in 2020.

Tips for Motorists

Allow a motorcyclist a full lane width. Though it may seem as if there is enough room in a single lane for a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, looks can be deceiving. Share the road, but not the lane: a motorcyclist needs room to maneuver safely.

Size also counts against motorcycles when it comes to blind spots. Motorcyclists can be easily hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Always look for motorcycles by checking your mirrors and blind spots before switching to another lane of traffic.

Improper use of a vehicle’s rear-view and side-view mirrors contributes to collisions, particularly with smaller vehicles like motorcycles. With roughly 40% of a vehicle’s outer perimeter zones hidden by blind spots, improper adjustment, or lack of use of one’s side-view mirrors, can have dire consequences for motorcyclists.

Allow more follow distance — 3 or 4 seconds — when following a motorcycle; this gives the motorcycle rider more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency. Motorcycle riders may suddenly need to change speed or adjust their lane position to avoid hazards such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, pavement seams, railroad crossings, and grooved pavement.

NHTSA-funded research has shown that people behind the wheels of passenger vehicles are distracted more than 50% of the time.

Severe weather tips from the OCRC

Reminder about severe weather