It's more than the roads.
Infrastructure is about more than our roads. As evidenced by the recent dam breaks in mid Michigan, we cannot continue to defer the necessary upkeep and maintenance of critical infrastructure throughout our state. Our nation is woefully behind in the repair and upgrade of our infrastructure. A 2018 report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers gives both the U.S. and Michigan a D+. As a state, we are at a critical time in making decisions about our infrastructure to ensure a positive path (no pun intended) for progress. No private entities should own or control the maintenance of the infrastructure that is a necessary public good. Furthermore, profit should not drive the government's investment in what we value - in this case, infrastructure. The taxes we pay should support and enhance our potential for business growth and learning potential, regardless of where you live in Michigan. It's about investing in what we value.
Make repairing our roads and bridges a top priority in 2021
Repairing and maintaining roads and infrastructure is critical for the safety and well-being of our citizens, and for continued growth and prosperity of Michigan businesses (and less dangerous roads would decrease shipping costs and incentivize outside companies to invest in and locate in Michigan. Safer roads equal lower-cost vehicle repairs and maintenance
Explore alternative material usage when repairing roads and bridges.
We're all familiar with construction projects that appear never to end, where our roads and bridges are seemingly always in need of repair. Based on engineering research and empirical data, there are several feasible alternatives to improve current road and bridge repair practices. Rubber additives, self-healing concrete, and carbon fiber structures would provide a more sustainable solution to repairing our potholes and bridges, ensuring that we aren't just putting a "band-aid" on the problem and re-addressing it every year. Using sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives, we can improve our crumbling infrastructure for years to come.
It’s not just about the roads: addressing additional infrastructure needs.
Michigan has an $800 million annual gap in water and sewer infrastructure needs resulting in an aging system that hasn’t kept up with use. We must stop deferring needed maintenance and reinvest in infrastructure to ensure every community has clean, safe drinking water to drink and use. Additionally, climate change resulting in rising water levels along our Great Lake shores makes storm and drain water systems as well as solid waste management systems all the more critical to repair and modernize to protect our communities from flooding.
Through bi-partisan efforts, we can address Michigan's dangerous and crumbling infrastructure in a sustainable and financially responsible way. By investing in the future of our state's roads and bridges, we can lower the total maintenance cost over time and ensure the safety of everyone who benefits from Michigan's infrastructure.
Implement policies and appropriate funding to increase broadband access, for both fixed (in homes, institutions, and businesses) and mobile access.
Broadband is high-speed internet access. Michigan ranks 30th as a state in broadband access. Equitable access to broadband is key to Michigan's future success in all public and private sectors of our society. There is currently a digital desert in access throughout Michigan for private citizens and businesses located in suburban, urban, and rural areas resulting in a loss of positive economic and education outcomes.