Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Mackinac Policy Conference 2021: Improving Infrastructure Will Take Unified Action, Says Wayne County Executive Evans

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Image credit: Lisa Brancato/WDET

Warren Evans says taking the county’s agricultural-era water infrastructure into the 21st century is going to be very costly.

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Southeast Michigan residents, still dealing with the effects of severe flooding during the summer, have been calling for large infrastructure improvements after a gasoline leak was revealed in Flat Rock’s sewer system. Wayne County Executive Warren Evans talks about what the process of improving the region’s water infrastructure would cost, and who is responsible for seeing it through. 

You’ve got cities trying to take care of their individual needs … and lots of cooks in the kitchen make it difficult to reach a solution.” —Wayne County Executive Warren Evans

Listen: Warren Evans on the future of Wayne County’s infrastructure.


Warren Evans is Wayne County Executive. He says in Flat Rock where gasoline was leaking into the community’s sewer system from the Ford auto plant, it’s the county’s role to prevent this possibility from happening again. “We have to improve our ability to monitor more closely,” he says. On the hopes of improving Southeast Michigan’s infrastructure, Evans says it’ll take unified and structured action. “You’ve got cities trying to take care of their individual needs … and lots of cooks in the kitchen make it difficult to reach a solution.”

Evans says actually increasing the entire storm drainage system is going to be very costly. “There are lots of preventative things we can be better about working with what we have. When the system was built in western Wayne County, that area was mostly agricultural.” Evans says there is no one person responsible for implementing large infrastructure improvements. “It becomes a conglomeration of leaders in order to do it.”

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