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PHOTO RELEASE: MDARD Director Gary McDowell & State Budget Office Director Chris Harkins Tour Roads Project Utilizing Soybean Oil-Based Asphalt

CLARIFICATION: The Colony Road repairs in Clinton County were funded by the Clinton County Road Commission, Michigan Soybean Committee, and the Soy Transportation Coalition

Soybean oil-based asphalt enhancement is a restorative asphalt modifier increasing pavement life cycles up to 40 percent

FOWLER, MI - Today, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell and State Budget Director Chris Harkins toured a one-mile stretch of Colony Road in Clinton County that utilizes a soybean oil-based asphalt enhancement, which extends the life cycle of pavement to up to 40 percent. 

“Under Governor Whitmer’s leadership, Michigan is at the forefront of repairing and improving our infrastructure through state-of-the-art and bold solutions,” said Director McDowell. “Colony Road in Clinton County is a prime example of how infrastructure and agricultural innovation intersect, creating new market opportunities for our soybean farmers while also creating safer roads and bridges for Michiganders.”

The Clinton County Road Commission partnered with the Michigan Soybean Committee and the Soy Transportation Coalition to apply the soybean oil-based asphalt enhancement. Projects like Colony Road are adding value and developing new markets for soybean farmers.

“Today’s tour was a great opportunity to learn more about how we could leverage a Michigan agricultural product in an innovative and unique way,” said Director Harkins. “I appreciate this type of creative problem-solving. Knowing that we can look to our agricultural industries to possibly prolong the life or our roads, I look forward to future conversations about how innovation throughout the agriculture sector could be transformational in Michigan.”

“The Michigan Soybean Committee is excited to support the use of biobased products, like BIORESTOR, on our roadways. Using soy-based asphalt rejuvenator not only preserves and protects pavement to ensure longevity of our roads, but also provides another market for Michigan-grown soybeans,” said Hanna Campbell, Michigan Soybean Committee’s Demand Specialist.

“We at Roadway Bioseal, LLC are privileged to represent BIORESTOR Asphalt Rejuvenator to communities throughout Michigan and Indiana,” said Lisa Harris, President, Roadway Bioseal, LLC. “BIORESTOR is an essential pavement preservation product for local roads, which has proved its worth in excellent pavement performances, affordability, compatibility with other road processes, and of course, sustainability due to the soy oil base. BIORESTOR produces roads with 80% less cracking and an increase in pavement lifecycles of 40% to 45%, thus giving communities the ability to get ahead of the curve in terms of keeping their good roads in good condition!”

By the end of 2022, Governor Whitmer and Lt. Governor Gilchrist will have fixed, repaired, or replaced more than 16,000 lane miles of road and 1,200 bridges, supporting more than 89,000 jobs. These and future repairs are made possible by the Rebuilding Michigan plan, a five-year, $3.5 billion investment in our highways and bridges, and the bipartisan Building Michigan Together Plan, the largest one-time investment in Michigan's infrastructure in state history.

Throughout 2022, Director McDowell is meeting with Michigan's food and agricultural businesses to focus on how they can continue to thrive in Michigan's new economy and how best MDARD can assist their continuous development.

Rebuilding Michigan’s Roads and Bridges 
Learn more about the Whitmer-Gilchrist Administration’s historic infrastructure investments by clicking on the following link: Infrastructure Accomplishments

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MDARD media contact: Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151 
SBO media contact: Lauren Leeds, 517-242-7919