the biggest infrastructure project in North America

the biggest infrastructure project in North America

“I’m standing on the biggest infrastructure project in North America”

On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation with Nickolai Miotto, a member of Operating Engineers 324 working on the Gordie Howe International Bridge. Following his appearance, Andy Doctoroff, the point person on the project for the Michigan governor’s office, visits again to offer an update on the project’s progress.

Listen now: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205/9926385-i-m-standing-on-the-biggest-infrastructure-in-north-america

TMT - GHIB Tower

Ahead of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2022 State of the State address next week, Miotto was featured in a video series produced to highlight components of the speech.

Nickolai Miooto

Miotto talks about how he made his way into the training program to become an equipment operator and what it means to be working on such an iconic project. In the video, he touts the importance of infrastructure investment to job creation and economic development and why he thinks it spells good things for the future of Michigan.

Andy Doctoroff

In the second segment, Doctoroff offers highlights on the project’s status, including significant work on the Michigan interchanges that will serve bridge users. He also marvels at the towers going up, which will eventually soar more than 700 feet into the sky, nearing the height of the Renaissance Center.

Doctoroff also talks about the robust engagement process to keep members of communities on both sides of the border engaged and up to date on developments.

The Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority produced this virtual tour to illustrate progress.

GHIB Tower

New Gordie Howe International Bridge tower being constructed.


First portrait: Nickolai Miotto, member of Operating Engineers 324 working on the Gordie Howe International Bridge. 

Second portrait: Andy Doctoroff, point person on the project for the Michigan governor’s office.

Listen now at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205.

Stay connected by subscribing to Talking Michigan Transportation e-mail updates.

MDOT virtual open house Jan. 27

MDOT virtual open house Jan. 27

MDOT E-mail

MDOT on facebook MDOT on Twitter MDOT on YouTube Mi Drive - Know before you go. MDOT on Instagram Sign up for E-mails form MDOT
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     MEDIA CONTACT

January 18, 2022                                                                     Rob Morosi

                                                                                                    248-361-6288 MorosiR@Michigan.gov

MDOT virtual open house Jan. 27 to discuss Grand River Avenue bridge replacement in Detroit

 

Detroit, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) invites the public to attend a virtual public open house regarding the upcoming replacement of the Grand River Avenue overpass above I-94 in Detroit. Work is scheduled to begin in February. During this virtual event, there will be a brief presentation on work activities, detours and other project information, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Who:

MDOT staff and project consultants

Interested residents and local stakeholders

 

When:

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022 6-7:30 p.m.

 

Where: Zoom virtual public meeting: click here for zoom meeting

 

To join by phone without using Internet, call toll-free: 888-788-0099

Webinar ID: 811 7187 7028

Passcode: 174395

 

Accessibility:

Accommodations can be made for persons who require mobility, visual, hearing, written, or other assistance for participation. Large print materials, auxiliary aids or the services of interpreters, signers, or readers are available upon request. Please contact Orlando Curry at 517-241-7462 or complete Form 2658 for American Sign Language (ASL) located on the Title VI webpage: www.Michigan.gov/MDOT/0,4616,7-151-9621_31783—,00.html. Requests should be made at least five days prior to the meeting date. Reasonable efforts will be made to provide the requested accommodation or an effective alternative, but accommodations may not be guaranteed.

 

 

Project information:

The Grand River Avenue bridge over I-94 is being rebuilt in advance of future freeway work based on its age and importance to local street mobility and connectivity. This work is expected to begin in February with the new bridge opening to traffic in late 2022.

 

The I-94 modernization project will improve safety and mobility by rebuilding roughly 7 miles of freeway between Conner Avenue and I-96. Included in this project is utility and bridge replacements, improvements to freeway interchanges, and adding an additional travel lane. Additional information is available at www.I94Detroit.org.

 

the biggest infrastructure project in North America

Who knew naming snowplows would be so popular?

Who knew naming snowplows would be so popular?

A year into the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) initiative to engage the public in naming snowplows across the state, an update on progress.

Listen now: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205/9881771-who-knew-naming-snowplows-would-be-so-popular

TMT - Snowplow naming

Shortly after MDOT launched the project in 2021, inspired by a plow-naming venture by Transport Scotland, Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist visited an elementary school in Benton Harbor where a class of fifth graders named a plow Tiger in honor of their school mascot. Gilchrist visited the school and spoke to the students shortly afterward.

On this week’s podcast, Nick Schirripa, MDOT’s Southwest Region media relations representative, talks about the project, the eye-popping numbers of submissions it inspired and why it has been a fun but important endeavor. He and Courtney Bates, a department analyst and web site administrator, worked together to create the naming contest, sort through the names and even put the names of plows on the Mi Drive site so they can be tracked in real time.

As the Detroit Free Press reported in December, ”One year and more than 15,000 possible plow monikers later, and a handful of Michigan Department of Transportation staffers say they see a light at the end of the tunnel. But the project isn’t quite over.”

