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On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation with a regular guest, Lloyd Brown. Now working for the consulting firm, HDR, Brown was previously the communications director at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Recalling his time working for the Washington (state) Department of T…
 
This week, as President Biden signs the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), a conversation about the historic context of the legislation and what it can mean to Michigan. Andy Doctoroff, a Huntington Woods lawyer who teaches a class that he created at the University of Michigan Law School focusing on infrastructure, joins t…
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, conversations with two people about the ongoing surge in highway speeds that began with the pandemic in early 2020 and the resulting rise in crash deaths. First, author and columnist Helaine Olen talks about observations in her Washington Post column this week about the spike in reckless drivi…
 
As early-November snow accumulates in Michigan, this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast includes conversations about preparing for winter. First, Mark Geib, MDOT engineer of operations and administrator of statewide maintenance programs, talks about the efforts of MDOT and other road agencies to recruit and train snowplow operators duri…
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, timely conversations about the long-awaited infrastructure bill President Biden has been seeking. Recorded Thursday, Oct. 28, as negotiations continue in Congress, Susan Howard, program director for transportation finance at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Official…
 
This week on the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation with two people deeply involved with recruiting, developing and training the infrastructure-building workforce. Even before the pandemic-induced phenomenon known as the Great Resignation, employers in many sectors were struggling to find and retain employees. This certainly ap…
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation with Jesse Ball, who coordinates social media at the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). Ball talks about his background, growing up in the Upper Peninsula, graduating from Michigan State University, then working in California and Michigan media markets. In 2008, he be…
 
The busy US-23 freeway south of Ann Arbor, closed more than two weeks because of safety concerns about an overhead railroad bridge, reopened to traffic Tuesday morning (Sept. 28). Craig Heidelberg, engineer of operations at MDOT’s Brighton Transportation Service Center who worked with the contractor doing the repairs and helped oversee the project,…
 
This week on the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, following two important announcements from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer solidifying Michigan’s commitment to electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, a conversation with two of the people helping to make the ideas a reality. First, Elsa Givan, an analyst at Silicon Foundry who is working with…
 
Last week, after inspectors discovered severe damage to a bridge that carries rail cars over the US-23 freeway near Milan, Michigan, engineers made the difficult decision to close the road and pursue emergency repairs. The damage came to light upon a more in-depth inspection of the bridge that revealed severe structural damage from a high-load hit …
 
Coming off the successful return of a cool Michigan tradition, the Mackinac Bridge walk on Labor Day, this week’s podcast revisits the condition of our state’s other bridges and some creative proposals to fund replacement and repair of state and local structures. First, for some national perspective, a conversation with experts in performance manag…
 
On this week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation about the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk. After the pandemic forced cancelation last year for the first time since the inaugural walk to mark the bridge’s dedication in 1958, walkers and runners will once again descend on St. Ignace and Mackinaw City on Monday, Sept.…
 
This week on the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, an update on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Rebuilding Michigan program as the deal closes on another $800 million in bonds. The bonds closed today will cover the cost of rebuilding some of Michigan's most highly traveled freeways. When all of the $3.5 billion bonds are sold over the next few years…
 
The U.S. Senate this week adopted a sweeping $1 trillion infrastructure bill that includes $550 billion in new revenue for roads, water systems, electric vehicle charging, broadband, rail, and transit. Lloyd Brown, the former chief spokesperson for the American Association of State Transportation Officials (AASHTO), now with HDR, Inc., joins the co…
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation with Michigan’s chief mobility officer, Trevor Pawl, about a major announcement Thursday to help with one transportation challenge we all experience: finding a parking space. Speaking at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars Thursday, Michigan Gov. Gret…
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, conversations about the past, present and future of MDOT’s Transportation Diversity Recruitment Program (TDRP). The 10-week program allows students to work alongside other on-the-job training program participants, internal staff and external professionals who provide engineering, technical, in…
 
