Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Southeast Michigan’s failing infrastructure
In southeast Michigan, hardly a week has gone by lately without dealing with the dire consequences caused by the region’s infrastructure problems. More than a week ago, the area around Fort and Dearborn Streets in southwest Detroit was closed to traffic after the roads warped about 8 feet upward. DTE Officials said gas and electricity infrastructure was damaged by a ruptured water pipe during the event, adding that there was no evidence that natural gas was the cause of the incident. This situation is still under investigation and, although the cause is not yet clear, many public officials say it is an example of neglect.
With this incident and the many catastrophic floods that swept through our communities this summer, it appears our built environment is collapsing. And according to Representative Rashida Tlaib, we are not doing enough to stop it.
Listen: Representative Tlaib on the urgent need to tackle and update Michigan’s aging energy grid.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib is a Democrat from Detroit representing Michigan’s 13th District. “DTE is willing to modernize its infrastructure. But it doesn’t matter where it happens and who pays for it… Much of Detroit is served by what they call obsolete infrastructure, and that’s where you have to start, ”says Tlaib.
Discussing the road buckling incident in southwest Detroit earlier this month, Tlaib said, “The most important thing I heard from EPA and a few people there … [is that] nobody knows what happened, ”she said. “We keep hearing people say ‘nobody lives there.’ And it is wrong. They deserve to feel safe and to know what’s going on, ”Tlaib said of residents living near the 8-foot-high eruption site. “Imagine if it was downtown Detroit… If it was, I think there would be a lot more care. You can’t leave people in this situation when it’s so volatile, ”she said, adding that“ the fact that EPA, Michigan Public Service Commission, DTE, the city of Detroit… They all say we’ve never seen nothing like this… When you hear that I’m much more alarmed and I want us to do our due diligence.