Michigan officials urge bridge authority to OK pipeline deal

FILE - This July 19, 2002, file photo, shows the Mackinac Bridge that spans the Straits of Mackinac from Mackinaw City, Mich. Officials tell The Associated Press that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's administration and Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge have reached a deal on replacing 65-year-old twin pipelines in a channel linking two of the Great Lakes. An announcement was scheduled for Wednesday Oct. 3, 2018. Officials tell the AP the agreement calls for shutting down the Line 5 pipes in the Straits of Mackinac connecting Lakes Huron and Michigan. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Michigan officials are asking the Mackinac Bridge Authority to accept oversight responsibility for a proposed oil pipeline tunnel beneath the channel that links Lakes Huron and Michigan.

Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh and two consultants pitched the plan during a bridge authority meeting Thursday in St. Ignace. The seven-member board took no vote but heard public comments, most opposing the project.

An agreement reached last month between Gov. Rick Snyder's administration and Enbridge Inc. calls for drilling the tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac over 7 to 10 years for up to $500 million, paid for by the company. The bridge authority would assume ownership after completion and lease the tunnel back to Enbridge.

It would replace twin pipelines known as Line 5, which have operated since 1953.

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