Sharing ideas in west Michigan to improve Michigan’s infrastructure

August 5, 2016

We all have a responsibility to step-up and work together to help create safe, dependable, and reliable infrastructure that will continue Michigan’s comeback.

To help include Michiganders in the task of improving the state’s infrastructure, Governor Rick Snyder’s 21st Century Infrastructure Commission held its first listening tour stop in Grand Rapids on Thursday, July 21.

In total, nearly 80 individuals came together to share ideas and participate in discussions on how we can work together to create safer infrastructure.

Eric DeLong, deputy city manager for the city of Grand Rapids, said that this listening tour stop is just one step toward creating a comprehensive solution that will help make Michigan’s infrastructure safe now and for decades to come.

“We all have a responsibility to step-up and work together to help create safe, dependable, and resilient infrastructure that will move us forward,” DeLong said. “As we move forward and prepare our recommendations, I encourage you to be involved and help the Commission develop solutions that will create a vibrant and resilient Michigan for us all.”

In addition to the 10 facilitators and 10 commissioners that were at the event, 60 residents from various backgrounds attended the Grand Rapids Listening Tour stop, providing unique insights and perspectives on this issue.

Attendees discussed a wide range of topics during the evening. Many of them cited broadband connectivity, public safety, transportation costs, and sustainability as infrastructure issues that affect them the most. When asked what a successful 21st century infrastructure system looks like to them, attendees suggested sustainable, renewable, and efficient energy infrastructure, better use of ports and rails for freight, updated regulations for all infrastructure types, strong broadband infrastructure, and multi-modal movement of people and freight.

The Commission will host two additional listening tour stops — one in Marquette on August 19 and another in Detroit on September 23. Click here to sign-up for the Northern Michigan Listening Tour Stop.

In March 2016, Governor Rick Snyder created the 21st Century Infrastructure Commission, whose task is to recommend long-term strategies to improve Michigan’s infrastructure. The 27-member Commission includes experts representing business, government, nonprofit, and academic communities.

Commissioners encourage all Michiganders to be part of the conversation. Residents can visit to participate in online discussions and polls, learn about upcoming listening tour stops, and find recent news stories about the work of the Commission.