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Executive Directive 2021-11
December 02, 2021
To: State Department Directors and Autonomous Agency Heads
From: Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Date: November 23, 2021
Re: Repairing and restoring Michigan's roads and bridges
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provides federal support to repair and rebuild Michigan's roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users. State departments will play a critical role in mobilizing these dollars and ensuring they are spent responsibly, efficiently, and in compliance with the law.
In the United States, 1 in 5 miles of highways and major roads, and 45,000 bridges, are in poor condition. When I took office, the situation in Michigan was even more serious - with more than 1 in 4 miles of road in poor condition, and scheduled funding not only falling short of what was needed to fix the problem, but even to maintain roads and bridges in their current condition. While the pandemic and economic recovery had to be the focus over the past year and a half, we must now redouble our efforts to come together to continue fixing the roads.
I launched the Rebuilding Michigan program in 2020 to address the growing and immediate need to modernize Michigan's road infrastructure. Rebuilding Michigan addresses the most important state trunkline needs, focusing on high-volume routes to improve the quality of road infrastructure for the greatest number of users, while creating up to 43,000 good-paying construction jobs. The program has already moved dirt on more than 130 miles of I-96, I-69, and I-94 without raising taxes. But Rebuilding Michigan is just the beginning. Federal support will help our state revitalize main streets and make transformative regional investments.
Investment in Michigan's neighborhood roads will support community development and set the stage for sustained economic resurgence in a post-pandemic world. We must also
intentionally address more than just road infrastructure by improving drinking water, strengthening storm water infrastructure with an eye toward climate resiliency, and incorporating other utility services to modernize the energy grid and broadband systems consistent with the objectives of the Michigan Infrastructure Council.
Within state government, the primary departments involved in mobilizing federal dollars for rebuilding and restoring our state's roads and bridges are the Department of Transportation, Department of Technology, Management, and Budget, and Department of Treasury.
Acting under sections 1 and 8 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, I direct state departments and autonomous agencies to do all of the following:
- Work with the Legislature to leverage the federal dollars available to Michigan to accelerate rebuilding and restoring the roads and bridges critical to communities across this state.
- Consistent with Executive Directive 2019-15, work expeditiously to ensure that roads and bridges projects in this state rely on Michigan businesses that create jobs for Michigan workers.
- To guarantee that taxpayers get the best value for their money in the form of roads that can withstand wear and tear, ensure that roads are repaired using the right mix of materials.
- Use resources that allow for infrastructure asset managers to coordinate on project plans and timing, including the "Dig Once" project portal, so communities can upgrade not only their roads and bridges, but also high-speed internet, water, and other utility infrastructure without cutting through pavement and dirt multiple times.
- To bring more investments and high-paying jobs to Michigan, aggressively pursue discretionary federal grants available under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act by working with Michigan's congressional delegation, local governments, and community partners.
- To energize community revitalization efforts, prioritize assisting communities in sustaining their traditional commercial districts and improving neighborhood roads by leveraging federal dollars to maximize their existing social, economic, physical, and cultural assets.
- To support statewide economic development, prioritize regionally significant, catalytic projects that modernize critical infrastructure, accelerate housing and economic development, encourage outdoor recreation, and promote equity.
- To maintain Michigan's competitive edge in automotive manufacturing during the transition to electric vehicles, identify and pursue opportunities to expedite the deployment of electric vehicle infrastructure when rebuilding and restoring roads and bridges.
- Reflecting the fact that our changing climate is causing more extreme weather events that result in Michiganders being inundated with floodwaters, identify and pursue opportunities to improve flood resiliency when rebuilding and restoring roads and bridges.
- To help address economic disparities and promote environmental justice, seek and engage with voices from communities that were excluded from decision-making during the period of enhanced infrastructure investment that followed the Second World War.
This directive is effective immediately.
Thank you for your cooperation in implementing this directive.