Governor signs Burgess memorial highway bill

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder has signed Sen. Jim Stamas’ legislation to permanently honor Marine Lance Cpl. Ryan Burgess, who was killed by an improvised explosion device in Iraq in December 2006.

“Lance Corporal Ryan Burgess was a dedicated and fearless Marine who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedom and way of life,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “He loved his family and his country, and the people of Sanford and the entire region were deeply saddened by his loss. This memorial highway will be a reminder of a native son who never returned home and an expression of our appreciation for his service.”

Senate Bill 481, now Public Act 52 of 2018, designates a portion of US-10 from N. Stark Road to NW. River Road in Sanford as the “Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Burgess Memorial Highway.”

Burgess was a graduate of Meridian High School. He served as a vehicle commander and squad leader and was serving his second tour in Iraq at the time of his death. His marksmanship skills during boot camp earned him the Expert Rifle Marksmanship Badge. These skills were called upon during his tours in Iraq, as he often served as a sniper.

Burgess’ parents, Jon and Kim Burgess, spoke before the Senate Transportation Committee in December in support of the bill.

“Honoring the courage, commitment and selflessness of heroes like Ryan Burgess helps us remember the true cost of freedom and ensure we continue to have Americans like him willing to defend it,” Stamas said.

The new act will have no fiscal impact on the state or local government. Under state law, the Michigan Department of Transportation can place markers indicating the name of a memorial highway only when sufficient private contributions are received to completely cover the cost of erecting and maintaining the markers.