Every Michigander knows that roads in the state aren’t the best and Old Town residents have experienced that first-hand. “The roads are just not smooth in anyway shape or form,” said Jamie Schriner, Old Town Commercial Association board president. The state of Michigan has a budget of $3.5 to $4 million for capital improvements on roads or structural changes each year, said Chad Gamble, chief operating director and director of public service for the City of Lansing. Gamble said the major problem with trying to maximize road life is that the “needs of the roadway far far outweigh and exceed the amount of funding that we have for it.”
Schriner said she thinks it’s smart to pave streets with more vehicle traffic. She said they could “set aside a budget and say we’ll put three-fourths of our budget to the most highly trafficked areas first and then set a quarter of our budget aside for the less highly trafficked areas.”
Schriner said they could then let those less trafficked areas pick where work is needed in their neighborhood.
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Herbison Road can be found on the southern border of DeWitt. Alongside it runs a few parks, DeWitt high school and the Prairie Creek Golf Course, which have all been there for years. However, there is now a new attraction to Herbison Road, a bike path. “The path is part of the City of DeWitt’s non-motorized master plan that was created in 1998,” said City Administrator Daniel Coss. “The Herbison Road path was a priority to connect the DeWitt Sports Park to the DeWitt Schools campus and make a connection to DeWitt Township.”
Connecting a community is what the city council is all about in DeWitt, and that is what council members, such as Dave Hunsaker, look for in the job.
The City of Dewitt, Dewitt Township and the Clinton County Road Commission have come together to provide walking and biking paths throughout Dewitt Township. Dewitt Township is calling it the Non-Motorized Transportation Plan, which will be making walking and biking much more desired modes of transportation.
“The township adopted a non-motorized transportation plan in 2013, so this is one of the projects that was identified on that plan,” said Rod Taylor, Dewitt Township manager. We started working on it in a concentrated fashion in 2015.”
“The Non-Motorized Transportation Plan identified 60 different projects where we ranked those projects based upon a weighted system that looked at safety issues, connection with commercial areas, schools, and neighborhoods,” said Taylor. “In addition, this project was a joint venture with the City of Dewitt as well as the Clinton County Road Commission.
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — In the Metro Detroit area construction is a very popular sighting. Well, actually in all of Michigan, construction is a popular sight. The road closures and the cluster of drivers effect commute times for Michiganders attempting to get to work on time every morning. It affects the people on the weekends driving to and from their destinations along the construction area.
STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — Some say that in Michigan that there are two seasons: winter and construction. There seems to be construction everywhere you turn around the Metro Detroit area. The newest project in the area is the construction on Hall Road or M-59 throughout Macomb County. The project was announced in early February and is said to be a two-year plan to improve road conditions and access to restaurants and businesses.
With the further advancement of technology, drivers behind the wheel are now more distracted than ever and even in the small community of Lansing Charter Township, accidents happen. According to the Lansing Township’s Citizens Guide and Performance Dashboard, in 2014, there was a total of 469 non-injury crashes, 128 injury crashes and zero fatal crashes. However, Lansing Township Supervisor Diontrae Hayes said township roads for the most part don’t see a lot of hazardous driving. “In the Lansing area I haven’t seen much of that,” Hayes said in regards to crazy driving. “We do have accidents like every other place but I can’t say with certainty that consistently on x amount of roads here, there are people speeding or driving reckless.
In an attempt to add its collective voice to a growing chorus of discontent, the Delhi Township Board of Trustees passed a resolution petitioning the Michigan Legislature to devise a long-term solution to crumbling roads in Michigan communities.
Lansing’s current city spending is focused on public safety and public works, according to city budget documents. Public safety gets over $70,000,000 of funding for both the fire and police department; and public works gets a little under the same amount for roads, sewers and recycling. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the city of Lansing budget had a total of $199.7 million dollars to spread out throughout several different departments. Lansing resident Ciara Johnson found the funding for road work very odd. “I find it very ironic that funding to repair roads gets over $18 million, like you said.
With winter quickly coming to an end, Michigan’s residents face with new hazards as the roads continue to deteriorate. Alan Dolley, the city manager of Williamston, said it is concerning to see the city’s roads degrading every year. “The funding just isn’t there,” said Dolley. “When I talk about road repairs in the city of Williamston, it’s not just the surface of the road but it is also the structures underneath the roads.”
You can listen to the full interview with Dolley below. https://soundcloud.com/troy-rose-283533318/recording
The renovation to completely fix Williamson’s roads would cost approximately half a million dollars, but Dolley said it is impossible right now for the city to get this whole amount at once.
You’re driving to work with your eyes peeled for texting teenagers, but in the dim morning light you can’t make out a new pothole before it swallows one of your front wheels in a single, expensive blow. Similar experiences can cost other Lansing residents anywhere from $60 to over $800 for repairs ranging from front end alignments to new wheel replacements and more. Potholes can be the results of salting the roads over winter and harsh fall and spring refreezing conditions. In extremely low winter temperatures road salt loses it’s effectiveness, so the melted ice water that flows into small cracks in the pavement can freeze and expand, weakening the road structure. In the fall and spring when temperatures fluctuate around the freezing point, water flows into small spaces where it freezes and expands, damaging the road.