DETROIT (WWJ) – Included in President Obama’s “American Jobs Act” is a proposal to spend $50 billion on road and bridge projects.
“Everyone here knows we have badly decaying roads and bridges all over the country. Our highways are clogged with traffic. Our skies are the most congested in the world. It’s an outrage,” Obama said.
Mike Nystrom, Executive Director of the Michigan Infrastructure Transportation Association, told WWJ the Presidents plans are good for Michigan.
“We were encouraged to hear him talk about construction jobs. We’re facing some serious unemployment issues here in Michigan, with between 30 and 55 percent unemployment that we’re facing in the construction industry and obviously we have our challenges with our infrastructure in finding new revenue to address those issues,” Nystrom said.
Obama also called for an “infrastructure bank” to help raise private sector money to pay for infrastructure improvements and for a program to rehabilitate vacant properties as part of a neighborhood stabilization plan. The estimated total cost of all those programs is $105 billion.
“This type of infusion of investment is something that we’ve been talking about for quite a while here in Michigan. It’s needed in our industry. Obviously, these types of jobs are supported by government spending. It is a basic government function that obviously can put jobs in place immediately,” Nystrom said.
In a written statement, Governor Rick Snyder also mentioned Michigan’s need for “key infrastructure projects,” specifically a new crossing point into Canada.
“We have a huge opportunity here in Michigan to build the New International Trade Crossing – a privately funded project that is vital to Michigan’s economic future… Building the NITC will not cost Michigan taxpayers, and it means Michigan will receive approximately $2.2 billion from the federal government to use for other road projects throughout the state,” Snyder said.
What are your thoughts about the president’s proposal for road and bridge projects?