SUMMARY OF SUBSTITUTE BILL
The bill would amend the Michigan Transportation Fund law to require the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and a local road agency to place signage of appropriate dimensions at the beginning of a work site related to a construction or reconstruction project that satisfied criteria prescribed in the bill.
Under the bill, for all construction and reconstruction projects that were within drivable lanes of traffic, were active for seven or more days, exceeded one-half mile in length, and cost more than $1.0 million, MDOT and a local road agency would have to place a sign or require the contractor to place a sign of appropriate dimensions at the beginning of the work site at least seven calendar days before the start of the project. The sign could be removed only after final inspection of the project. The sign would have to include the projected completion date and the cost of the project.
If the project were part of a limited access highway, after completion of the project, MDOT or the contractor would have to place a sign of appropriate dimensions at the beginning of the work site. The sign would have to remain at the work site for the duration of the pavement warranty of the project, if any, or for a period of five years after the project was completed, whichever was later. The sign would have to include the completion date and the expected life span of the pavement used under the contract.
The bill would have a minor fiscal impact on the Department and local units of government. The increased cost is associated with signage. The exact amount can be estimated, but not definitively determined.
In July 2014, the Department issued a report within which some discussion of signage costs was found. The Department reported then that full speed limit signage replacement would cost $730 per mile on freeways and $63 per mile on nonfreeways. In 2001, the House Fiscal Agency reported that fabrication and installation of signage can range between $700 and $1,000 per sign. The new signage requirements included within the bill would be different than those for speed limit sign changes. An assessment per sign also is more applicable than a "per mile" calculation. Taking into inflation since 2001, this analysis will apply a cost of $1,500 per sign, regardless of trunkline or nontrunkline project.
According to the Department's reported fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 letting statistics, there was an average of 314 trunkline projects let per year between FY 2013-14 and FY 2017-18. For that same time period, there was an average of 452 local projects let per year. The Department projects an increase to 399 projects for the FY 2019-20 year. Under the bill, each project that exceeded the specified cost, length, and time qualifiers would require a sign before the beginning of construction, and completed limited access highway projects would require a sign that includes the expected life span of the pavement.
In consideration of the above factors, the bill would cost the Department between $150,000 and $450,000 per year. This amount represents less than 0.1% of the Department's current year appropriation for trunkline road and bridge construction and repair. The bill would cost local units of government between $100,000 and $450,000 per year. This amount also is less than 0.1% of the current year appropriation to county road commissions and cities/villages, combined, for road and bridge construction.
This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan Senate staff for use by the Senate in its deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.