Fixing the roads: Michigan unveils big new projects and the tool for tracking them
Gretchen Whitmer announced new projects regarding Michigan roads that are expected to get underway soon. Officials also announced a new tool to help residents track road projects in their area. The Rebuilding Michigan Plan means work will continue on roads this construction season. AdREAD: More Michigan road coverageWatch the video above for the full report. Michigan 2021 state highway road construction projects: Here’s what’s plannedThe Michigan governor announced a list of 21 state highway road construction projects Tuesday that are planned for the 2021 season through the Rebuilding Michigan bonding program.
Whitmer reveals new way to track progress of Michigan road construction projects
Gretchen Whitmer revealed a new tool Michiganders can use to track road projects as construction continues throughout the state. “As we continue to invest in better roads and bridges under the Rebuilding Michigan program, this new dashboard will be important to ensure our efforts to fix the damn roads remain on time and on budget,” Whitmer said. “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. It allows MDOT to sell $3.5 billion in bonds to finance dozens of new and modified road construction projects, while accelerating many others, the state said. “The Rebuilding Michigan Program allows MDOT to completely rebuild some important freeways that we otherwise could only afford to resurface,” MDOT Director Paul C. Ajegba said.
Michigan 2021 state highway road construction projects: Here’s what’s planned
The Michigan governor announced a list of 21 state highway road construction projects Tuesday that are planned for the 2021 season through the Rebuilding Michigan bonding program. Gretchen Whitmer’s office said these road projects (listed below) are a blend of those previously funded through the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) budget as well as several supported by the Rebuilding Michigan bonding program. The Rebuilding Michigan program was made possible when 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. “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. AdSo, in a month where we can have ten inches of snow and three inches of rain in a three-week span, potholes are thriving on Michigan roads.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer prepares to submit budget for 2022 to lawmakers
DEARBORN, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is preparing to submit her budget for 2022 to lawmakers on Thursday. On Wednesday, she highlighted some of what she’d like to spend money on. READ: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has new plan to fix state’s crumbling roadsIt is expected to cost $300 million to fix the bridges.
Michigan Gov. Whitmer makes pitch for federal funding to fix roads in testimony before US Senate
On Wednesday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer testified before the U.S. Senate regarding what she said is a desperate need for federal funding to fix Michigan’s roads. “I was known for running on and getting elected to ‘fix the damn roads’ in Michigan and I have to say that we need significant investments in our roads and bridges,” Whitmer said. READ: Michigan Gov. Whitmer to Senate: Investment in roads, bridges needed to remain competitive
Michigan Gov. Whitmer to Senate: Investment in roads, bridges needed to remain competitive
Gretchen Whitmer testified before the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, urging Congress to include significant investment in infrastructure in future legislation. Whitmer’s written testimony opened with a call for significant investment in roads and bridges. Without this significant investment, we struggle to remain competitive for businesses and families,” Whitmer said. Michigan is not just the auto capital of the world, we’re the advanced mobility leader,” Whitmer said. Short-term program extensions are damaging because they can cause unnecessary program disruptions and delay essential safety and mobility benefits to Michigan communities,” Whitmer added.
I-94 to close this weekend for demolition of Burns Street overpass in Detroit
DETROIT – Crews will close a section of I-94 this weekend in order to demolish the Burns Street overpass in Detroit. One lane of traffic will be open on westbound I-94 for local traffic up to Conner Avenue, MDOT announced. All entrance ramps to westbound I-94 from Chalmers to Chene streets will close at 7 p.m. Friday and reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, crews said. AdEastbound I-94 traffic will be detoured from southbound I-75, to the eastbound Gratiot Connector, to northbound Gratiot Avenue, to eastbound Eight Mile Road and back to eastbound I-94, MDOT officials said. The Van Dyke Avenue entrance ramps to both directions of I-94 will stay closed starting Monday during the rebuilding of the Burns Street overpass.
MDOT grant to create 2,200 new jobs in Detroit for road improvements near Hamtramck border
DETROIT – The Michigan Department of Transportation has awarded a grant that will create 2,200 new jobs in Detroit as part of a plan to improve the road conditions near the Hamtramck border. MDOT’s state transportation economic development grant will help fund infrastructure improvements around General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center, according to state officials. “General Motors appreciates the support from MDOT and the City of Detroit for these much-needed road improvements,” said Jim Quick, plant director at Factory ZERO, Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center. Hamtramck Drive from East Grand Boulevard north to the Detroit city limit. The TEDF Category A share of the project is $6,000,000, with the city of Detroit providing $5,686,313 in matching funds.
It’s snow laughing matter -- MDOT asks residents to help name snowplows
DETROIT – The Michigan Department of Transportation announced Sunday it will start naming its snowplows to add a personal touch to the Mi Drive map. To see each snowplow’s name, visit the Mi Drive map here and activate the MDOT snowplow tracker map layer. Current snowplow names were chosen from hundreds of suggestions and include Plowasaurus Rex, Winter Snowdier, Sir Salts-A-Lot, Snowboni and -- of course -- Plowy McPlowface. MDOT is hopeful to name each of the more than 250 MDOT plows statewide in the near future. Don’t get cold feet and submit your plow names here.
