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Bridge Authority hopes to have more details on role in Line 5 tunnel before next meeting


Members of the Mackinac Bridge Authority say they were surprised to see they were mentioned in a deal last week between Governor Snyder and Enbridge Energy.

The deal announced last week said the Mackinac Bridge Authority would own and be responsible for approving construction of the tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

That tunnel will be the new home for the Line 5 pipeline.

Patrick Gleason is a Bridge Authority board member. He said the board was not involved in the deal and he’s not sure what their responsibility will be.

“I have not seen anything in writing from the Governor’s Office. I’ve looked at the same press release everyone else has. As board authority should be getting a memo, I would hope, from the Governor’s office specifically outlining what our task and charge should be.”

Gleason said he’s hoping to have more info before the Board’s public meeting in early November.

Matt McLogan is also Bridge Authority board member. He said the Bridge Authority controls state land on both sides of the straits.

“So there isn’t any question that if something big happens in the straits the Bridge Authority would be at the table because that’s the way it’s legally structured.”

He said he thinks while drafting the plan someone must have realized their importance.

“I believe that what has happened here is as the folks working on the agreement got into detail they discovered that the control of the shoreline and the straits largely rests with the Mackinac Bridge Authority.”

In a written statement the Governor’s office said it would not have been appropriate to bring board members in during the agreement.

But, the statement says, many authority members were briefed, although some may not have gotten as full a briefing as they would have liked.

You can read the full statement below:

“Many of the authority members were individually briefed about the plans of the agreement prior to the announcement, although some may not have gotten as full a briefing as they would have liked. The state departments have been working with Enbridge at the technical staff level and it would not have been appropriate to bring the authority members in at that time. Now that they can be provided a full outline of the plan, the next phase of this project can commence as we hear from the authority members and the public before the authority takes a vote.”