Bridge replacement work closing portion of  I-75

Bridge replacement work closing portion of I-75

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2020

 

CONTACT: Rob Morosi, MDOT Office of Communications, MorosiR@Michigan.gov

 

Bridge replacement work requires closing portion of

I-75 in Detroit this weekend

 

Fast facts:

            – MDOT is replacing the Milwaukee Street overpass above I-75.

            – Installing bridge beams requires a weekend closure of I-75 between I-94 and M-8 (Davison Freeway) starting at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2.

            – Both directions of I-75 will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 5.

 

September 30, 2020 — Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) contract crews are replacing the Milwaukee Street overpass above I-75 in Detroit, and this project will hit another milestone this weekend when crews install new bridge beams. To accomplish this, both directions of I-75 will be closed between I-94 and M-8 (Davison Freeway) starting at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct, 2. Both directions of I-75 will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, Oct.5.

 

During the closure, the posted detour for northbound I-75 follows westbound I-94, northbound M-10 (Lodge Freeway), and eastbound M-8 back to northbound I-75. Southbound I-75 traffic will use westbound M-8 to southbound M-10, back to southbound I-75.

The following ramps will close starting at 8 p.m. on Friday:

– Eastbound and westbound M-8 to southbound I-75,

– Holbrook Avenue to southbound I-75,

– Clay Street to southbound I-75,

– Eastbound and westbound I-94 to northbound I-75, and

– Warren Avenue to northbound I-75.

 

All ramps will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, Oct. 5.

DNR Get Involved – October 2020

DNR Get Involved – October 2020

DNR Get Involved – October 2020

wooded trail with fall leaves on the ground

Here are a few ways to get involved in taking care of Michigan’s natural resources in October. For more opportunities to volunteer, contribute and provide input, visit Michigan.gov/DNRVolunteers.


Help remove invasive species, restore natural areas at state parks

group of park stewardship volunteers in a fieldSeveral state parks in southern Michigan will host volunteer stewardship workdays in October. Volunteers are needed to help with removing invasive plants that threaten high-quality ecosystems in the parks.

Please note that preregistration is required for all volunteer workdays, and participation may be limited due to social distancing requirements.

Although these are outdoor programs and proper social distancing of at least 6 feet is required, participants still are encouraged to wear face coverings as an added precaution.

Workdays will take place:

  • Saturday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Algonac State Park (St. Clair County).
  • Sunday, Oct. 4, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County).
  • Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 a.m. to noon at Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland County).
  • Sunday, Oct. 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Waterloo Recreation Area (Washtenaw County).
  • Saturday, Oct. 17, 9 a.m. to noon at Belle Isle Park (Wayne County).
  • Sunday, Oct. 18, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Brighton Recreation Area (Livingston County).
  • Saturday, Oct. 24, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Island Lake Recreation Area (Livingston County).
  • Sunday, Oct. 25, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pinckney Recreation Area (Washtenaw County).
  • Saturday, Oct. 31, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County).

More details about each workday can be found on the DNR volunteer events calendar.


Take part in state forest planning process

close up of trees with fall foliageThe DNR welcomes public input on its plans for Michigan’s 4 million acres of state forest.

Because of COVID-19 precautions, the format has changed for 2020. Rather than hosting face-to-face open houses, people will be asked to offer input online.

“We value public input, and we want to continue it while maintaining safe social distances,” said Jeff Stampfly, acting chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division.

Here is how the process will work this year.

Go to Michigan.gov/ForestInput and click on the interactive map. Zoom in to your area of interest. As you zoom in, more details will appear. Sections of forest – referred to as “compartments” – under review for work to be done in 2022 are highlighted in bright green. Click anywhere within the compartment, and a pop-up screen will appear with more information.