I-375 project in Detroit: MDOT to host virtual outreach event, public hearing
DETROIT – The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will hold a virtual outreach event and in-person public hearing regarding the Environmental Assessment (EA) for proposed changes on I-375 in Detroit. MDOT said the project extends from Mack Avenue to Atwater Street and “transforms the urban below-grade freeway into a street-level boulevard.” The virtual outreach event and public hearing will allow interested parties the opportunity to view potential changes and make formal documented comments. Virtual outreach event details:6-7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021Register here for virtual eventIn-person public hearing details:4-8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021The 4-5 p.m. hour is reserved for senior citizens or individuals at high risk for COVID-19. All state guidelines for public health and safety will be followed, including wearing a mask, social distancing and not attending if feeling ill.Register in advance online or by calling 517-335-4381 to reserve a time. Additional information is available on the project website at www.Michigan.gov/I375study.”
Whitmer signs bills aiming to shift away from jail as punishment for traffic offenses in Michigan
Gretchen Whitmer has signed a 20-bill package that aims to shift away from using jail and arrests as punishment for traffic offenses unless someone is a danger to the public. The bipartisan package of criminal justice reform bills resulted from recommendations by the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration, according to the state. “I’m extraordinarily proud of our collective work over the last two years to understand and improve the criminal justice system,” Lt. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs a 20-bill package aiming to reshape penalties for traffic offenses on Jan. 4, 2020. The bill package aims to shift people away from jail unless they are a danger to the public.
Gov. Whitmer reflects on 2020 in Michigan: COVID-19, protests, dam failures, domestic terror plot
Gretchen Whitmer is reflecting on 2020, touching on the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan roads, the economic crisis, dam failures, a domestic terror plot and protests over racial injustice. “As I think about 2020, the phrase annus horribilis comes to mind, which means a horrible year. But it wasn’t all horrible, cause some really good things happened this year and there are sources of inspiration no matter where you look,” Whitmer said. In this video, Whitmer goes all the way back to the first cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, which were confirmed March 10. It covers the domestic terror plot targeting Whitmer and ends with a look ahead to 2021.
Warren neighborhood worried about traffic light removal as part of massive Mound Road rebuild
WARREN, Mich. – Residents of a Warren neighborhood are worried about the plan to remove the traffic light on their road as part of the massive Mound Road rebuild project. “You take our street light out and we will never get in or out of our subdivision,” Warren resident Cynthia Allen said. Allen has lived in Warren’s St. Anne subdivision at Mound Road and Arden Avenue for 50 years. Part of the plan for the Mound Road makeover is to remove the traffic light at Arden Avenue and eliminate the cut-through. County road officials said removing the light at Arden Avenue improves traffic flow.
Southbound I-375 closed for 2 weeks at Larned Street in Detroit due to emergency repairs
DETROIT – Southbound I-375 will be closed at Larned Street in Detroit for about two weeks for emergency repairs, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. Crews are closing the highway for concrete repair and curing in cold temperatures, officials said. All southbound traffic will exit at Larned Street, just north of Jefferson Avenue. The diversion will last through early November. One northbound lane of I-375 will be closed through Tuesday (Oct. 20).
Grants to help fund EV fast charging stations in Michigan
LANSING, Mich. Do you have the juice to drive along Michigan streets, roads and highways? The state Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) wants to make sure operators of electric vehicles have enough places to plug in. Nearly $1.7 million in EGLE Charge Up Michigan Program grants will partially fund 36 EV DC fast charging stations with a total of 76 plug-in points for automobiles and light-utility vehicles along well-traveled routes. Public and private entities still can apply for EGLE grants of up to $70,000 per station. Funding for the grants comes from more than $9.7 million allocated to Michigan from the Volkswagen diesel emissions settlement.
Stretch of I-94 to be rebuilt from Conner to I-96
DETROIT – A massive wave of road construction in Metro Detroit is far from over -- it’s time to redo I-94. Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) officially has the go ahead to rebuild both directions of I-94 from Conner Street to I-96. Construction is expected to get underway in 2023. Watch the video above for the full report
Detroit plans to resurface 93 miles of neighborhood streets this year
DETROIT – The city of Detroit has major construction plans outside the downtown area this year as it looks to resurface 93 miles of neighborhood streets. Construction workers have gone back to work on Detroit’s west not, not only resurfacing streets but revitalizing the whole neighborhood. “We see what’s happening here, what’s happening on Livernois. “It’s overwhelming to see all of the businesses that are rapidly coming,” Detroit resident Chanale Greer said. “We’ve seen the renderings.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has new plan to fix state’s crumbling roads
Gretchen Whitmer has a new plan to fix the state’s crumbling roads, and this time, she said she doesn’t need the support of Republicans to make it happen. Everyone can agree Michigan roads are a disaster and need a major upgrade, but settling on a repair plan has proven difficult. Under the new plan, Whitmer said she will rely on state road bonds to fund the work. The work will focus on I-, U.S. and M-numbered roads, not local roads. Some Republicans say this is the wrong move for the state, claiming it’s like a consumer running up a massive amount of credit card debt.
