MDOT: State's infrastructure is prepared for climate change - WNEM TV 5

MDOT: State's infrastructure is prepared for climate change

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

Climate change means more erosion and more frequent thaw cycles affecting roads.

"It's always something we take into account," said Gregg Brunner, with the Michigan Department of Transportation.

MDOT said climate change is real and Michigan's roads are prepared to deal with it.

Brunner said climate change plays a role in how they design roads and bridges.

A new study released this week by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute said Michigan's transportation infrastructure is better prepared to handle climate change than other Midwest states.

"We designed culverts to handle what we anticipate to be about a 50 year storm. Bridges we look at to more of 100 year storm," Brunner said.

Meanwhile, experts at the National Weather Service said one particular weather event has already had an impact on the state's infrastructure and will continue to do so in the future.

"The increase number of heavy rain days and then the amount of rainfall that falls during those heavy rain days," said Rich Pollman, with NWS.

Pollman said the rain events are a strong signal of climate change in Michigan. He believes heavy rains will become more frequent as the years go by.

"I think it's important for all our government partners and really the citizens across the state of Michigan and the Great Lakes to plan and prepare for the changes that are going to be happening over the course of the next 20, 50, or 100 years," Pollman said.

Brunner said MDOT is always preparing for any other factors that may affect the state's infrastructure.

"We're keeping an eye on things going on, not only in Michigan but around the nation and try to implement best practices and innovations here," Brunner said.

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