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Whitmer to sign nearly $5B bipartisan plan to improve roads, water, parks, internet, more

Posted at 9:14 PM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 21:14:19-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign a nearly $5 billion infrastructure plan to ensure that Michigan families will have better roads, internet access, parks, housing, and water.

The bipartisan bill, which is part of the Building Michigan Together Plan, will give $2 billion towards critical water infrastructure needs, $645 million to Michigan’s infrastructure, $450 million to Michigan state parks, $250 million towards improving access and adoption of broadband, and more.

“The Building Michigan Together Plan makes bold, bipartisan investments in the kitchen-table issues that matter most to Michigan families, including clean water, smooth roads, fast internet, and beautiful parks,” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer said. “I am so proud that the Michigan Legislature and I were able to come together to get this done. This bill will make a real difference in our communities, support tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and set up Michigan’s economy for decades of success.”

Here is the breakdown of the nearly $5 billion plan:

Water
The Building Michigan Together Plan includes nearly $2 billion to address critical water infrastructure needs.

  • More than $1 billion for drinking water improvements, including: 
  • At least $325 million to replace lead service lines, including 100% of lead service lines in Benton Harbor. 
  • $55 million to help communities tackle toxic contaminants like PFAS. 
  • $43 million in assistance for small and disadvantaged communities. 
  • $712 million for clean water initiatives to address storm and wastewater including: 
  • $$669 million for clean water infrastructure. 
  • $35 million for loans to help repair failing septic systems. 
  • $20 million for public health risk reduction. 
  • $8 million to address emerging contaminants. 
  • $210 million to repair dams in Midland and Gladwin counties and another $40 million to address the repair, renovation, or elimination of dams statewide.

Transportation
The Building Michigan Together Plan calls for critical investments of $645 million in Michigan’s infrastructure, including:

  • $317 million for road and bridge programs, benefitting both state and local projects. 
  • $66 million to make state transportation infrastructure more resilient to future flooding events by adding reliable generator backup power to all 164 state-owned pumping stations. 
  • $98 million for airport infrastructure improvement grants. 
  • $66 million to improve public transportation. 
  • $25 million investment in the statewide Mobility Futures Initiative to position Michigan to lead the nation in mobility innovation. 

Parks
The Building Michigan Together Plan invests $450 million in Michigan’s state parks to improve state and local parks and trails to enhance tourism and boost the outdoor recreation industry.

  • $250 million for state parks, including the creation of a new state park in the city of Flint. 
  • $200 million for local park systems, including transformative greenway projects in Detroit and Grand Rapids. 

High-Speed Internet
The Building Michigan Together Plan will connect more households and small businesses to fast, reliable high-speed internet through:

  • $250 million in funding to improve access and adoption of broadband – helping ensure all Michigan residents and businesses can compete in a 21st-century economy. 

Housing
The Building Michigan Together Plan provides funding centered on housing in underserved rural and urban areas, including:

  • $150 million for housing and home improvements, such as: 
  • $50 million investment in the Housing and Community Development Fund to meet the housing needs of low-income households throughout the state. 
  • $50 million to create a missing middle housing gap fund. 
  • $50 million for residential home improvements including grants to incentivize energy efficiency and provide energy assistance. 
  • $383 million for COVID Emergency Rental Assistance to help tenants facing pandemic-related hardships avoid eviction while also ensuring landlords can recoup owed rent. 
  • $121 million to help Michigan homeowners avoid the personal devastation of foreclosure. 

Additionally, the Building Michigan Together Plan includes:

  • $133 million to strengthen Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance System and tackle fraud. 
  • $46 million to protect funding for public safety and first responders in cities, villages and townships with population losses in the 2020 Census.