By Kenedi Robinson
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter
DEWITT — A stretch of Schavey Road in the city and township of DeWitt is being reconstructed as of May to improve travel for citizens.
Rod Taylor is the DeWitt Township manager, and his job is to oversee the management of the project. According to Taylor, there is something called a Pacer Rating done with residents and the rating for Schavey Road was the lowest by far.
“Drop off and pick-up here is awful. You ask anybody here. I’d say it was about time,” said Linda Crosby who works at Schavey Road Elementary School. “The damages are getting pretty hard to avoid.”
The project for the township will effect Schavey Road south from Herbison Road to Clark Road, and for the city it will run north from Herbison Road to Howe Road It includes improvements to the existing pavement, but is also adding non-motorized trails such as sidewalks and a 10-foot pathway, according to Taylor.
According to initial cost estimates received by the manager’s office, the project was expected to go over the initial planned budget which caused the managers on the project to rearrange the 2017 budget for the city to cover the costs.
“The budgeting process is never easy. You have to do a lot of give and take and make those hard decisions as to what you really want to spend your money on,” said Mike Roberson, planning and zoning official in St. Johns.
The project is set to begin in May now that all of the permits and things are approved.
“There are a lot of schools in that area,” said Taylor, “so we want to do it during a time where it won’t disrupt school traffic or the students.”
According to Crosby, this project would be beneficial to everyone who uses this road and more.
Taylor says this project is being made possible because of grants from the state of Michigan
The budget is always subject to the amount of grant money that the city gets, and then the city has to match those funds, according to Roberson.
This project and many to come that are similar to it is expected to add a lot to the community. It’s expected to help bring the neighborhood together and even allow a bigger traffic flow.
“Projects like these increase the viability in the neighborhood; they allow traffic to flow through the area, and encourage commerce,” said Roberson.
According to Roberson, the worst that could happen is that they could find soils and organic materials that they weren’t expecting and that could increase the cost of the project.
This project is just the beginning of the huge improvement project expected to run through DeWitt.
“This is just phase one of a longer-term project to create a pathway system that will go all the way down Herbison Road, and all the way to U.S.(Route) 27,” said Taylor.“ It will do a great job of connecting a number of our neighborhoods.”