DETROIT (WWJ) — Governor Rick Snyder announced the beginning of a pilot program that he hopes will help the state “worker smarter” when it comes to keeping up its infrastructure.
The program will coordinate all of the state’s departments that work on roads to sewers, water, broadband and energy in a move Snyder says will save money. When road work is done, he says, sewer and other work could be completed as well.
“This is not something that’s been done really in our country at this scope and scale,” Snyder said. “It’s something that really needs to be done. As I recall from some of the commission work, you guys were actually holding up London kind of as a role model to do much of this. So we literally left our shores to go see who was doing best practice.”
The pilot program will take place in southeast and west Michigan. Snyder says the goal is to reduce long-term costs for communities and that within a year they hope to have recommendations for the development of a statewide integrated asset management system.
“How do we get smarter about coordinating that work? So if we’re going to tear up that road, let’s do multiple forms of work all at the same time,” Snyder said. “How do we come out with a better outcome at less cost? And so that’s how we start this process.”
Snyder said the program could help in situations like when major flooding took place last September on the Lodge freeway in Detroit.
“You’re talking about our public health, you’re talking about our economy, you’re talking about our well-being in some fashion,” Snyder said. “You can look at all of these different areas and they’re real life illustrations.”