In November, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed by President Biden and will provide billions of dollars to Michigan for investments in our infrastructure, including roads, bridges, high-speed internet, electric vehicles and the Great Lakes. The state is expected to receive funding from the $1 trillion federal infrastructure five-year measure as soon as the spring of 2022.
The Michigan Legislature and governor will need to appropriate the funding for several specific priorities, but state and local governments will also have the opportunity to apply for competitive federal grants.
Upgrading roads and bridges—There are approximately 1,219 bridges and more than 7,300 miles of highway in Michigan that are in “poor condition.” Based on formula funding alone, Michigan would receive an estimated $7.3 billion to fix roads and $563 million for bridge replacement and repairs over five years. Per statements made by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) director, the funding will be split between MDOT and local road agencies. The new funding represents a 30% annual increase in the federal highway program and an additional $113 million per year to replace or repair bridges. Additionally, Michigan can compete for the Bridge Investment Program for economically significant bridges and additional funding dedicated for major projects that will deliver substantial economic benefits to communities.
Expanding high-speed internet—The measure includes funding for the expansion of high-speed internet deployment, adoption and affordability. For Michigan, a minimum allocation of $100 million is available to help provide high-speed internet coverage across the state, including access for nearly 400,000 residents who current lack access. Additionally, 25% (2.5 million) of Michigan residents would be eligible for the Affordability Connectivity Benefit to help low-income families afford internet access.
Improving water infrastructure—An investment of $55 billion is provided for clean drinking water, including dedicated funding to replace lead service lines and address PFAS contamination. Of that amount, Michigan would receive $1.3 billion to improve water infrastructure, including replacement of lead service lines and addressing groundwater contamination from “forever chemicals” such as PFAS.
Investing in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure—Michigan is expected to receive $110 million to support the expansion of an EV charging network investment in the state. Nationwide, $7.5 billion is provided to invest in EV charging infrastructure. Additionally, the state can seek grant funding dedicated to EV charging.
Upgrading power infrastructure—The new law provides $73 million to upgrade the country’s power infrastructure, including new, more resilient transmission lines. This expansion will help facilitate the expansion of renewable energy and invest in next-generation research technologies.
Improving public transit—Michigan is projected to receive a 30% increase over five years to improve sustainable public transportation options across the state—an increase of $47 million annually.
Strengthening cybersecurity—Funding of $1 billion will support efforts to improve cybersecurity needs for state and local governments—securing networks, assessing cybersecurity vulnerabilities and building the cybersecurity workforce.
Reducing the risk of natural disasters, including shoreline erosion and extreme flooding—Funding for a new program, signed into law earlier this year, was included that local communities can use for mitigation projects to reduce natural disaster risks, including shoreline erosion, rising water levels and extreme flooding. The funding, $500 million, will fund the Safeguarding Tomorrow through Ongoing Risk Mitigation (STORM) Act.
Protecting the Great Lakes—Funding was included to provide $1 billion for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the first increase in funding since the program was established a decade ago.