State infrastructure proposal addresses 'urgent needs'

Posted at 10:20 AM, Dec 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 10:20:37-05

Michigan needs an additional $4 billion a year to fix and update its infrastructure, including crumbling roads and bridges and aging water and sewer systems, according to a new report from a state commission that includes Michigan State University’s Janice Beecher.

The 21st Century Infrastructure Commission, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in March, released its report and recommendations this week. The 27-member commission addressed four key areas: transport; communications and energy; funding and policy; and water, sewer, stormwater and drainage. Read the report here.

Beecher, director of MSU’s Institute of Public Utilities, said it was “an honor and a pleasure” to work on the commission.

“The report is not the end – it's the beginning of a long-term commitment to meeting the state's urgent infrastructure needs for generations to come,” Beecher said. “While the challenges are great, so are the opportunities. The commission's findings and recommendations will shape practices, policies and research in Michigan and beyond."

The investment needs outlined in the report are over a 20-year time period, with multiple entities contributing: federal, state and local agencies, private partners and ratepayers.

The recommendations include what is needed to bring Michigan’s current infrastructure systems up to good condition across sectors, as well as what is needed to invest in these systems for the future.