You may submit comments by email or schedule a telephone appointment with a DNR staffer to discuss your comments or concerns during specific time periods in each management unit. Comment periods taking place in October include:

  • Shingleton: now through Oct. 1; contact Bob Burnham, 906-452-6227, ext. 240.
  • Grayling: now through Oct. 1; contact Thomas Barnes, 989-348-6371, ext. 7440.
  • Crystal Falls: now through Oct. 6; contact Dan McNamee, 906-875-6622.
  • Newberry: now through Oct. 15; contact Keith Magnusson, 906-291-0120.
  • Escanaba: now through Oct. 21; contact Eric Thompson, 906-786-2354, ext. 142.

After public input is received and considered, final decisions will be made at DNR staff meetings known as compartment reviews. The public is welcome to listen to this year’s virtual meetings over the phone. Contact the listed unit manager for details of joining a compartment review phone call.

For more information on open houses, compartment reviews and instructions for using the interactive map, go to Michigan.gov/ForestInput.


Weigh in on public land strategy with virtual meetings Wednesday, Thursday

tent on wooded campsite by lake at nightMountain biking or snowmobiling on scenic forest trails, going afield for the state’s time-honored hunting tradition, bird watching in wetland areas – these and countless other ways to enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors are available across the state thanks in part to the careful, thoughtful way the DNR strives to take care of Michigan’s public lands.

The DNR is responsible for nearly 4.6 million acres of public lands owned by Michigan residents – state parks, trails, game and wildlife areas, forests and developed facilities such as boat launches or fish hatcheries. In 2013, the DNR created a public land strategy to guide public land ownership and ensure maximum benefit for residents and the state’s natural resources.

Right now, the department is in the process of updating that strategy and is encouraging the public to review and provide feedback on newly released draft components. Two upcoming DNR-hosted virtual meetings (Sept. 30 and Oct. 1) offer the opportunity to learn more about the strategy, ask questions and provide feedback.

Learn how to participate in the public meetings.

The draft goals, strategies, measurable objectives and key actions – the critical framework for the plan’s next steps – along with other sections of the land strategy are now available for review at Michigan.gov/PublicLands and will be discussed in further detail during the virtual meetings. If you’re unable to participate, the public meetings will be recorded and made available for viewing on this page, along with additional updates that will be posted throughout the process.

Feedback can be sent to DNR-LandStrategy@Michigan.gov through Oct. 31.


Take survey to give input on plans for forest management

bull elk in fall forestHow do you use and enjoy Michigan’s nearly 4 million acres of state forests? How important are forests to you?

We want to know! We’re conducting a public survey to help guide creation of a new 10-year plan to keep state forests healthy and productive for generations.

Take the survey and offer your input. It will be available online until Oct. 23.

Periodic planning helps forestry professionals respond to factors that affect the forest, such as climate change, invasive pests and fire. Plans made by the DNR always include using state forests for a variety of purposes, from recreation to wildlife habitat to timber harvests.

The State Forest Management Plan includes state forests in the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula and was last revised in 2013.

Additional opportunities for comment and engagement will be shared at Michigan.gov/RegionalForestPlans.


Help shape Michigan’s trails management plan

ORVs on wooded trail with fall foliageVeteran trail users in Michigan know the state is richer than most, with 13,000 miles of state-managed trails, thousands of miles of local, county and federally managed trails, and more rail-trail miles than any state in the nation. We’re looking for input – from trail lovers of all experience levels – on the management and future development of these valuable resources.

Oct. 1-22, we’ll host a series of virtual meetings where you can learn about our draft vision and goals for Michigan’s trails system (developed with assistance from the Michigan Trails Advisory Council) and share your own ideas. The meetings are the next step in the DNR’s effort to update the 2013 Statewide Trails Plan, an 18-month process that started last fall and will be completed by summer 2021.

