“I am proud of the progress we have made to fix 13,198 lane miles of road and 903 bridges over the last three years,” Whitmer said in a statement.
Need to Know
- The Michigan Infrastructure Office will oversee more than $10 billion in federal infrastructure investments in the state.
- Those funds will go towards road and bridge repairs, cleaner drinking water, and expanded access to high-speed internet.
- Whitmer’s Rebuilding Michigan plan is also funding improvements to I-496 and I-94–projects. One analysis found the plan could support more than 45,000 jobs.
MICHIGAN–It’s no secret that Michigan’s infrastructure is a mess, but with a massive influx of federal investments and a new state Infrastructure Office in place, things could be looking up.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this month established the Michigan Infrastructure Office to guarantee that the more than $10 billion headed the state’s way under President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law is used effectively.
The newly-formed office will oversee and coordinate the spending of funds that are intended to repair roads and bridges, replace lead pipes and guarantee clean drinking water, and expand access to high-speed internet.
The creation of the office marks Whitmer’s latest effort to overhaul the state’s infrastructure, which earned a D+ in the latest report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
“Since day one, I have been focused on fixing the damn roads and I am proud of the progress we have made to fix 13,198 lane miles of road and 903 bridges over the last three years,” Whitmer said in a statement. “By establishing this office, we can move full steam ahead toward continuing to improve commutes, keep families safe on the road, and create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.”
Whitmer has also invested nearly $200 million as part of the 2022 budget to repair or replace nearly 100 local bridges–an undertaking that created 2,500 jobs, according to her office. Her Rebuilding Michigan plan is also funding improvements to I-496 and I-94–projects. One analysis found the plan could support more than 45,000 jobs.
Whitmer’s latest announcement drew praise from labor leaders in the state.
“We support Governor Whitmer’s decision to create this office and look forward to engaging with its new leadership to support good-paying jobs and long-lasting improvements to Michigan’s infrastructure,” Tom Lutz, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights, said in a statement. “Union families built Michigan and form the backbone of the middle class, and now we stand ready to work with the Michigan Infrastructure Office to advance that proud legacy for the benefit of all Michiganders.”
The office will be led by Zachary Kolodin, who currently serves as the governor’s public policy council. In his new role, he will serve as director of the Michigan Infrastructure Office and the state’s Chief Infrastructure Officer.