Congressional approval of the federal stimulus package means money will soon flow to Michigan and with it, new jobs. President Obama is expected to sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 tomorrow.
Final details are still emerging, but it appears that Michigan will be in line for about $850 million in new federal dollars for roads and bridges and about $230 million for clean and drinking water infrastructure improvements. These amounts are slightly less than originally passed by the House, but will still provide a boost to Michigan’s heavy construction industry.
MITA has been clear in saying that the one-time stimulus is no replacement for a long-term, stable funding source. The association continues to call on state legislators to immediately address the chronic shortage of money for the transportation budget and provide new dollars to cover the unmet needs for municipal water and sewer systems.
In addition to the federal dollars outlined above, nationwide, the stimulus plan invests:
• $1.38 billion to support $3.8 billion in loans and grants for needed water and waste disposal facilities in rural areas; • $1.5 billion for competitive grants for projects of national significance; • $7.2 billion for broadband to increase broadband access and usage in unserved and underserved areas of the nation; and, • $1.3 billion for investments in our air transportation system.
MDOT anticipates they will receive about $635 million for trunkline road and bridge projects with the remaining federal dollars going to local units of government for road and bridge projects. MDOT plans to begin spending the federal stimulus dollars as early as the March 6th letting where several projects have recently been added to the letting with 3-week advertisement periods. MDOT will continue to add projects to the near term lettings (April, May, June) to insure they meet the requirement that one-half of the stimulus funds be obligated (advertised) within 120 days.