The evidence is overwhelming. In Michigan, and across America, our infrastructure is crumbling, especially in many older communities. The United States used to have the number 1 ranked infrastructure in the world. Now we are number 28. But will Washington and Lansing seriously address this need? That’s the trillion dollar question!
In its most recent report, the Society of Civil Engineers gives the nation’s infrastructure a D plus! Thirty-two percent of our urban roads and 14 percent of rural roads are in poor condition. It’s estimated the U.S. would need to spend $2 trillion over the next 10 years to get our roads back in shape.
America’s bridges are just as bad. Sixty thousand are structurally deficit.
Closer to home, Michigan is equally troubled. Twenty-one percent of our roads are in poor condition. Eleven percent of our bridges are structurally deficit and the state is playing Russian roulette with 88 high hazard dams.
President Trump has proposed his infrastructure fix-it plan. Two hundred billion in federal spending over 10 years, induced by 1.3 trillion in local, state and private sector investment. Like everything in Washington, the devil will be in the detail. How exactly will it be paid for? What taxes may go up? What budget cuts may impact other departments and programs? What regulations will be reduced? What contributions are realistic for local governments that are already financially strapped? And what’s politically doable facing midterm elections?
Our nation’s infrastructure problems are real and solvable. But it won’t happen unless we have serious bi-partisan leadership that is engaged in honest negotiation and truly committed to improving America’s infrastructure. Let's use infrastructure as an opportunity to unite us with a bi-partisan solution and plan. Michigan and America are watching!
I’m Mike Murri, Vice President & General Manager
February 15 - 18, 2018