by Scott McClallen
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive Tuesday, which will direct federal funds from the recently signed infrastructure package to fix the state’s roads and bridges.
“Right now, we have an [sic] historic opportunity to put Michiganders first and use the billions in funding we are expected to receive under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to ensure every community has safe, smooth roads and bridges,” Whitmer said in a statement. “With this executive directive, we are getting ready to build up local roads and bridges across Michigan, create thousands of good-paying jobs for Michiganders, and ensure small businesses, downtowns, and neighborhoods have high-quality, reliable infrastructure to rely on as we usher in a new era of prosperity for our state. I look forward to working with the legislature to invest these dollars and get the job done.”
The announcement follows Michigan’s infrastructure quality dropping 10 spots nationally to 34, according to a Reason study analyzing road conditions and cost-effectiveness.
“A bipartisan coalition passed the once-in-a-generation infrastructure plan in Washington, and the Detroit Regional Chamber urges leaders in Lansing to address the state’s long-term needs with bipartisan cooperation,” Detroit Regional Chamber Vice President of Government Relations Brad Williams said in a statement. “Strategically investing in roads, bridges, broadband, and sustainable resiliency will position Michigan businesses, Michigan workers, and Michigan’s economy to thrive in the global marketplace.”
The ED directs state departments to take a range of actions to ensure that Michigan continues fixing the state’s roads and bridges, including:
- Putting Michigan workers and businesses first, prioritizing in-state businesses and workers as the state continues repairing or replacing roads and bridges.
- Ensuring the new federal funds are used to rejuvenate local roads with the right mix of materials and complement the work in progress under the Rebuilding Michigan plan.
- Prioritizing projects to revitalize rural and urban communities, accelerate housing and economic development, encourage outdoor recreation, and promote equity.
- Pursuing opportunities to make our roads and bridges more resilient to flooding.
- Helping local communities build more efficiently, using the “dig once” principle to complete work on water, high-speed internet, the road, and other utilities simultaneously wherever possible.
- Continuing to lead the future of mobility and electrification by looking for opportunities to expedite the deployment of electric vehicle chargers while rebuilding roads and bridges.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.