FERRYSBURG, Mich. — (Grand Haven Tribune) - Michigan lawmakers on Tuesday threw a potential life ring Smith's Bridge way.

A new state budget that would put the Ferrysburg bridge on the short-list for replacement is headed to the governor's desk for approval, which is far from certain.

“If it gets passed by the governor, it would be great for the city of Ferrysburg,” City Manager Craig Bessinger said Tuesday.

RELATED: Legislature OKs budget bills that Whitmer deems 'a mess'

State Rep. Jim Lilly, R-Park Township, voted in favor of the budget, which he said will include $13 million to repair the currently closed bridge. It was closed earlier this year after an inspection noted advanced deterioration.

“The closure of this bridge has posed a terrible inconvenience on local drivers,” Lilly said. “Repairing this bridge will ensure first responders are able to safely use this direct route to respond to emergencies, speed up commutes for workers and allow our many tourists to drive over the scenic bridge.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer indicated that fixing the bridge was a priority when she visited the site in July.

“It’s a public safety issue — not just for the people that cross this bridge, but for people that are waiting on emergency services,” Whitmer told reporters at the time. "We have to get serious about fixing these problems. This is life and death in many ways, but it’s also about our economic future. It's about safety on our roads every single day."

RELATED: New inspection reveals that Smith's Bridge could be repaired


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