Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) proposal to raise $3.5 billion in one-time revenue for state roads Jan. 30 won unanimous approval from the State Transportation Commission. The bond will nearly double the state’s road funding over the next five years, allowing the Michigan Department of Transportation to add and expand 122 major road projects and eliminate inflationary costs that would accrue if the projects were postponed.
“Our roads are dangerous, and the longer we wait, the more expensive it will be to fix them,” Whitmer said a day earlier in her State of the State Address. “That’s why I’m taking action now to fix the damn roads and keep Michiganders safe. My Rebuild Michigan plan will ensure we start moving dirt this spring and save us money in the long run.”
The governor also asked statehouse Republican to continue this progress by addressing the Michigan’s long-term transportation funding needs. Revenue approved in Whitmer’s “Rebuilding Michigan” plan, which did not require legislative approval, can only be used on state roads and will focus on high volume freeway and non-freeway roads.
“We applaud Governor Whitmer for proposing a solution which would generate immediate revenues to address Michigan’s worsening roads crisis,” said Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. “Without a long-term solution, bonding is the best- and truly only- realistic option on the table. Even with the proposed bonding solution, the debate around a significant long-term investment cannot be delayed any longer. We look forward to working with the legislature and getting to work on fixing Michigan’s roads.”