Northern Michigan Leaders Optimistic About President Trump’s Inland Waterway Infrastructure Plan

With inland waterways on the president’s infrastructure agenda, it could mean big things here in Northern Michigan.

It’s water the Grand Traverse Land Conservancy hopes is included in President Trump’s infrastructure spending plan.

“Crumbling infrastructure doesn’t help anybody. Nobody wants to have leaking hydraulic fluid coming out of dams, or crumbling sea walls, or retaining walls that are sending sediment plumes down the river,” said David Foote, the Director of Stewardship at the Land Conservancy.

They say plenty of work needs to be done on waterways across the country and here in Northern Michigan, but funding can be a challenge.

“Some infrastructure along water ways do more harm than good, but the best way to decommission those are through a thoughtful restoration process and not letting them crumble in place so any money that can come towards infrastructure in water ways will help protect them,” said Foote.

A big focus is expected to be aging dams across the country like the Croton and Hardy dams in Newaygo County.

“Even though they are very large dams, they’re older dams there are strict regulations that monitor the safety and the operations of those dams,” said Abby Watkins, Newaygo County Emergency Manager.

But federal funding to replace the dams would be welcome.