Cherry Says Recovery Act is Creating Jobs, Rebuilding Infrastructure in Michigan

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

June 12, 2009

In radio address, lieutenant governor says improving transportation infrastructure crucial to growing Michigan economy

LANSING - Lt. Governor John D. Cherry Jr. said today's groundbreaking for a project to widen I-94 in Kalamazoo County illustrates the real and positive impact that the federal Recovery Act is having on Michigan.  Cherry made his remarks in delivering this week's radio address on behalf of Governor Granholm.

The I-94 project is "the 2,000th transportation project funded by the Recovery Act," Cherry said.  "That's a milestone worth celebrating.  So this morning, Governor Granholm and I welcomed Vice President Joe Biden to Kalamazoo and Michigan for a special I-94 groundbreaking, along with many other public officials and dignitaries." 

"This one construction project will create 1,200 jobs," Cherry continued.  "Michigan is receiving more than $1 billion in Recovery Act transportation funding, creating 27,000 jobs.  The funding is for hundreds of ‘shovel-ready' road and transit projects across the state, such as road resurfacing and widening, and bridge reconstruction."

"Improving roads, highways and other parts of our transportation infrastructure is crucial to growing the Michigan economy," Cherry said.  "In addition to Recovery Act dollars, the state is spending another $980 million on transportation this year, creating 27,000 additional jobs."

"As we continue to make Michigan a magnet for manufacturers of advanced batteries, wind turbines, solar panels and other green products, we must ensure we have an excellent infrastructure," Cherry said.  "Highway projects funded by the Recovery Act, like the widening of I-94 in Kalamazoo, are a good start."

The governor's weekly radio address is released each Friday morning and may be heard on broadcast stations across the state.  The address is available on the governor's Web site at ( www.michigan.gov/gov ) for download, together with a clip of the quote above.  The radio address is also available as a podcast on the Web site, as well as on iTunes and via RSS feed for general distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers.  Links to the audio files and text of today's address follow.

Lt. Governor John D. Cherry Jr.
Radio Address - Recovery Act

Full:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov201Full_282359_7.mp3
Edit:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov201Edit_282362_7.mp3
Quote:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov201Quote_282364_7.mp3

Hello, this is Lt. Governor John Cherry.

On Monday, there will be more clanking and rumbling of bulldozers and road graders in Kalamazoo County.  That's the day construction is scheduled to begin on widening two miles of I-94 through Portage, including a new interchange at South Westnedge Avenue.

Kalamazoo area residents have long wanted the swath of I-94 that stretches across the county to be widened.  The I-94 corridor is extremely important to the Michigan economy, and the section through Kalamazoo County now carries more vehicles per day than any other four-lane freeway in the state.

This particular phase of I-94's widening is made possible by the federal Recovery Act, the historic legislation signed by President Obama to get our economy and our people working again.  In fact, it's the 2,000th transportation project funded by the Recovery Act. 

That's a milestone worth celebrating.  So this morning, Governor Granholm and I welcomed Vice President Joe Biden to Kalamazoo and Michigan for a special I-94 groundbreaking, along with many other public officials and dignitaries.

The groundbreaking not only commemorated the 2,000th transportation project funded by the Recovery Act, it illustrated the real and positive impact that the Recovery Act is having on Michigan.  This one construction project will create 1,200 jobs. 

Michigan is receiving more than a billion dollars in Recovery Act transportation funding, creating 27,000 jobs.  The funding is for hundreds of "shovel-ready" road and transit projects across the state, such as road resurfacing and widening, and bridge reconstruction.

And when I say "projects across the state," I mean from Monroe to Marquette, from Port Huron to Muskegon, and all points between.  Here are just a few examples:

Kent County will see a portion of I-196 reconstructed.  In Genesee County, there'll be road reconstruction and bridgework on I-475.  Eleven bridges over I-96 in Detroit will be repaired, and U.S. 41 in Marquette County will see resurfacing and reconstruction.  All together, more than 840 lane miles of Michigan pavement will be improved with Recovery Act funding.

Improving roads, highways and other parts of our transportation infrastructure is crucial to growing the Michigan economy.  In addition to Recovery Act dollars, the state is spending another $980 million on transportation this year, creating 27,000 additional jobs.

As we continue to make Michigan a magnet for manufacturers of advanced batteries, wind turbines, solar panels and other green products, we must ensure we have an excellent infrastructure.  Highway projects funded by the Recovery Act, like the widening of I-94 in Kalamazoo, are a good start. 

Thank you for listening.

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