Seven regional or use-specific meetings are scheduled:

  • Thursday, Oct. 1, 6 p.m. (Upper Peninsula region).
  • Tuesday, Oct. 6, 6 p.m. (motorized trails).
  • Thursday, Oct. 8, 6 p.m. (northern Lower Peninsula region).
  • Tuesday, Oct. 13, 6 p.m. (southwestern Lower Peninsula region).
  • Thursday, Oct. 15, 6 p.m. (southeastern Michigan region)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20, 6 p.m. (nonmotorized trails).
  • Thursday, Oct. 22, 6 p.m. (water trails).

Due to COVID-19 public health and safety concerns, all meetings will be hosted virtually. People are encouraged to attend any meetings that align with their preferred destinations or pursuits. Registration for all meetings is required. To learn more about the planning process, register for a virtual meeting or complete the online trails survey, please visit the public participation section of the MichiganTrailsPlan.org website.

Anyone unable to participate in the virtual meetings is encouraged to review the draft vision and goals, other resources and meeting records (as they become available) and share feedback via the online survey. Recordings of each meeting, when completed, also will be posted at the webpage noted above.


Learn how Michigan is responding to invasive species

NotMISpecies, a new, monthly webinar series exploring the work of Michigan’s Invasive Species Program, kicks off at 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, with a look at how science and technology are fueling a response to grass carp in Lake Erie. Register for free and find out about other upcoming webinars.

Plant trees and wildflowers for wildlife with On the Ground

On the Ground – Michigan United Conservation Clubs’ volunteer wildlife habitat improvement program in partnership with the DNR – is looking for volunteers to help with planting trees and wildflowers during three October events. See details and register for On the Ground volunteer events.

COVID-19 Business and Resident Stabilization Grants

COVID-19 Business and Resident Stabilization Grants

COVID-19 Business and Resident Stabilization Grants Touch Every City, Village and Township in Oakland County

Pontiac, Michigan – Oakland County and the state of Michigan have allocated more than $140 million in grants to help stabilize and support small businesses, residents and communities in every part of the county since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants have been awarded to more than 10,000 local businesses, which employ 65,000 employees; 22 local chambers of commerce; 28 local school districts; residents having trouble making rent or mortgage payments, nonprofit entities, retailers, restaurants and communities, among others, Oakland County Executive David Coulter said.

“We have been intentional in our strategy to spread these grants throughout the county to our small businesses, schools, communities and others in the greatest need,” Coulter said. “These grants are providing much needed cash at a time when so many small business owners continue to be in desperate need.”

Local small businesses got an additional shot in the arm today with the announcement from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. that more than $11 million was being allocated through the Michigan Small Business Restart Grants, which range from $1,500 to $7,500. The average award was $3,700.

Grants such as that have been critical in helping businesses such as Paul Turner’s Team GUTS, a Ferndale-based non-profit fitness club for young people with special needs. The pandemic has been especially problematic for his clients and their families, who are reluctant to return to the fitness club until there is a vaccine for the virus. The club is has zoom classes for participants.

“I appreciate the grant,” Turner said. “We will come back once we get on the other side of this pandemic. Our mission is too important. The money will help in our resurgence. It is earmarked for the special needs community and we’re very thankful we got it. For us, it’s all about helping these families… Oakland County has been great to work with. They want us to succeed.”

Stephanie Ames, owner of Blue Birch Outfitters in downtown Milford, was excited about her new clothing and sports business. It opened March 1.

“Just in time to shut down,” Ames said.

But with the help of a grant from the county, she was able to add more inventory and get her website going during the pandemic shutdown.

“It’s a great thing for the county to be able to help out like that,” she said. “A lot of businesses didn’t survive it.”

