On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, conversations about how grants from the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), also known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), will help the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) rebuild or shore up major roads and bridges over the next few years.
First, Beckie Curtis, director of MDOT’s Bureau of Bridges and Structures, talks about the big news that MDOT received a $73 million federal grant to replace the 85-year-old Lafayette Avenue Bridge in Bay City. It is MDOT’s second-oldest movable bridge.
Curtis also explains where the bridge fits with priorities and efforts to rebuild or replace other aging bridges on the state network.
Later, Niles Annelin, policy section manager at MDOT, explains the broader grant process and the work involved in applying for and winning IIJA grants.
These include a $105 million grant for the I-375 Reconnecting Communities project in Detroit, which involves replacing the depressed freeway with an at-grade urban boulevard, accommodating multi-modal users. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg joined Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to announce the grant in September 2022.