Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is planning to sign an executive order May 1 to reopen the state's residential and commercial construction projects May 7.

While work deemed "essential public works" has been allowed to proceed through the COVID-19 pandemic—including energy facilities, waterways and specific road and bridge projects such as the $629-million 1-75 reconstruction and the $4.5-billion Gordie Howe International Bridge—all other work has been halted as part of Michigan's stay home, stay safe executive order that Whitmer signed March 23 to control the spread of the coronavirus.

[For ENR’s latest coverage of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, click here]

"No one should be surprised that the governor would open a lower risk field like she has said at previous press conferences," said Zach Pohl, communications director for Gov. Whitmer.

At an April 27 press conference, Whitmer detailed a statewide reopening plan that her office put together with input from the Michigan Economic Recovery Council, a body she created, specifically to deal with how to reopen the state's businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The MERC is co-chaired by DTE Energy Chairman Gerry Anderson, who spoke at the press conference about how to safely reengage the state economy.

Whitmer's original stay-at-home order had shut down work on commercial and residential sites statewide.