Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2021
Governor Whitmer Announces 21 Rebuilding Michigan Road Projects
Rebuilding Michigan effort aims to keep drivers safe, jumpstart Michigan's economy, create good-paying construction jobs.
LANSING, Mich. -- Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced the first 21 state highway projects starting throughout the state as part of the 2021 Michigan Department of Transportation construction season. These projects are a blend of those previously funded through the department's budget, as well as several supported by the Rebuilding Michigan bonding program.
"This is all about keeping Michigan drivers safe on the road," said Governor Whitmer. "By taking action now through the Rebuilding Michigan plan, we can start fixing state roads immediately and save money in the long run by cutting down the need for more costly repairs later. The Rebuilding Michigan plan is financed without an increase at the gas pump, and it'll help jumpstart our economy by creating thousands of good-paying construction jobs. As we get into the spring and summer, you will see more work going on as we move quickly to make up for decades of under investment in infrastructure. Let's get to work and let's get it done."
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Rebuilding Michigan program is focused on rebuilding the state highways and bridges that are critical to the state's economy and carry the most traffic. The investment strategy is aimed at fixes that result in longer useful lives and improves the condition of the state's infrastructure.
"Michigan has needed real, sustained investment in our roads and bridges - and the jobs that investment creates - for far too long," said Operating Engineers 324 Business Manager Douglas Stockwell. "Governor Whitmer's Rebuilding Michigan plan finally addresses this issue, and puts our highly skilled, safety-trained members to work doing what we do best: fixing the roads and bridges to keep Michigan running. Good roads benefit communities and good jobs stimulate the economy. This investment creates both. The men and women of Operating Engineers 324 will continue to answer the call."
"The heavy construction industry stands ready, willing and able to tackle the construction projects that Governor Whitmer's Rebuilding Michigan plan will deliver," said Lance Binoniemi, vice president of government affairs for the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. "Michigan's roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair, and this will go a long way towards supporting that need."
"Rebuilding Michigan will employ Michiganders in good-paying jobs at a time when we need it to grow our economy," said Business Manager of the Laborers District Council Geno Alessandrini, Sr. "Our members are the best trained workers in the world and they are ready to get to work to keep Michiganders safe on the roads. This investment will do just that."
Projects starting or resuming in March include:
Dozens of other road and bridge rebuilding projects are planned for the 2021 construction season through the traditional federal and state funding sources, as well as the Rebuilding Michigan bonding program.
"MDOT's 2021 program includes rebuilding and resurfacing roughly 920 lane miles of state highways and freeways, and performing preventative maintenance on another 830 lane miles throughout Michigan," said State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba. "Our department is working quickly to turn the additional funding we've been entrusted with into better, safer roads and bridges that support our economy and thousands of jobs."
As Gov. Whitmer requested, the State Transportation Commission (STC) in January 2020 authorized MDOT to issue $3.5 billion in bonds over four years to finance infrastructure improvements, under authority granted by the Michigan Constitution and Public Act 51 of 1951. Funding raised through bond sales will finance 49 new projects throughout the state, and frees up funding already dedicated to those project for roughly 120 other projects, expanding the scope of that work or advancing project schedules.
MDOT sold a first $800 million package of bonds in September 2020. The very favorable market reaction resulted in a premium as the sale generated nearly $1.1 billion in proceeds. Strong bond ratings from S&P and Moody's rating agencies reflected the dedicated revenues stream of fuel taxes and vehicle registrations to repay investors, as well as the STC's policy to limit MDOT's debt service to 25 percent of revenues.
"After Gov. Whitmer announced her Rebuilding Michigan bonding program, Moody's issued a report supporting the state's investment in infrastructure for the impact on our economic competitiveness." said Patrick McCarthy, Director of MDOT's Bureau of Finance & Administration. "They also recognized that making those investments now provides value, while delaying increases costs to make repairs to our infrastructure."