A new study says Michigan’s transportation system is better prepared for climate change than many other Midwest states.
But it’s still not enough, according to the Midwest Economic Policy Institute.
Study author Mary Craighead says Michigan will see higher temperatures, heavier rains, increased erosion, and more frequent freeze-thaw cycles. That will damage bridges, roads and other infrastructure.
Craighead says it’s an economic issue for the whole country, not just Michigan.
“Thirty-five percent of U.S.-Canada trade flows through Michigan,” says Craighead, “so it’s incredibly important to have these operating infrastructure systems so we can accommodate that freight.”
Craighead says the Michigan Department of Transportation is taking steps to make infrastructure more stable in the face of climate change, but more transportation funding is going to be needed.
Mark Van Port Fleet is chief engineer for the Michigan Department of Transportation. He agrees with the need for more funding, but says it’s not possible to rebuild all the roads and bridges to withstand the damage from climate change, so Michigan is being judicious with scarce resources.