Rural Transportation Grant to Increase Connectivity in Northern Michigan

December 14, 2023

$14 Million Rural Surface Transportation Grant Will Revitalize West Bay Shore Drive in Leelanau County  


LANSING, Mich.—Today, Governor Whitmer announced that Michigan will receive a $14.4 million Rural Surface Transportation Grant from the United States Department of Transportation to revitalize West Bay Shore in Leelanau County to make it safer and more accessible to community members. The 2.2-mile project will provide residents greater access to downtown businesses, public transit, and recreational areas. 


“Today, we are fixing the damn roads in Leelanau County, continuing our work to build up rural infrastructure, grow local economies, and improve quality of life,” said Governor Whitmer. “We are grateful to President Biden for making this investment in Michigan roads and will continue doing our part at the state-level to improve the flow of commerce and keep families safe. Let’s keep moving dirt and getting it done.” 


West Bay Shore Drive is an important connector for Leelanau County residents to access resources, including downtown businesses, public transit, and recreational areas. This revitalization will create a complete street on M-22/M-72 in the Traverse City area from Division S.t to Cherry Bend Rd. This 2.2-mile project will include full reconstruction, drainage improvements including curb and gutter, storm sewer, and new culverts, upgrading the sidewalk ramps to Americans with Disability Standards, building a roundabout at the M-72/M-22 intersecting, and updating traffic signals. 


“Upgrading this critical portion of West Bay Shore Drive will help make the commute between Leelanau County and downtown Traverse City safer and more efficient, supporting residents, workers, and businesses,” said U.S. Senator Gary Peters. “I was proud to help secure this federal funding through the bipartisan infrastructure law to support this needed project, and I’m pleased knowing it will help improve the everyday lives of folks throughout the area.” 


“Improving our local infrastructure and public safety are top priorities for me as a state legislator, and I am thrilled to see key investments in our communities that advance these goals,” said state Representative Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City). “I appreciate this partnership with the Biden Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation under the leadership of Secretary Pete Buttigieg. My team and I will continue to support efforts to promote accessibility, support our local economy, update our infrastructure, and improve public safety on our roads.”  


“Today marks a victory for our rural communities and a testament to Michigan’s commitment to harnessing federal funding opportunities that will increase connectivity across the state,” said Zachary Kolodin, Michigan’s Chief Infrastructure Officer and Director of the Michigan Infrastructure Office. “With funding from this transformative grant, we can make good on our promise to fix the roads while building pathways to prosperity, fostering stronger connections, and driving forward a brighter, more resilient future for all who call Northern Michigan home.” 


The Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program is made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), which passed thanks to strong support from many members of the Michigan congressional delegation. The program supports projects that improve and expand the surface transportation infrastructure in rural areas to increase connectivity, enhance the safety and reliability of the movement of people and freight, and generate regional economic growth and improve quality of life. 


To date, Michigan has received more than $9.6B from the BIL to improve infrastructure outcomes across the state’s rural communities.