WATCH: Gov. Whitmer holds roundtable on ‘Rebuilding Michigan’ plan
Governor Gretchen Whitmer held a media roundtable Thursday morning to offer an update on her “Rebuilding Michigan” plan that she discussed in her 2020 State of the State address. On Wednesday night, Whitmer announced that Michigan will borrow $3.5 billion to rebuild the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges over a five-year period. This is after the Republican-led Legislature rejected her proposed gasoline tax hike. On Thursday, the State Transportation Commission authorized the sale of $3.5 billion in road and bridge-building bonds. Read more: Whitmer: ‘No more waiting’; Michigan to borrow $3.5B for roads
Report finds Michigan's rural roads, bridges have 'significant deficiencies'
A new report finds Michigan's rural roads and bridges are in need of serious repairs. The report, Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland, evaluates the safety and condition of the nation’s rural roads and bridges and finds that the nation’s rural transportation system is in need of immediate improvements to address deficient roads and bridges, high crash rates, and inadequate connectivity and capacity. The report finds that 16 percent of Michigan’s rural roads are rated in poor condition – the 19th highest rate in the nation - and 18 percent are rated in mediocre condition. The rate of traffic fatalities on Michigan’s non-Interstate, rural roads is nearly double the fatality rate on all other roads in the state – 1.55 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.83. Making critical safety improvements to rural roads will save thousands of lives each year and help move our economy forward.”
Best, worst driving cities in Michigan in 2019
A new report ranks the best and worst driving cities in Michigan. Here's the info and insight from QuoteWizard:The Worst Driving CitiesHollandTaking the top spot for Michigan's worst drivers, Holland might have stirred a debate on whether east or west Michigan has the worst drivers. The Best Driving CitiesHoltIt's no surprise to see one of the smaller cities take the number one spot for driver quality in Michigan. Related: 20 best places to live in Southeast Michigan in 2019BurtonSharing the best driving hub with Flint, Burton rounds out the top three cities with the best drivers in Michigan. Cities below are ranked 1-50 from worst to best drivers.
VIDEO: Michigan boy fills potholes outside house with dirt from backyard
MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. – A west Michigan boy is getting attention for taking matters into his own hands to deal with potholes. WZZM-TV reports 12-year-old Monte Scott recently used dirt from his backyard to even out a street near his Muskegon Heights home. Trinell Scott says her son “took it upon himself” to fix the road. Video of him working was posted on Facebook , where it got tens of thousands of views. While not a long-term fix, his work comes amid attention to the issue of crumbling roads across Michigan as the governor and legislators try to find ways to pay for road improvements.
Report details how much Michigan's bad roads cost drivers
DETROIT – A new report released this week looks at the cost of Michigan's crumbling roads to drivers. Forty-three percent of Michigan’s bridges (4,815 of 11,180) were built in 1969 or earlier. Detroit area drivers are dealing with increasingly congested roadways, as population and vehicle-travel rates return to pre-recession levels. Lost time and wasted fuel as a result of congestion cost the average Detroit area motorist $1,278 annually. The TRIP report also concludes that fixing Michigan's roads would likely lead to a decrease in traffic fatalities and serious crashes.
Here's how much Whitmer's gas tax proposal would cost the average Michigan driver
How much would a proposed 45-cent increase in the gas tax cost the average Michigan driver? Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her proposal to fix the roads this week, with a 45-cent increase in the gas tax, which would make Michigan's fuel tax the highest in the U.S. To alleviate the burden for some motorists, she proposed a tax overhaul under which retirees and low-income earners would get breaks while more businesses would pay a 6 percent tax instead of the lower 4.25 percent personal income tax. Whitmer said her proposal would cost the average driver $23 a month, or $276 a year, but contended that motorists already are paying a “roads tax” for vehicle repairs caused by crumbling infrastructure. She proposed doubling the earned income tax credit for low-income residents, saving 750,000 families $30 a month, and repealing the so-called retirement tax on pension and other income — saving 400,000 households $65 per month.
WATCH: Michigan governor presents state budget proposal with increased gas tax
Gretchen Whitmer proposed a 45-cent increase in the state's gasoline and diesel taxes to fix the roads, phased in later this year and in 2020. Watch the presentation above. Appearing on Flashpoint with Devin Scillian, Whitmer made it clear she thinks the word tax gets a bad rap. Tuesday’s budget address doesn’t deal with infrastructure alone. Expect to hear more detail on how Whitmer expects to fund $507 million more for K-12 education.