On Wednesday, Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation creating the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority (MSCA). The new authority will oversee construction and operation of a tunnel in bedrock beneath the waters of the Straits of Mackinac. The tunnel will house a replacement segment for the Line 5 petroleum pipelines that currently sit on the bottom of the Straits and will accommodate other utilities to improve infrastructure connections between the peninsulas. The MSCA will be separate and independent from the Mackinac Bridge Authority. They will provide annual reports on the construction process and utility leasing to the MBA and the Michigan Department of Transportation director. Additionally, the law creates a Straits Utility Fund to pay for the work for the MSCA, including independent experts to ensure construction and operation of the tunnel are done correctly.
The newly signed law requires the MSCA to enter into an a greement with Enbridge on the construction and operation of a Straits utility tunnel by December 31, 2018, providing certain conditions are met.
The proposed new agreement must:
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