In multiple stories over the past year, Bridge Magazine has focused on shameful and alarming examples of Michigan’s aging, failing and overwhelmed infrastructure. Sadly, as one Bridge headline so accurately noted, our Legislature’s answer has been “ignore everything.”

When it comes to Michigan’s infrastructure, our state routinely chooses to react to crisis after crisis instead of properly funding infrastructure systems that keep our communities safe and healthy, that protect our state’s lakes, rivers and drinking water, and that are essential to economic prosperity.

We can’t seem to learn a simple lesson: Ignoring Michigan’s infrastructure needs has massive human and economic consequences.

When we neglect our state’s aging infrastructure – our stormwater and wastewater sewer systems, drinking water systems, dams, and road and bridges – we jeopardize the health and public safety of our communities.

On Christmas Eve last year, a sinkhole caused by a major sewer line affected more than 500,000 Macomb County residents. It is estimated the repairs will cost $70 million.