For more than 100 years, the Detroit region’s well-connected transportation infrastructure has supported local and global industries and markets.

Infrastructure drives economic growth and is critical for business and society. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, Michigan’s public infrastructure grade is a D+. Today, Michigan’s infrastructure, while developed, needs improvements. In response, Michigan passed into law the Building Michigan Together Plan, the largest infrastructure investment plan in Michigan history.

$5 Billion Building Michigan Together Plan

The Building Michigan Together Plan will protect clean drinking water, begin dozens of new road and bridge projects, build more affordable housing, expand high-speed internet, improve state and local parks, and support tens of thousands of jobs.

The top projects funded by Building Michigan Together Plan include:

  • $750 million for drinking water infrastructure and $515 million for wastewater/stormwater projects
  • $645 million for road, bridges, public transportation, and airports
  • $250 million for broadband infrastructure grants for underserved areas
  • $250 million to develop, improve, and maintain local and state parks

Transportation Infrastructure and Assets

According to Michigan’s Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC), in 2020, 78% of roads in Michigan were estimated to be in poor/fair condition. In the Detroit region, 81% of roads were considered poor/fair conditions in 2019. The Building Michigan Together Plan includes $98 million for public airports, $66 million for public transportation investments, and $317 million for road and bridge repairs or replacements with $238 million for state trunkline construction.

Infrastructure Roads


Michigan is among the top 10 in the nation for road infrastructure with 1,238 miles of interstate highway and 8,387 miles of U.S. and state highways. It is also one of only two Great Lakes states with toll free highways.

Over 40,000 commuters, tourists, and truck drivers carrying $323 million worth of goods cross the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit into Canada daily, making it the busiest border crossing in North America.


Michigan has 19 commercial airports, including the 18th busiest airport in the world, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW). DTW is Michigan’s largest airport and one of the world’s leading air transportation hubs with more than 1,100 flights per day and 144 non-stop routes to 4 continents. Wayne County Airport Authority drives economic activity in the Detroit region, employing more than 86,000 individuals with an annual economic impact of 10.2 billion


Michigan is served by 28 freight railroads (9th in the country), which cover 3,465 miles of rail (14th in the country). The Detroit Region is served by four of the seven national Class I railroads in the U.S., unique to only one-third of the nation, and four railroads have intermodal terminals in regional Detroit. The system carries about 17% of all the state’s freight tonnage and 21% of the commodities by value.


Michigan’s 3,200 miles of shoreline along four of the five Great Lakes contain 33 active cargo ports that ship or receive cargo. Michigan’s ports handle 51.7 million tons of cargo valued at $4.1 billion annually. The Port of Detroit is the 3rd largest steel-handling port in the nation. It connects the Great Lakes and the entire Midwest to the St. Lawrence Seaway, and by extension, the rest of the world. The Port of Detroit imports over 750 million tons of steel annually.

Water Systems 

Michigan is home to 21% of the world’s fresh water. The state is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, and the state’s 3,288 miles of shoreline are fed by 11,000 inland lakes, 51,000 miles of river systems and 6,500,000 acres of wetlands. Quality infrastructure is the backbone to protecting that water. Communities across the state need upgrades to their treatment plants, drinking water service lines, and sewer systems. To update decades old water systems, the Building Michigan Together Plan includes more than $2 billion for water infrastructure projects.  

Stormwater and Wastewater

According to SEMCOG, between 20 and 30 percent of the region’s water infrastructure is in poor condition, and more than 40 Michigan communities have combined sewer and stormwater overflows, posing significant risks to the environment and communities. The infrastructure bill will invest $515 million for clean water projects specifically for wastewater and storm water systems, with $72 million going to Macomb County for sewer upgrades.

Drinking Water

Most water systems were constructed at least 50-100 years ago and need repair and replacement. According to the Michigan Municipal League, there are approximately 500,000 lead service lines in Michigan and 80,000 in the city of Detroit. The Building Michigan Together Plan will invest in water improvements including:

  • $325 million to replace lead service lines, with $75 million going to replacement in Detroit
  • $55 million to help communities tackle toxic contaminants like PFAs


Reliable, high-speed internet is essential. Broadband powers business efficiencies, connects communities, provides students with educational resources and opportunities, and more. Michigan currently ranks 34th among states for internet coverage, speed, and availability.

According to the Census Bureau in the Detroit region:

  • 86% of households have an internet subscription
  • 12% of households have no access to internet.

The Building Michigan Together Plan provided historic investments in Michigan’s infrastructure including an $250 million to improve high-speed broadband service in underserved areas.

Parks and Greenspace  

There are hundreds of municipal and county parks in the Detroit region, in addition to 13 metro parks, 10 state parks, 14 state recreation areas, and 17 state game areas. The region also includes: 

  • 3,500 miles of bikeway
  • 24,000 miles of walkways
  • 500 miles of regional trails  

The Building Michigan Together Plan will invest in several notable local parks project across Michigan, including $60 million to develop the Joe Louis Greenway, a nearly 30-mile, interconnected biking and walking trail system – extending from the Detroit Riverfront to Highland Park, Dearborn, and Hamtramck – that will help revitalize and green Michigan’s largest urban center.  

Parks and recreation facilities are a major part of Michigan’s economy, generating value for surrounding communities, creating jobs, and helping sustain small businesses. Michigan’s outdoor recreation industry supports billions in state Gross Domestic Product and sustains 126,000 jobs in the state.   

On average, every $1 invested in land conservation leads to $4 in economic benefit, meaning the Building Michigan Together Plan’s $250 million investment in state parks will yield $1 billion in economic benefits for families, small businesses, and local communities. 

Research & Data

Learn about the region’s economics, workforce and talent, industry clusters and more.

For additional information, contact the Data and Research team.

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