LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is scaling back her plan to “fix the damn roads,” unveiling a $3.5 billion bond proposal that would help rebuild Michigan highways without a tax increase but saddle the state with decades of new debt.

The first-term Democrat announced her latest plan Wednesday night in her second State of the State Address, promising to bypass the Republican-led Legislature that last year balked at her proposal to raise money by increasing gas taxes by 45 cents per gallon.

“It’s time for Plan B: executive action,” Whitmer said in an address before a joint session of the state House and Senate at the Michigan Capitol.

Her initial plan would have given Michigan the highest fuel taxes in the nation and raised $2.5 billion each year. Her new plan includes a total of $3.5 billion in spending over five years.

It’s “financed without an increase at the gas pump, and it will do three things: save time, save money, and save lives,” Whitmer said. “So, from now on, when you see orange barrels on a state road, slow down, and know that it’s this administration fixing the damn roads.”

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