What Infrastructure Planning Looks Like

June 21, 2016

Governor Snyder’s Executive Directive seeks multi–agency cooperation on infrastructure projects

Have you ever seen a brand new road torn up to replace a pipe? Did you think to yourself, “Couldn’t they plan that better?”

The answer: Probably! Through his Executive Directive, Governor Snyder thinks infrastructure planning among road agencies, municipalities, and utilities can improve, too.

On May 13, he issued an executive directive to MDOT calling for more collaboration with local governments and utility companies on future projects. The reason echoes lessons learned from the Flint water crisis—more transparency and collaboration are crucial to reducing infrastructure costs and disasters. He explains, “Modernizing Michigan’s aging infrastructure requires significant investment, and we can minimize costs and disruption by enhancing collaboration on planning and projects. This directive aims to identify those opportunities where we can upgrade water and sewer infrastructure at the same time roads and bridges are being done.”

How are we going to do this?

Collectively we haven’t been thinking enough about water and sewer pipes falling apart, or how we will pay to replace them.

Fortunately, technology now plays a huge role in improving infrastructure planning.

In Michigan’s future, we will:

  • Store condition data about every pipe in a community’s system in layered, ‘smart’ maps
  • Know locations of underground pipes before digging
  • Have utility crews that can update the maps via computer tablets whenever anything changes
  • Have data to objectively identify potential pipe replacement and to help us coordinate multi–agency activities, minimizing the long–term ownership cost of our infrastructure

Today, we are improving on yesterday’s planning and we have tools that let us coordinate more. Fiscal sustainability means efficient use of money, such as treating pipes and roads as one system. At Prein&Newhof we are hopeful that Governor Snyder’s executive directive helps Michigan avoid digging up the same road twice in five years!

 


Recent

View More

State of Michigan offering $100,000 Sewer, Water, and Road Grants

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is offering grants up to $100,000 to help qualifying rural communities fund local sewer, water, and road projects. The application deadline is January 16, 2018. Last year’s recipient projects include: City of Munising, M–28 to Foster Street Project, $150,000 Houghton County, Houghton County Airpark Sewer System, […]

Learn More >

City of Montague Takes Action to Save Local Road

As Dowling Street leaves downtown Montague, it climbs a steep hill. The hill’s foundation is mostly sand, and an old retaining wall and vegetation rooted on its side slope kept it from sliding away. Over the last several years, the hill’s side slope eroded and slumped, threatening to take the sidewalk and part of the […]

Learn More >

Walker Pedestrian Tunnel at M-45 wins ITE Award

Congratulations to the City of Walker and our P&N project team on the success of the Fred Meijer Standale Trail Pedestrian Tunnel at M–45 project. The project won the 2017 Transportation Achievement Award from the Michigan Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). This award recognizes excellence in the advancement of transportation to meet human needs. The […]

Learn More >

Prein&Newhof chosen for PSMJ 2017 Circle of Excellence

Prein&Newhof is pleased to announce that PSMJ Resources, Inc. selected our company as a 2017 Circle of Excellence member. This is our fourth consecutive year receiving this recognition. PSMJ Resources, Inc. is a leading management consulting firm for the architecture and engineering industries. Each year it conducts a financial performance benchmark survey of firms, recognizing the top […]

Learn More >