Soybean bridge project touted to Michigan lawmakers


Michigan soybean farmers are educating lawmakers how new technology and training for a county road commission is saving them thousands of dollars.

Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee President Laurie Isley tells Brownfield the checkoff presented to Michigan House committees how a new partnership offers sensor kits to county road commissions in hopes of encouraging other communities to evaluate rural bridges.

She says the checkoff and the Soybean Transportation Coalition provided Midland County Road Commission with a sensor kit and training last fall to re-evaluate load limits set by visual inspection on rural bridges.  “They were able to increase the load ratings on those, one by 10 percent, the other two by 30 percent.”  She says increasing the weight limits saves almost $100,000 annually for farmers that were regularly rerouted.

Isley says the project is a good example of how technology can be used to save taxpayer dollars and fix the state’s transportation infrastructure.  “If we can find ways of using technology to construct something that was a little less expensive, then those dollars that had been committed would be used more effectively.”

Governor Snyder this week approved more than $800 million for road and bridge construction, the most ever appropriated in a single year.

AUDIO: Interview with Laurie Isley 

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