Schirripa talks about the interest this has generated and why it helps with education about what’s involved in clearing snow from roads in Michigan winters and how the plow-naming project helps in education efforts about safety.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist visited an elementary school in Benton Harbor

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist visited an elementary school in Benton Harbor where a class of fifth graders named a plow Tiger in honor of their school mascot.

Listen now at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205.

Stay connected by subscribing to Talking Michigan Transportation e-mail updates.

the biggest infrastructure project in North America

What the heck is an aerial mobility corridor?

What the heck is an aerial mobility corridor?

This week, in the wake of an announcement about a first-of-its-kind cross-border initiative to test the feasibility of commercial drone use, Bryan Budds, deputy administrator of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Office of Aeronautics, explains the project.

Listen now: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205/9846119-what-the-heck-is-an-aerial-mobility-corridor

TMT - Aerial Mobility Corridor

Wednesday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that Michigan and Ontario are collaborating on a technology initiative involving unmanned aerial systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones. This effort involves studying the feasibility of a commercial drone skyway in three proposed areas, including an international connection between Michigan and Ontario, southeast Michigan, and any other suitable location in the state.

Bryan Budds

The effort is a partnership between MDOT, Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, and Ontario government agencies.

Calling it a “highway in the sky,” Budds talks about myriad opportunities to explore the future of drone technology and what it could mean to commerce and the delivery of goods. He also discusses the challenging questions facing regulators as they work to balance privacy, security, safety, and innovation.

Budds also talks about how this initiative follows on other cross-border collaboration between the governments of Michigan and Ontario for demonstrations involving automated vehicles.

Other relevant links:

http://www.ontario.ca/page/connecting-southwest-draft-transportation-plan-southwestern-ontario

https://www.faa.gov/uas/

https://www.theregreview.org/2021/10/23/saturday-seminar-regulating-domestic-drone-use

NASA Aerial Mobility Corridor Concept

NASA’s new concept image for Advanced Air Mobility. Image courtesy of NASA.


Portrait: Bryan Budds, deputy administrator of MDOT’s Office of Aeronautics.

the biggest infrastructure project in North America

MDOT’s busy 2021 and more to come in 2022

MDOT’s busy 2021 and more to come in 2022

On the final Talking Michigan Transportation podcast of the year, MDOT Director Paul Ajegba looks back on the historic investment in roads and bridges, as highlighted in this video.

Listen now: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205/9774329-mdot-s-busy-2021-and-more-to-come-in-2022

TMT - Year-end review

The video details the additional billion dollars invested in 2021 as well as the 10,000 jobs supported across the state. Some local officials and business leaders share their thoughts on the benefits of the investments.

Director Ajegba underscores the value of Gov. Whitmer’s Rebuilding Michigan bonding program and how it allows for longer-term investments as opposed to the lesser fixes affordable during decades of road funding challenges in Michigan. The governor discussed the plan on the podcast shortly after unveiling it in her 2020 State of the State address.

Also in 2021, Director Ajegba joined the governor at the Mackinac Policy Conference to announce a nation-leading wireless charging plan for electric vehicles. The director talks about the progress.

Reflecting on the major work in 2021, the director talks about addressing many challenges including the pandemic, climate change-induced deluges and flooding that overwhelmed drainage system on Southeast Michigan freeways and addressing crashes on roads under construction, a more acute problem as vehicle speeds have increased during the pandemic.

the biggest infrastructure project in North America

Urban planner talks Complete Streets, collaboration

An urban planner talks Complete Streets, collaboration and the future

On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation, a conversation with Suzanne Schulz, the former director of planning for the City of Grand Rapids, who helped with some groundbreaking initiatives related to Complete Streets, accommodating multimodal users and breaking down barriers to access. She was also instrumental in helping to implement a statewide Complete Streets policy. She’s now urban planning practice leader at Progressive AE in Grand Rapids.

Listen now: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205/9699686-an-urban-planner-talks-complete-streets-collaboration-and-the-future

Schulz talks about implantation of road diets and other Complete Streets initiatives since legislation was adopted in 2010.

As more cities around the world incorporate protected bike lanes into their Complete Streets planning, is it something we can expect in Michigan? Studies show they enhance safety.

She also talks about the imperative for community leaders to collaborate with business owners, residents, state departments of transportation officials, and others on planning for future transportation needs.

Also discussed: inclusion of more passive storm water treatments into street design. Things like bioswales and rain gardens can significantly improve the quality of water making its way into storm water systems. Along those lines, Schulz recalls her work with the City of Grand Rapids establishing a Vital Streets framework that incorporated Complete Streets and green infrastructure.

Podcast photo: Suzanne Schulz, former director of planning for the City of Grand Rapids.

Listen now at https://www.buzzsprout.com/1374205.

Stay connected by subscribing to Talking Michigan Transportation e-mail updates.