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

This nearly 20% boost includes new road and bridge funding from the federal infrastructure law.
Credit: AP
FILE - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a news conference in Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022. Whitmer will propose spending $2.3 billion over four years to recruit and retain teachers and other school staff, enticing them with annual $2,000 bonuses that would grow to $4,000 by 2025. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

MICHIGAN, USA — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her $6.3 billion budget plan Wednesday, which focuses on education, health improvements for Michiganders and rebuilding roads.

The plan includes a $1 billion boost to the transportation budget to fix roads and increase spending in other areas. This nearly 20% boost includes new road and bridge funding from the federal infrastructure law.

“There's a significant increase in funding from the federal program, the federal bill that goes to transit agencies and airports and rail infrastructure as well,” said Patrick McCarthy, director of finance for the Michigan Department of Transportation. “It's not just a road and bridge package. It's an overall transportation package for the state of Michigan.”

RELATED: Whitmer to propose $1 billion boost to transportation budget

In the budget recommendation, $578 million in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) would provide resources for several Michigan infrastructure projects that will continue to fix roads, bridges, railways, and local and intercity transit, while also providing capital improvements at airports.

Another $150 million would support projects that are economically critical, carry high traffic volumes, increase the useful life of key local roads, or will be completed in conjunction with bridge replacement projects.

RELATED: Here's a look at Gov. Whitmer's 2023 state budget recommendation

Part of the money would also go to individual county, city and village road commissions. Gov. Whitmer says Michigan has made huge progress fixing roads, but there is still much more to do.

Gov. Whitmer’s budget also proposes an increase in the number of available beds in Michigan's only children’s psychiatric hospital as well as additional annual bonuses for teachers to help with recruitment and retainment.

Full details on Gov. Whitmer’s budget proposal can be found here.

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