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Brad Wieferich, bumped up to full time MDOT director, talks up multimodal transportation

TMAC Brad Wiefrich, MDOT Bureau of Development
Sara J. Martin
TMAC Brad Wiefrich, MDOT Bureau of Development

The Michigan Department of Transportation now has a full-time director, after months under interim leadership.

The governor’s office announced Tuesday that Acting Director Brad Wieferich is dropping the “acting” from his title and assuming the director position more permanently.

Wieferich said he expects the upgrade to present some new opportunities.

“I think as a permanent, full-time director I might have a little more opportunity to effect policy. Really kind of steer the ship rather than just making sure it’s going in a straight line,” Wieferich said.

He was first named interim head in December 2022 following the departure of former DirectorPaul Ajegba going into Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s second term.

Wieferich said in that time he has noticed how the state has become more focused on overall mobility, "and how we get people from point A to point B, multimodal-wise, not just all about the roads and bridges."

"We do need good roads and bridges, but we also need to make sure we’re addressing how people use it, what communities need, and what the economy needs,” Wieferich said.

One of his first challenges as director will be navigating the state’s budget-writing process.

Wieferich has been with the department for 27 years, but this is his first time heading it for budget season.

The governor’s proposal for MDOT’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget is $478 million more than the current one for Fiscal Year 2023. Both the House and Senate landed higher.

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Colin Jackson is the Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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