By David Fleet
Groveland Twp.- On Monday night the township hosted a special meeting regarding the paving of Barron Road between Groveland to Grange Hall Roads. The project is set to begin in late 2020 when trees will be removed.
The actual paving will be in 2021.
In August township board of trustees voted 4-0 to fund in part the two miles of Barron Road. Trustee James Christopher was absent with notice from that meeting.
At a cost of $5.3 million, Barron Road will be funded by federal aid will pay for 80 percent of the project, the Road Commission for Oakland County and the township will split the remaining 20 percent.
Jeff O’Brien, design engineer for the RCOC along with other representatives attended the meeting for residents that live on Barron Road or that could be impacted by the project. Included in the project will be a center turn lane at Grange Hall and Barron roads and a mix of shoulders, curb and gutters.
Barron Road carries about 500-600 cars per day.
“The road (qualifies) for rural funding in the county,” said O’Brien. “Barron Road is a primary road on the county paving plan for two decades and was a priority for the township. We have a very small rural area in the county where the funding can be used.”
Federal funding is set for the primary roads, like Barron which goes from the south side of the township to the north side, he said.
“Impact to the environment will be minimized,” he added. “Many of these ditches have not been touched in decades.”
A total of 15 foot of elevation will be cut from the hill just south of the Perryville Road intersection. Every driveway of the about 20 impacted by the project will receive an apron. The ditches will be reconstructed and culverts will be replaced.
“They (RCOC) pave about one mile of road in Oakland County every year and there’s about 700 miles (of unpaved road),” said Bob DePalma, township supervisor. “It’s a long laborious process so this opportunity to get this (additional mile) squeezed in here is a good deal for the township.”
Currently there’s about $3 million in the township infrastructure fund, he said. The infrastructure account, established in 2009, includes funds earmarked for projects such as road paving, property development and emergency reserves. A transfer from the infrastructure account requires board approval.
The extra money for Barron Road was made available from the Local Federal Fund Exchange program, a County Road Association-developed program that allows a county road agency, like the Road Commission for Oakland County to sell its highly-regulated federal Surface Transportation Program Rural funds for more flexible non-federal dollars to another county road agency at a mutually agreed upon rate.
“They want to pave the whole road in 2021 and it will be insurmountably saver then it is now,” he said. “There are lot of hills and dips on the Barron