At a news conference last week during the annual Mackinac Policy Conference, a collection of Michigan business, government, transportation and engineering groups criticized the Michigan Legislature’s lack of assistance for the state’s infrastructure efforts.
“Many studies have documented Michigan’s infrastructure repair needs as massive, and we know what it’s going to take to fix it,” Mike Nystrom, executive vice-president of the Michigan Transportation & Infrastructure Association (MITA), said. “But the Legislature doesn’t have a plan and has eliminated all money from a fund that was specifically proposed to start the process of fixing some of the most pressing problems. We can’t blame this Legislature for the condition of our infrastructure, as inaction over many decades brought us here. But it is up to our state elected leaders to provide a long-term solution, and they continue to do nothing but ignore the problem.”
The Detroit Regional Chamber, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) have joined ranks in noting infrastructure fixes as a top issue, from aging dams to neglected water systems and the state’s hotly debated network of roads and bridges.
The call for change comes in spite of separate studies by the Gov. Rick Snyder’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission and the BLM, which concluded months ago that Michigan would need to invest $4 billion more every year for around 20 years to address the state’s infrastructure needs.