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It would take you at least 10 hours to drive the 634 miles of roads that separate our Southeast Michigan and Upper Peninsula Michigan cities. Along the way you would certainly experience some bumpy terrain.

Despite the distance between us in miles, we’re headed in the same direction when talking about the need for increased transportation funding in our state.

Last month, the Michigan Senate approved a transportation funding package that included HB 5477. This is a bill that would phase in a new percentage-based gasoline tax resulting in an additional $1.2 billion for transportation funding by 2019.

We believe this is a sound funding solution and strongly urge the state House to have the same courage the Senate showed and approve this proposal and send it to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature this month.

When the Senate passed the plan on Nov. 13, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, was quoted as saying, “It’s the right thing to do. It’s about time we fix these roads.” We strongly echo this sentiment as the package heads to the state House.

While Michigan’s roads and bridges and transportation infrastructure continue to deteriorate and are among the nation’s worst, other states are investing in road and bridge repairs and public transit options. These investments are generating thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity. Our failure to make similar infrastructure investments is leaving Michigan behind.

Legislators need to hear from Michigan residents that we expect them to focus on increased funding for all forms of transportation (roads, rails bridges, harbors, non-motorized facilities, and public transit) necessary to help build communities where people want to live, work and enjoy.

Please contact your state representatives today to tell them to support the transportation package approved by the state Senate. Our infrastructure problem will only get worse by ignoring it. It’s time to act now.

Kim Corcoran, mayor, Ironwood

David Davison, mayor, Luna Pier

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