The county has allocated all $219 million it received in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.  Support included:

  • $32 million for retail stores, restaurants and personal service businesses such as salons and fitness centers.
  • Saving Businesses, Saving Lives” grant, which incentivized Oakland County manufacturers (23 companies to date sharing $887,000) to produce personal protective equipment for health care workers, hospitals and first responders.
  • Oakland County ($10 million) partnered with Automation Alley to bring advanced manufacturing technologies to small and medium businesses to improve the region’s agility and ability to respond to future disruptions such as COVID-19. Oakland and Macomb county-based manufacturers interested in applying for the Personal Protective Equipment Resilience Grant Program can find more information and a link to the application here.
  • $28 million to help 28 public school districts recover some of the unexpected costs incurred preparing for in school or remote student learning.
  • 15,000 Oakland Together COVID-19 safety kits were distributed, which included facemasks, no-touch thermometers, gloves and sanitizer to give small businesses, faith-based and nonprofit organizations essential materials for reopening.
  • $30 million for cities, townships, and villages to help with unbudgeted costs from the pandemic
  • $2 million to hire 60 school nurses to help districts develop strategies to prepare for the safe return of students, faculty and staff to the classroom or for virtual learning.
  • $10 million fund to support 84 non-profit organizations, with grants ranging from $4,000 to $500,000.
  • $8.1 million for the Rent, Mortgage & Utility Relief Program to assist eligible county residents who have fallen behind on their rent, mortgage or utility payments because of a lost job or other income reduction with a one-time grant of up to $15,000 per household.
  • $2 million to assist museums and cultural institutions.
  • $1 million in emergency aid for veterans, service members and eligible family members affected by the coronavirus for health, economic and financial hardships resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is comprised of $250,000 in COVID-19 emergency assistance.
More than 60,000 apply for Futures for Frontliners

More than 60,000 apply for Futures for Frontliners

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 29, 2020

Contact: quealye@michigan.gov, 517-582-2961

 

More than 60,000 apply for Futures for Frontliners in first two weeks, demonstrate demand for education assistance

Kerry Ebersole named Sixty by 30 director for the State of Michigan, encourages more to apply, continues focus on the need for highly skilled workforce

 

LANSING, Mich. – With just over two weeks since the program launched, more than 60,000 Michiganders have submitted applications for the new Futures for Frontliners program. The first in nation initiative provides a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate to essential workers who do not have a college degree, including those who lack a high school diploma.

 

“This past spring, these brave men and women put their lives on the line every day to ensure we have essential services and products we need to stay healthy and safe, I am truly thrilled to see that so many are taking advantage of this program – they earned it,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “I encourage every eligible frontline worker to see if this free college scholarship opportunity is right for them.”

 

Michigan is committed to increasing economic opportunity by providing residents greater access to the education and skills that create pathways to better jobs and bigger paychecks.

 

“Good paying jobs and a stronger Michigan economy require more of us to have an education beyond high school. The strong interest in Futures for Frontliners shows us that Michiganders are ready to build a brighter, more secure future for themselves and their loved ones,” Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) director Jeff Donofrio said. “With the economic uncertainty that comes with the COVID-19 pandemic and the thousands of high-skilled jobs going unfilled, there’s no better time to add new skills.”

 

To ensure the continued progress towards Gov. Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 education attainment goal, Kerry Ebersole has recently been named Senior Advisor and Director of the Sixty by 30 office within LEO.

 

“The Sixty by 30 goal and the initiatives and programs that will help us reach it are critical to ensuring hardworking Michiganders have a path to economic opportunity and attracting talent to our state. I am thrilled to have Kerry at the helm ensuring we’re on track,” Gov. Whitmer added.

 

“In order to help Michiganders on their path to learn new skills needed to succeed in high-demand, high-wage careers, and help businesses fill critical talent needs, we need to remain laser focused on key programs and partnerships to meet the Sixty by 30 goal,” Ebersole said. “By ensuring 60% of working-age Michiganders will have an industry recognized certificate or college degree by 2030, we’re making sure our state remains economically competitive and helping businesses grow, all while fueling the future workforce and providing opportunity for all.”

 

To discuss how initiatives like Futures for Frontliners can help Michiganders succeed, and answer questions about the program and how essential workers can take advantage of this opportunity, LEO is hosting an initial series of regional Futures for Frontliners virtual townhall sessions with local education and workforce partners.

 

Learn more about Futures for Frontliners at www.michigan.gov/Frontliners.

