After failing to make any progress on her signature campaign promise to “fix the damn roads,” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is giving it another try with yet another plan that is already drawing a sharp rebuke from legislators and transportation officials.
Whitmer failed miserably to execute on her pledge in 2019, proposing a half-baked plan which was opposed by 75% of Michiganders and even panned by her fellow Democrats. Shockingly, Whitmer actually ended up vetoing hundreds of millions of dollars for road improvements and cutting funding for the state’s transportation department – a.k.a. the people that fix roads.
This year, Whitmer threw consensus-building out the window and adopted a new strategy, proceeding without legislative approval to borrow $3.5 billion for infrastructure repairs. A plan which could saddle future generations with debt and experts say would do little to actually fix the majority of the roads in the state.
Transportation officials from around the state have been vocal in their opposition to Whitmer’s plan. The director of the County Road Association of Michigan criticized Whitmer’s plan for “entirely leaving out the local and primary road network,” while others called the governor’s plan “foolish” and not a serious solution, but rather one that amounts to “simply taking out a loan and passing it on to our children.”
It appears to be back to the drawing board for Whitmer, while Michiganders continue to contend with crumbling roads.