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Whitmer Signs Executive Directive Streamlining Infrastructure Permitting

June 1, 2022 



Gov. Whitmer Signs Executive Directive Streamlining Infrastructure Permitting
 Increasing cooperation, reducing inefficiencies, promoting transparency will ensure state can move efficiently and effectively to keep fixing roads, bridges, pipes, and more

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, members of the Michigan Congressional delegation, and local leaders to sign an executive directive streamlining the State of Michigan’s infrastructure permitting process. The directive ensures projects can get moving faster and be completed on time and on budget by boosting inter-departmental coordination and increasing transparency.

In Michigan, we’re fixing the damn roads and bridges, repairing crumbling water infrastructure, and making progress on so many other infrastructure priorities from high-speed internet to parks and electric vehicle charging stations,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today’s executive directive will make our permitting process even more user-friendly, ensuring projects can get moving and be completed on time and on budget. Since I took office through the end of this year, we will fix over 16,000 lane miles of road and 1,200 bridges, supporting nearly 89,000 jobs. We’re fixing these roads and bridges with the right mix and materials, so they stay fixed. With today’s directive that increases transparency, boosts inter-departmental coordination, and speeds up the permitting process, I am confident that we can keep moving dirt to rebuild our infrastructure more effectively and efficiently than ever.

“Michigan is a great place to talk transportation – it's home to many of the world’s great car manufacturers and a Governor who has been a nation-leader on 'fixing the damn roads,'” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “As we use President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to modernize America’s roads, bridges, rail, ports, and more, we will do so in partnership with leaders in Michigan like those I’m meeting at this conference. Together we are building a transportation system that will drive American economic success for generations.”

“Streaming the permitting process will help us deliver infrastructure projects on time and on budget, keeping people working and spurring economic growth,” said Zach Kolodin, Chief Infrastructure Officer and Director of the Michigan Infrastructure Office. "With hundreds of infrastructure projects already happening across the state right now, it's critical that we keep the pedal to the metal in order to continue delivering for Michiganders.”

“It takes action, not bureaucracy, to rebuild Michigan’s infrastructure – putting our well-trained, highly-skilled professionals to work with the right materials and equipment,” said Douglas W. Stockwell, Operating Engineers 324 Business Manager and General Vice-President. Given the state of disrepair that got us to this point and the economic realities of materials cost, we need to get these projects started now, with a streamlined and transparent process.  This executive order should do exactly that. Operating Engineers 324 have been on the front lines of building and maintaining Michigan’s critical infrastructure for over 125 years and are an essential craft on almost all the projects referenced by the Governor, and the men and women of Operating Engineers 324 stand ready to continue the work to keep Michigan running.”

“Successful construction projects require the right contractor who has the experience and capability to perform according to schedule,” said Blaze Contracting Owner and Executive Chairman Kerlin Blaise. “The schedule part of the project is directly tied to the permit process that involves various departments that are directly or indirectly impacted by the construction process.  Meeting safety requirements and government regulations are the primary reason the permits are required.  Therefore, anything that can be done to shorten this process provides the environment that helps the contractor meet timelines and schedules.”


Infrastructure Permitting Executive Directive

Governor Whitmer’s executive directive will make Michigan’s permitting process even more efficient and transparent. It will apply to projects that cost $50 million or more. The directive will increase coordination by requiring the Michigan Infrastructure Office (MIO) that the governor established earlier this year to convene all relevant state departments and agencies to develop a coordinated permitting process for each large infrastructure project. Additionally, the directive requires state departments and agencies to create publicly available permitting schedules offering clear timelines and avoiding duplication of efforts. Finally, it instructs the MIO to develop a public permitting dashboard to track progress of projects and ensure that all projects meet environmental and climate resilience goals. 

The executive directive can be viewed here.

Fixing the Damn Roads

Since Governor Whitmer took office through the end of 2022, Michigan will fix over 16,000 lane miles of road and 1,200 bridges, while supporting nearly 89,000 jobs. This progress is possible because the State, under the Whitmer-Gilchrist administration, has invested 70% more in roads and bridges over four years than the previous four years.

Earlier this year, Governor Whitmer signed the Building Michigan Together Plan, which includes some of the largest infrastructure investments in Michigan history. The plan will initiate dozens of road and bridge projects, replace 20,000 lead service lines, expand high-speed internet to more homes and small businesses, build more affordable housing, and improve state and local parks across Michigan.