Governor Whitmer Extends State of Emergency

Governor Whitmer Extends State of Emergency

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 29, 2020

Media Contact: Press@Michigan.gov

 

Governor Whitmer Extends State of Emergency to Protect Michigan Families, Frontline Workers, and Small Businesses

Governor also extends four executive orders to protect vulnerable populations

 

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer took further action to save lives and protect the health and safety of Michiganders by extending the State of Emergency until October 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Executive Order 2020-186 will allow the state to continue to mobilize resources and take the reasonable and necessary steps to protect Michiganders and their families. The governor also extended four executive orders to protect Michigan families and our most vulnerable populations.

 

“We have saved thousands of lives in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among our most vulnerable populations – people of color, seniors, and people with disabilities. Because we took swift action, the health of our families and our economy are faring better than our neighbors in other states,” said Governor Whitmer. “This emergency will end, and it is a matter of months. But we are not out of the woods yet. Right now, the federal government and all 50 states have been under some form of state of emergency. We must continue doing our part to fight this virus on behalf of our families, frontline workers, and our small businesses.”

 

Where Michigan was once among the states most heavily hit by COVID-19, our per-capita rate of new daily cases has plateaued at a level well below the national average. Despite gradually reopening our economy, Michigan’s seven-day case positivity rate has remained between 3.0% and 3.7% since early July. Over the same time period, case growth has also remained within a narrow band of 61 to 71 daily new cases per million population, by date of symptom onset.

 

Governor Whitmer has taken deliberate and steady action to reopen sectors of Michigan’s economy in a way that protects businesses, employees, and patrons. CNN Business currently ranks Michigan in the top ten – in ninth place – on their list of states that are getting our economies back on track.

 

The health, economic, and social harms of the COVID-19 pandemic remain widespread and severe, and they continue to constitute a statewide emergency and disaster. Though local health departments have some limited capacity to respond to cases as they arise within their jurisdictions, state emergency operations are necessary to bring this pandemic under control in Michigan and to build and maintain infrastructure to stop the spread of COVID-19, trace infections, and to quickly direct additional resources to hot-spots as they emerge.

 

“The Governor’s swift actions have saved thousands of lives during this pandemic, and she must be able to continue taking swift action to save lives,” said Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “As we approach the 2020-2021 flu season, it is vitally important that all Michiganders get their flu vaccine, wear a mask, and maintain physical distancing. We will get through this together.”

 

The four other executive orders the governor signed today include:

 

  • Executive Order 2020-187 which protects vulnerable populations and strengthens our economic recovery by extending through October 31 the governor’s previous order allowing business to be conducted remotely through expanded use of e-notaries and e-signatures.
  • Executive Order 2020-188 which extends the limited and temporary restrictions on the entry of individuals into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities. The Department of Health and Human Services will continue to issue orders to specify exceptions to this order.
  • Executive Order 2020-189 which extends through October 31 protections for prison and jail populations through enhanced cleaning protocols and implementation of testing protocols by Michigan Department of Corrections prisons and any jails that transfer inmates to MDOC prisons.
  • Executive Order 2020-190 which adds protections for workers and customers at food-selling establishments to the Workplace Safeguards order, including the requirement to maintain two hours a week of reserved shopping time for vulnerable populations.

 

“On behalf of the sheriffs, I am thankful that the governor worked with us to streamline the jails & prisons EO, and we look forward to continuing to work together for the safety and well-being of all Michigan citizens,” said Matthew Saxton, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association.

 

“We are grateful for the governor’s dedication to fighting COVID-19 and her ongoing work to protect Michigan workers and their families,” said Andrea Acevedo, President of SEIU Healthcare Michigan. “There is no doubt that the governor’s swift action has saved thousands of lives, particularly for our most vulnerable populations and health workers like ours who are serving on the front lines. We will continue to work closely with Governor Whitmer to ensure the health and safety of our members, their families, and those they serve.”