Smart investments in Michigan’s infrastructure will pay dividends for generations.

By: Ryan Burklow

Infrastructure problems like the Flint water crisis and the Fraser sinkhole illustrated the critically important need to invest in Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure. With that in mind, Gov. Rick Snyder formed the 21st Century Infrastructure Commission. In December 2016, the commission released their bold an innovative report which will serve as a blueprint for providing Michiganders with better infrastructure systems and ultimately an enhanced quality of life.

Gov. Snyder was joined by various partners, stakeholders and local leaders as he made stops in West and Southeast Michigan to announce that the regions had been selected to participate in the statewide asset management pilot program. The program was one of the key recommendations made by the infrastructure commission in December.

Gov. Snyder meeting with MDOT employees during a tour of the Detroit MDOT Operations Center, prior to the Southeast, Michigan announcement.

“Modern infrastructure is critical in ensuring Michigan is on a solid path toward our future,” Gov. Snyder said. “This collaborative regional pilot is key to improving our statewide infrastructure and will help make Michigan a national leader in infrastructure asset management and planning.”

The pilot will help formulate recommendations on how the state can establish a statewide integrated asset management system that will safeguard Michigan residents and reduce costs for communities and users.

Through the asset management program, infrastructure systems will be continuously inventoried and assessed so that regular repairs and preventative maintenance can be performed. In short, this program will dramatically extend the lifespan of existing and future infrastructure systems.

When looking ahead to perform scheduled maintenance it is much easier to coordinate projects between the different agencies tasked with maintaining the state’s infrastructure.

While the Governor’s favorite example of a healthy asset management program has to do with roadwork, there are countless ways the program can help build a 21st century infrastructure.

Between gas, water and fiber optic lines, there are many different reasons that a road would be torn up. And in the past, each of those lines would require the same stretch of road to be torn up a different time. With the new asset management system in place, the road would only need to be worked on once, with each of the different lines being either replaced or installed at once — drastically cutting down construction time and ultimately saving taxpayer money.

This pilot program is just the beginning of a very exciting future for Michiganders across every region of the state. Better infrastructure means a better quality of life.

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