(WXYZ) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill that would allow the Michigan Department of Transportation to study the feasibility of tolls on several highways in the state.
Senate Bill 517 was introduced by Republican Senator John Bizon out of Battle Creek. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill into law on Wednesday afternoon.
The state has previously said that tolls may be problematic because Michigan is a peninsula, with most of the traffic coming from people who live here. There is also fear that tolls would discourage tourism.
During a House Transportation Committee meeting, a representative from MDOT expressed interest in tolls at I-94, I-75, US 127 and I-96. The reasoning? Heavy commercial and tourist traffic in that area.
I-94 runs from Port Huron near the Blue Water Bridge from Canada all the way through New Buffalo and into Chicago.
I-75 runs from the Michigan-Ohio border in Monroe County through the Upper Peninsula into Sault Ste. Marie.
I-96 runs from metro Detroit all the way through Grand Rapids.
US-127 picks up at the Michigan-Ohio border in the middle part of the state and runs north through Jackson, Lansing and Mt. Pleasant before meeting up with I-75.
The study will also look to see what drivers, local or out of state, would be coughing up the most money at the tolls.
The study is receiving bipartisan support.
As far as funding the independent study, that money could come from MDOT, a federal grant, or a mix of both.