Rob Coppersmith, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA), issued the following statement regarding the state of emergency for Lapeer, Macomb, Oakland, and St. Clair counties following a water main break near the Great Lakes Water Authority’s Lake Huron Water Treatment facility:

“Underground infrastructure is just as vital to everyday life as above-ground roads and bridges. Aging and failing infrastructure present a critical issue as they impact our ability to serve residents with safe and reliable water for drinking and sanitation.”

“Unfortunately, it’s become far too common that we respond to the latest crisis instead of acting to prevent these issues beforehand. In 2018, the American Society of Civil Engineers issued Michigan a “D” grade for our water infrastructure in their 2018 Report Card for Michigan’s Infrastructure. They identified that Michigan’s water infrastructure was underfunded by as much as nearly $600 million.

“While we’ve seen an increased investment in Michigan’s infrastructure needs in the past couple of years, more is needed now to help prevent the next disaster before it can happen. Problems like the one in Southeast Michigan this last week will become commonplace in the coming months and years without the needed funding to replace and repair our aging infrastructure.

“Michigan’s leaders need to implement a long-term, sustainable infrastructure funding plan that will tackle these issues head on. Our more than 600 members stand ready to take on the important work of upgrading Michigan’s infrastructure to make sure it can deliver on the needs for all Michigan residents.”

This release is from the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. For more, click here.