Granholm Launches First Road Project Funded by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

April 24, 2009

Repair work in Ogemaw County starts ball rolling on creating 25,000 jobs statewide

LANSING- Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today participated in a ground-breaking ceremony in West Branch today for the first of almost 800 state and local transportation projects paid for by $873 million in federal recovery money that will create or sustain approximately 25,000 jobs.  The projects are in addition to approximately $980 million the state is spending on transportation funding this year, which will create or sustain more than 27,000 additional jobs.

"Putting the shovels in the ground today represents the start of a new wave of jobs and money coming into our communities within the next few weeks and months," Granholm said.  "These projects will put thousands of citizens to work across Michigan while also creating business for local equipment and material suppliers, all while making important improvements to many roads and bridges.  In addition, this West Branch project is coming in one-third under budget, which demonstrates our commitment to using this federal funding as efficiently and responsibly as possible."

Granholm signed legislation last month authorizing Michigan to spend $873 million in money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) for "shovel-ready" projects such as road-resurfacing, widening, bridge rehabilitation, and transportation enhancement projects chosen by planners, engineers, and local leaders that cover every region of the state.

The spending is part of Michigan's share of approximately $7 billion in federal recovery money that the state will invest in accelerating its own recovery plan. 

The project that Granholm and other dignitaries broke ground on today will repair and resurface northbound I-75 from the south Ogemaw County line to Cook Road.  The 10-mile, $901,000 project will improve the ride quality for motorists and extend the life of the pavement by several years.  Road crews began mobilizing equipment and installing signs and are expected to begin work Monday.

The original estimate for the Ogemaw County project was $1,334,000, but the actual cost will be $901,000, which is a savings of $433,000 - about one-third less than the original estimate.

"We, along with local planners and engineers, continue to work to get crews going on every recovery-funded project as quickly as possible," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle.  "To have almost 800 additional projects starting up this construction season is a tremendous boon for Michigan's construction workers and Michigan's economy."

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