Bay City Bridge Agreements Under Further Review

The lease agreements for Liberty and Independence bridges in Bay City still have yet to be signed.

During Monday evening’s Bay City Commission meeting, the commission once again voted to refer the pending agreements back to city staff, this time citing language that could allow lease holders to revoke certain tolling exceptions for residents below federal poverty guidelines, municipal vehicles, and Bay City school buses.

Lawyers from both the city and United Bridge Partners agreed that the language was not intended to allow for that, but commissioners pointed out that the agreement could change hands over its 75-year lifespan, and intentions may change with the new management.

Concerns were also raised about tolling limits and the fact that the original agreement called for a newly-built Independence Bridge instead of a refurbishment.

Liberty bridge is set to open by the end of the year, regardless of the status of this agreement, which would roll over an existing contract for Liberty into a new one that includes Independence Bridge as well.

City staff will review the documents and bring the amended versions before the commission at their next regular meeting on December 19th.