Several roads to receive Road Commission help this summer

May 27, 2016

By Rosemary Horvath

Clare County townships have contracted to have the Clare County Road Commission complete either a few or many projects this construction season.
Sheridan has three drainage and culvert replacements planned for northern Athey Road and Adams Road and guardrail replacement in the southwest portion of Washington Road.

Hilly and well-traveled North Clare Avenue through Grant and Hatton will have asphalt overlay from Beaverton to Dover and chip seal and fog (spray application of asphalt emulsion) from Dover to Mannsiding.

Lincoln will have guardrail replacement, chip seal and fog on Finley Lake Avenue and at Lake George.
Surrey has a little of everything from local and primary gravel repair, asphalt overlay, to chip seal and fog.
Deepak Gupta, road commission engineer-manager, unveiled upcoming and completed projects at a presentation he titled Past, Present & Future.
Gupta and Julie Lightfoot, road commission chairperson, and the road commission staff hosted a series of informal sessions last week for township officials to learn the ins and outs of funding, planning and possibilities.

Does anyone have $24 million to donate? Probably not, but that’s the price-tag to apply asphalt on all 166 miles of the not-so-good primary roads in the county. Cost to bring a road up to primary condition can run from $30,000 a mile up to a million.

About 34 percent of the primary road system is considered “good,” which Gupta says is “better than most” counties, while 51 percent is fair and about 15 percent is poor.

In the local roads system, about half has good paved road conditions while 41 percent is fair and the rest is poor.
To apply asphalt on all the local roads would cost nearly $6.2 million.

Townships have learned building on applications is one way to tackle projects. Chip seal is a preventative measure and works as a fix to hold a road together until a permanent application can be done. This two-stage process is less costly in the long run and viewed as a “huge solution” for road improvement.
Grant had five miles of chip seal applied. Lincoln and Arthur also completed chip seal projects this year.
As for gravel roads, the county has some 700 miles used as primary roads but most are local roads.

Townships pays for gravel and the road commission contributes labor and manpower for local roads. The road commission picks up the cost on primary roads.
Brining roads during the summer is usually coordinated with the three summer holidays. Complaints were leveled when warmer, rainy weather turned dirt roads into wet and soupy messes this spring. Sometimes the only answer is to wait until the road dries out because mud can be deep down.
Gupta highlighted advantages of township-road commission partnerships. The road commission re-introduced a match program this year through which costs are shared. Typically the road commission can offer a cash match or labor, equipment and drainage match.

Township boards are invited to submit project requests to the road commission from November to December.
Planning sessions for engineering and design follow over the next two months in time to bid and finalize projects no later than the end of May. Construction season is from June to October.

Alan Leonard, road commission engineer-technician, estimates costs. He and Aric McNeilly and Dave Sunday, road maintenance foremen, oversee projects. Kimberly Kimmel, finance director, handles billing.

Gupta said the earlier requests are made the better because contractors can plan ahead. Costs could be lower when projects in the same vicinity are lumped together.

Last year Gupta bought used guard rail from another county at scrap value cost and saved around $138,104. Three-beam rail and eight-foot galvanized post were installed on Townline Lake Road in Hayes and North Clare Avenue over Townline Creek in Frost, among other places. There is plenty left over for future projects.
The presentation showed the extent of work performed by the road commission.

Winter work consists of storm clean-up on 288 miles of state highway and the 1,000 miles of county roads. More than $1 million was spent last winter on winter maintenance. 2014 had an expenditure of $1.5 million.

It is mandated that state highways take precedent. Major roads are pre-treated before a major snowstorm. But when the temperature drops below certain levels salt becomes insufficient.

The road commission plans another bus tour this September from which township officials can see firsthand the various applications used for road improvement.

Share This Post

One Response to Several roads to receive Road Commission help this summer

  1. Deborah R. Holliman Reply

    May 30, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Great article very interesting for viewers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *