Gaylord City, M-DOT Discuss Governor Snyder’s New Infrastructure Report

"I think everyone has acknowledged there is a real need here,” says James Lake, Communications Representative for M-DOT, North Region.

It’s need that would cost billions of dollars more every year: the state’s infrastructure and it’s more-than-crumbling roads.

Governor Rick Snyder’s 21st Century Infrastructure report is out.

It says the state would have to spend $4 billion more each year to get Michigan’s infrastructure up to snuff.

9&10’s Cody Boyer and photojournalist Derrick Larr take a look at the report and how it could impact one Northern Michigan community.

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When we hear the word "infrastructure" lately, we think of roads and bridges.

But then the Flint Water Crisis happened.

This new recommendation addresses everything from roads to water.

“The report is recommendations,” Lake says. “It’s a look at where we are with infrastructure right now and where we want to be at, as a state, eventually."

The 188-page report is filled with 100 recommendations…

“It would mean that we would be able to maintain 90, 95% of our roads in good or fair condition, keep our bridges all in good condition, safe, upgrading sewers, upgrading water systems, upgrading our storm sewers, making sure culverts don’t fail,” Lake says.

The state already approved more funding for roads.

“That package, when fully implemented in 2021, would bring in about $1.2 billion more a year,” Lake says. “What legislative leaders said at that time was it was a good start, but it won’t get us all the way to where we want to go."

Gaylord’s city manager, Joseph Duff, says water systems need the recommended boost.

“We have some deferred activities that the state’s been after us to make some improvements for the reliability of our water system,” Duff says.

And the report recommends upgraded power grids, well water systems and other things not marked with traffic cones.

“These things people just don’t realize and understand they don’t see on an annual or daily basis,” Duff says. “They just know it’s taken care of for them. So when we see that there is possibility of assistance in the infrastructure, boy, we get pretty excited about that."

You can take a look at the FULL report, as well as the Executive Summary, on the Michigan Infrastructure website.