On this edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, Brad Sharlow, point person on MDOT’s state long-range transportation plan, talks about the extensive engagement and public involvement involved in the process. Michigan Mobility 2045, or MM2045, is the department’s ambitious project to look into a big crystal ball and see what our need…
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation, a conversation with Adam Wayne, a construction engineer in the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Metro Region, who is helping coordinate repairs to I-75 in the wake of a massive tanker crash and fire July 12. The tanker, carrying 13,000 gallons of fuel, crashed into a barrier wall on I-75 in Tro…
 
A year after the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) sold the first group, or tranche, of bonds in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's $3.5 billion Rebuilding Michigan plan, the finance team is preparing to sell another $800 million worth in August. First, Patrick McCarthy, director of MDOT's Bureau of Finance, explains why the market has reacted so f…
 
On the latest Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation about the ongoing process to rethink the 1-mile I-375 freeway in Detroit and consider other alternatives. First, Margaret Barondess, manager of the environmental section at the Michigan Department Transportation, talks about the ongoing discussions that could reconnect neighborho…
 
After a deluge that caused flooding across Metro Detroit and overwhelmed power sources for pumps that help remove water from freeways, there are a lot of questions about how to address these challenges in the future. Rob Morosi, senior media relations representative for the Michigan Department of Transportation in the Detroit area, joins the podcas…
 
This week, a discussion about more evidence that the severity of highway crashes increased during the pandemic, seat belt use declined, and the number of Black people killed in crashes rose by 23 percent. First, Peter Savolainen, Michigan State University Foundation professor of civil and environmental engineering and an extensive researcher on roa…
 
This week, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee began debating a $547 billion highway bill, which, among other things, resurrects an old practice: the use of member earmarks for projects. On this week's podcast, Susan Howard, program director for transportation finance of the American Association of State Highway and Transport…
 
This week, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters joins the podcast to talk about his advocacy for President Biden’s comprehensive infrastructure proposal, The American Jobs Plan. Peters is traveling the state to advocate for the administration’s plan. He was in Grand Rapids Wednesday for conversations with a number of representatives involved in various components…
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, talks about what tourism industry officials expect as pandemic restrictions are relaxed and Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer vacation season. While travel is not expected to reach pre-pandemic levels, AAA forecasts 1.1 million Memorial D…
 
In the wake of a presidential visit to the Dearborn Ford Rouge Electric Vehicle Center and a subsequent announcement about production of the all-electric F-150 Lightning truck, this week’s podcast examines charging infrastructure in Michigan. In the first segment, Aarne Frobom, a senior policy analyst at the Michigan Department of Transportation wh…
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation with three people who participated in an MDOT public service announcement, explaining why they received a COVID-19 vaccine and think others should, too. First, Kim Henderson, who manages MDOT’s Graphic Design and Mapping Unit, talks about why she felt it was important, as a Blac…
 
On Tuesday, Michigan hosted the National Work Zone Awareness Week event in the midst of a Rebuilding Michigan project on M-59 in Macomb County. On this week's Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation with Stephanie Boileau, county highway engineer for the Chippewa County Road Commission and president of the Michigan Chapter of the Am…
 
In recognition of Earth Day, this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast features a conversation with Margaret Barondess, who manages the environmental section at the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). More than 50 years ago, Congress adopted the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Barondess reflects and explains how the ac…
 
On this week's Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, Doug Hecox, acting director of public affairs at the Federal Highway Administration, shares his insights on the origins of interstate highways and wrestles with unanswerable questions about the future. Hecox likes to remind people that the Interstate Highway System is "the largest human-built …
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation, a conversation with Andy Doctoroff about his op-ed published in the Detroit Free Press examining President Biden’s American Jobs Plan in the context of historic investments in U.S. infrastructure. Doctoroff, who has made previous appearances on the podcast in his capacity as the governor’s office’s po…
 
On this week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, analysis and speculation about what President Biden is likely to include in his much-anticipated proposal to address the nation’s inadequate and crumbling infrastructure. Lloyd Brown, director of communications for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Off…
 
On this week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a followup to previous conversations about why fatal crashes have increased despite traffic volumes declining substantially during the pandemic. Following up on previous episodes featuring a number of Michigan experts on the topic, this week’s conversation features a perspective…
 
