Michigan Transportation Teams Heads to Washington
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Posted by: Nancy Brown
LANSING – Michigan Transportation Team members will travel to Washington, D.C. tomorrow to plead Michigan’s case for increased highway and clean water funding.
Congress has thus far failed to pass a long-term highway reauthorization budget that would provide Michigan adequate funding to meet the needs of its deteriorating roads, bridges and underground sewer systems. The Senate recently passed a three-month extension of the budget, and the House last week passed another extension until the end of September. The future, however, is unclear.
“We are advocating for a long-term solution to eliminate uncertainty and allow the state to go about the business of fixing our roads and bridges with extremely limited state funds,” said Mike Nystrom, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) and co-chair of the Michigan Transportation Team (MTT). “Bringing leaders to Washington from the heavy construction industry, labor and business will help Congress understand that adequate funding is important to our entire state.”
The governor of Michigan has said that roads drive better jobs, Nystrom added, and the Detroit Regional Chamber could not agree more.
“Economic development generated by infrastructure improvements creates jobs, which is good for all businesses in Michigan,” said Brad Williams, vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Michigan needs to be a leader in the quality of our infrastructure, and every industry relies on good roads, bridges and underground water/sewer systems. More funding for infrastructure is a win for everyone.”
In addition to advocating for highway funding, the MTT will talk to members of Congress about the need to reauthorize the Clean Water Act, which has been in limbo since 1987. Without reauthorization of the Act, there is no long-term strategy to fund the country’s deteriorating water/sewer infrastructure.
The MTT is a broad-based, bipartisan partnership of business, labor, local government, associations and citizens with the common goal of improving Michigan’s infrastructure. Groups participating in this year’s Washington Fly-In include: MITA, Detroit Regional Chamber, Klett Construction, Klett Recycle, E.C. Levy Co., Michigan Department of Transportation, P.K. Contracting, Inc., Anlaan Corporation, C.A. Hull Co., Inc., International Union of Operating Engineers Local 324, Michigan Paving & Materials, Co., and the County Road Association of Michigan.