Representative Jaime Churches Introduces Legislation to Bridge Grosse Ile and Downriver

Grosse Ile, MI — Representative Jaime Churches recently introduced legislation that would allow Townships across Michigan to own and operate bridges. This legislation is in response to the proposed sale of the Grosse Ile Toll Bridge that has been privately owned and operated since opening in 1913.

According to the website of the bridge company:

The Grosse Ile Toll Bridge was financed, designed and constructed between 1912 and    1913 by the Grosse Ile Bridge Company (GIBC). The GIBC was established as a Michigan corporation and bridge company on May 1, 1912, with Grosse Ile land owner Edward W. Voigt as its primary incorporator, majority stockholder and founding president. Voigt directed the construction of the Toll Bridge and opened the span to the general public on November 27, 1913 (Thanksgiving Day). The Toll Bridge was the first automobile bridge to the island.

Churches’ legislation will allow Grosse Ile to purchase, own and operate the bridge giving residents of the Downriver community and others to have two toll-free options when crossing the Trenton Channel to and from Grosse Ile.

“After speaking with many residents and local elected officials from my district affected by transportation issues with our bridges, it has become clear that there is a unique need for townships to be able to own and manage a bridge if they choose to do so”, said Representative Churches in a release. “Currently, state law does not allow for this to occur — which is why I have introduced House Bill 5779 to make this necessary, common-sense update and remove a potential obstacle for townships in the future.”



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