On Thursday, just a day after final passage in the House of a historic pandemic relief and stimulus bill, President Joe Biden signed it into law. The bill includes billions for airlines, transit agencies and Amtrak to help with some deep losses suffered the past year. On this week's edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, Susan Howa…
 
While the nation’s roads continue to decline, improvements in rail and some other categories raised the nation’s overall infrastructure grade to C-, a very modest improvement from the D+ grade in the 2017 report card from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Andy Herrmann, a professional engineer, past president of ASCE and a member of t…
 
In observance and reflection on Black History Month, this week’s podcast features conversations with two people who served the State of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for four decades. First, Myron Frierson, who retired as MDOT director of the Bureau of Finance in 2019, talks about what he learned during his career in…
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, Matt Chynoweth, chief bridge engineer at the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), breaks down a proposal to repair or replace crumbling local bridges across the state. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is seeking $300 million in a Fiscal Year 2021 supplemental budget request to repair or…
 
Have you heard the names: For Your Ice Only? Gangsta Granny Gritter? Gritallica? Gritty Gritty Bang Bang? Ice Buster? These are not the names of films or rock bands. These are monikers for Gritters, which is what our friends in Scotland call snowplows. On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation, recorded Jan. 26, Iain McDonald joins the convers…
 
On this edition of Talking Michigan Transportation, Lloyd Brown joins the conversation again to discuss what we learned from the Jan. 21 Senate confirmation hearing for Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg. Brown, director of communications for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, says the mostly amicab…
 
On this week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a conversation about why fatal crashes on Michigan roads in 2020 exceeded those in 2019, despite traffic volumes being significantly diminished because of the pandemic. Preliminary numbers indicate 1,032 people died from crashes on Michigan roads in 2020, while the number was 98…
 
On this week's Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, Michigan Department of Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba talks about some of the big projects completed in 2020 as highlighted in this year-end video. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer celebrated a significant milestone in her Rebuilding Michigan plan when she joined Director Ajegba to tour …
 
On Wednesday, President-elect Joe Biden made official his nomination of Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to head the Department of Transportation. (Video from announcement.) Some of the top associations advocating on transportation policy were quick with statements of support. On this episode, a conversation with an official…
 
This week on the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, conversations about the rich history of the Delray neighborhood in southwest Detroit and why an author and archivist believes building the Gordie Howe International Bridge (GHIB) is helping to fuel a rebirth of the community. Karen Dybis, who has been researching the history and culture of D…
 
On this week’s edition of Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a discussion about how the pandemic could affect snowplowing. Gregg Brunner, director of MDOT’s Bureau of Field Services, talks about contingency planning for battling winter during a pandemic. An Oct. 26 MDOT news release explained that the goal of MDOT and its partner agencies rem…
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, experts in intelligent transportation systems and connected and automated vehicle research react to Wednesday’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) action. Guests include Debra Bezzina, managing director of the Center for Connected and Automated Transportation at the University of Michigan…
 
On this week’s edition of Talking Michigan Transportation, Detroit Free Press reporter Kristi Tanner talks about her extensive reporting on the condition of bridges in Michigan. On Thursday, Oct. 29, Tanner spoke about her findings to a virtual conference of Michigan’s Transportation Asset Management Council (TAMC). She explains how, despite some m…
 
On this week’s edition of the Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a discussion about a new video emphasizing the need for drivers to slow down when driving through road construction projects. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talks about MDOT’s “drive like you work here” message and why it is important as more major roads will be rebuilt in 2021.…
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation Podcast, conversations about excessive speeds and more traffic deaths since the pandemic began. Despite traffic volumes still being down an average of 20 percent across the state due to the pandemic, fatal crashes are on the rise. In fact, Michigan State Police tell us that 64 more people have died on …
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, a discussion about the long-term challenges for transportation infrastructure presented by a volatile climate. First, Hugh McDiarmid Jr., director of communications at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, joins to talk about the High Water Action Team convened earlie…
 
On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, MDOT Finance Director Patrick McCarthy talks about the process and work leading up to the sale of $800 million in bonds to finance rebuilding several freeways with the state’s heaviest traffic volumes. Later, the discussion focuses on the first high-profile project made possible through the bo…
 
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