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Lt. Gov. Gilchrist patches potholes in Grand Rapids, highlights Whitmer's budget plan

The budget proposal includes $6.3 billion for infrastructure, the largest transportation investment in Michigan history.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — In Grand Rapids Friday, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist picked up a shovel and helped a road crew patch potholes in the city.

They filled in the street with cold patches along Wealthy Street on the west side of the city. 

"This corner, this crew was out here two weeks ago patching this road," said Gilchrist, "which speaks to the fact we need investments and long term solutions to fix state roads, as well as local roads like this intersection."

The visit to West Michigan was to highlight the Whitmer administration's 2023 budget proposal. It includes $6.3 billion for infrastructure work, including upgrades to state and local roads, bridges, airports, transit and rail programs. It's the largest investment in transportation in Michigan history. 

"We need the legislature to come to the table with us and work on a real solution," said Gilchrist, "and not these patch-work, band-aid fixes."

RELATED: MDOT official reacts to Gov. Whitmer’s proposal allocating $1B to transportation budget

In the City of Grand Rapids, expect to see crews out day and night filling potholes. With plowable snow out of the forecast, potholes is their priority. 

"We're constantly going back through those roads to keep up," said John Gorney, Grand Rapids Public Works Director. 

Right now, Gorney said the ups and downs in temperatures, added with many aging roads in the city, are causing major challenges. 

"The city does have a strategic plan, and we follow that plan," said Gorney. "When we’re looking at roads that need to be rebuilt, those are typically the worst roads. So, we have a very systematic approach."

He also asked drivers to keep in mind the safety of the crews when out on the roads. Drive slow when the flashing lights are on or workers are visible, and give them plenty of room to do their job. 

RELATED VIDEO: Seasonal Weight Restrictions & Why Potholes Form

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