Michigan Infrastructure Council Debuts Public and Private Infrastructure 'Dig Once' Coordination Tool
March 16, 2021
Infrastructure owners across water, transportation, utilities and communications now have a new tool to document future construction after a new "dig once" project portal was released today by the Michigan Infrastructure Council (MIC).
Known as "The Portal," this new tool enables infrastructure owners in both public and private infrastructure sectors to document future construction. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, The Portal alerts owners of overlapping projects and provides contact information, enabling the opportunity for a "dig once" approach at a work site.
"The Portal is an essential step in ensuring our state's infrastructure is managed seamlessly," Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. "Since the first day of my administration, I have prioritized fixing our state's roads and bridges and ensuring all Michiganders have access to safe, clean drinking water. Public and private partners who use this tool will be able to communicate on how to best approach a work site, allowing them to save money and time, while enhancing collaboration on specific projects."
Often, infrastructure projects are done independently with little or no coordination with other work site stakeholders. This means a road may be torn up repeatedly at different times to address different types of work site infrastructure, like water, utility lines and broadband.
When a road is repaired or a right-of-way is opened for water line or utility maintenance, The Portal provides infrastructure owners an opportunity to take advantage of that construction process to inspect, repair and replace other infrastructure at the same time.
Benefits of collaboration include costs savings, efficient use of resources and reduced burden on residents near a work site.
"This tool is the hub for our spoke-and-wheel approach to enabling infrastructure owners across the state to work together," MIC Chairperson John Weiss said. "Knowing what major public and private infrastructure owners are going to be working on is exciting because it enables everyone to collaborate. If a road is being reconstructed, water and other utilities can inspect and address projects at the same location."
The MIC hopes The Portal will help shift Michigan's infrastructure focus from reactive response toward strategic long-term asset management.
"We are always looking for opportunities to improve service to our customers and reduce the cost of our projects," said Marco Bruzzano, Vice President of Corporate Strategy for DTE and MIC voting member. "Having a portal that provides greater visibility of infrastructure projects in our service territory will allow us to better coordinate construction, limit traffic interruptions and look for savings opportunities as we work with our regional partners."
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), along with Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II, is helping lead the Connecting Michigan Taskforce, which advises and assists in improving coordination among stakeholders in addressing broadband and technology access and adoption issues in the state.
"Building and strengthening broadband infrastructure throughout Michigan will be a driver of economic recovery efforts statewide and The Portal will be an invaluable tool in helping to increase new broadband development and removing barriers to construction," said Sarah Tennant, Sector Development Director at the MEDC. "COVID-19 has highlighted the incredible need for fast and reliable broadband technologies to ensure every Michigan resident is able to fully participate in our economy - whether that is through remote work, telehealth or virtual learning. The Portal will get us one step closer to achieving that goal."
For more information about The Portal, go to the MIC's website at www.Michigan.gov/MIC.
The Michigan Infrastructure Council brings together local utility and infrastructure owners, regional representatives, finance and policy experts, and state department leaders to coordinate infrastructure-related goals and develop a long-term strategy for Michigan's infrastructure assets.
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