Road fixes, funding coming this summer

By David Fleet
Groveland Twp.- Township roads may soon receive some much needed attention.
“Look for road funding to increase over the next few years,” said Craig Bryson, senior manager of communications and public information for the Road Commission for Oakland County. “Some long awaited road dollars will start to find its way to the county roads.”
The road cash will arrive courtesy of Gov. Rick Snyder, who in 2015 signed into law a $1.2-billion road funding package that will hike fuel taxes and registration fees and also take $600 million a year from the state’s general fund to fix and maintain Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges. Under the plan, vehicle registration jumped by 20 percent, and a 7.3-cent-per-gallon increase in the gas tax.

The package also hiked the tax on diesel fuel to match the price of regular fuel and also increases to 26.3 cents per gallon in 2017.
“The extra funds is below what we really need but will stabilize our roads right now,”said Bryson. “Still that will help or roads until about 2025, then the buying power of the funds will decline.”
Some of the funding will arrive in the township this summer.
To begin, resurfacing of Dixie Highway between Oak Hill Road north to the Genesee County line—about seven miles should start July. The $2.5 million project will include milling in rough areas and asphalt. Also at a cost of $750,000, Grange Hall Road between Van and Jossman roads will also be resurfaced at a cost of $750,000. The project will begin mid August will also include guardrail repair. Both projects buys about 5-10 years of use without a total reconstruction of the roads, said Bryson.
“This technique is done on heavier traveled roads that are considered in moderately good shape,” said Bryson. “Preservation overlay extends the life of the road until there is a longer term project such as reconstruction or resurfacing with extensive work done on the road’s base.”
Both projects are expected to take about a week and is funded through the purchase of federal road dollars from Michigan rural counties at a reduced rate, he added.
The township board of trustees also dipped into the local coffers and voted 4-0 to OK to gravel 3.36 miles of Bald Eagle Lake Road from Wildwood Road to the township line.
“We do about three miles per year,” said Bob DePalma, township supervisor. “It (gravel) went up this year, but we are not sure how much. It will be fairly expensive. When I started here at the township it was about $6,000 last year it was $18,000 per mile. There’s been a shortage of gravel, it’s going to go up. My guess is about $60,000.”
In 2020, the RCOC also announced Barron Road between Grange Hall to Perryville roads will be paved.