Kipp Road resolution passed for future roadwork and new jobs

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By Lauren Kroll
Mason Times Staff Writer

MASON-The Mason City Council passed a resolution to support the Ingham County Road Commission in resurfacing Kipp Road from US-127 to the front gate of Gestamp with a vote of 6-0 on Feb. 6The ICRC works with all communities having county roads in Ingham County to coordinate road projects and cooperate on seeking funding grants.  Both Managing Director Bill Conklin and Director of Engineering Robert Peterson will work as liaisons with Mason on this project.

Resolution 2012-03 Kipp Road to Gestamp Route

By email, Bill Conklin wrote that the Category A grant being used for this project will be paired with regular federal aid project funding to cover the costs of the project.  “The 20 percent local match is usually funded by the road commission, but occasionally the local city (Mason in this case) or township (Vevay) may contribute to the local match if funding is short and/or there is a desire to include municipal improvements in the project such as water, sewer, and/or sidewalk work,” he said.

“This has not yet been discussed or determined in the case of the Kipp Road project though,” Conklin added.

“Category A grants are granted based on road projects which serve business creation or expansion which will create a number of new permanent jobs at the business,” Conklin said.  “Gestamp Manufacturing which is expanding its plant and adding about 100 new jobs is the business in the case of the Kipp Road project.”

Conklin added that Transportation Economic Development Grants or a Category A grant, generally are used to foster economic growth through transportation improvement.  This grant will then be paired with regular federal aid project funding to provide a better rehabilitation project to serve the increased truck traffic that will serve the expanded Gestamp plant.

The project will eventually go all the way to Dexter Trail.

At the Feb. 6 meeting Martin Colburn, Mason city administrator, said that he and Bob Peterson of the road commission have filled out all necessary paperwork and have walked it to Gestamp and were only waiting on the support of the city council to proceed.

“This is only to demonstrate support, by no means is this an authorized project yet, and we still have to have all of the documents signed off as well as it being passed by VevayTownship,” he said

A few questions were raised as to whether just taking the surface of the road down only 6 inches and resurfacing it was enough to restore the  90 lb. road.

Mason Mayor Leon Clark posed the question, “I’m sure the ruts are deeper than 6 inches. Is this like putting a Band-Aid on a cut artery?”

Peterson of the ICRC quickly responded to the mayor’s question saying that, when the industrial park was put in, that stretch of road was brought up to the proper standards and the sub-asphalt up to the proper specs so that resurfacing would be all that was needed at this time.

Colburn added that the engineer of the project was confident that resurfacing the road was enough to continue the life span of that road for a considerable amount of time.

“The Kipp Road project will be scheduled in 2014 or 2015 depending on several factors including availability of both the Category A grant and regular federal aid funds and it will be constructed in one construction season typically being done in 2-2 months,” Conklin said.

Although the project won’t take place for some time and the design has not yet progressed far enough to determine if road closures will be necessary, Conklin said that some short term lane closures or whole road closures may be necessary once the project begins.

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