Detroit Regional Chamber > Advocacy > Gov. Whitmer Signs Executive Directive Readying Michigan to Effectively Use Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan to Continue Fixing the Damn Roads & Bridges

Gov. Whitmer Signs Executive Directive Readying Michigan to Effectively Use Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan to Continue Fixing the Damn Roads & Bridges

November 23, 2021

Governor focused on collaborating with legislature to fix local roads, make every commute safer and smoother, create more good-paying jobs for Michigan workers

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today, in preparation for the billions in federal funds Michigan is expected to receive over the next five years specifically for roads and bridges from the newly-enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan, issued an executive directive (ED) to state departments and agencies to collaborate with the legislature and begin preparing the state to rebuild hundreds of miles of roads, repair hundreds of bridges, and restore high-quality transportation infrastructure for every family, community, and small business.

“Right now, we have an 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,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “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.”

“Everyone in Michigan is well-aware of the need to fix our roads, bridges and critical infrastructure,” said Doug Stockwell, Business Manager of Operating Engineers 324. “And now the federal government has joined Michigan in dedicating the financial investment to make it happen. Effective and efficient construction requires good planning, quality materials, and a highly skilled workforce like the members of Operating Engineers 324.  Governor Whitmer’s Executive Directive will make sure the planning stage is done correctly, setting Michigan residents up for better roads, bridges, and quality jobs.” 

“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,” said Brad Williams, Vice President of Government Relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “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 damn 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.

To view the full executive directive, click the link below: 

Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan 

The historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan, formally known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, will send billions of dollars to Michigan to help Governor Whitmer continue fixing the damn roads, create millions of good-paying jobs, ensure small businesses can safely transport goods, expand the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, replace aging water infrastructure, including lead service lines, and expand high-speed internet access.  

More details on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act can be found here.

Roads and Bridges Background

Bipartisan Budget to Build Bridges

In September, the governor signed a bipartisan budget to repair or replace nearly 100 local bridges that are closed or in critical condition while creating 2,500 jobs. This investment will complement the work in progress under the Rebuilding Michigan program and will be further expanded on thanks to the billions the state is expected to receive from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The budget also delivered on kitchen-table fundamental issues that uplift communities and enable Michiganders to pursue their potential. It put 167,000 Michiganders on a tuition-free path to higher-education or skills training, expanded low or no-cost childcare to 105,000 kids, and made the largest one-time deposit ever of $500 million into the state’s rainy day fund.

Rebuilding Michigan

The governor’s billion Rebuilding Michigan program is fixing the damn roads while supporting over 45,000 jobs. The $3.5 billion plan will continue rebuilding state highways and bridges that are critical to the economy and carry the most traffic without an increase at the pump. Rebuilding Michigan seeks long-term road health and improvements to the condition of the state’s infrastructure. The program will help Michiganders drive their kids to school, commute to work, run errands, or go up north more safely and smoothly. Investments in roads and bridges also help small businesses get the resources they need, where they need them on time.