Damaged roads seem to be a huge problem across Michigan, one that grows over time. It’s almost as if potholes and bumps on the roads are a way of life for all Michigan residents. Although there are often efforts to repair these problems, there is one street — the main route between Meridian Township and Lansing — that seems to have been left behind on the road repair list: Michigan Avenue. Michigan Avenue is supposed to be the fastest, easiest route from Meridian Township to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing for the Meridian Township Fire and EMS, something needs to be fixed. If they have trouble getting to the desired location to help those in need, they’re going to have to find a different, longer route.
By Kelly Sheridan
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter
Every year when the weather changes from winter to spring, potholes become more and more prevalent. They damage cars and cause serious hazards for many populated roads. In a state that has one of the worst reputations for roads, Meridian Township is no different. For Jeff Liska, the potholes are a burden, but he understands it’s because of where he lives. “The roads are terrible,” the Okemos resident said.
By BROOKE KANSIER
Capital News Service
LANSING — If Michigan ever gears up to fix its crumbling roads, engineers might be well-served to consider a new ingredient in the road-making mix. It’s a sensor developed by Michigan State University, and it could have a big impact on road budgets and repairs nationwide. The sensor records traffic data and measures impacts and damage to roads. It communicates that information to engineers who can use the data to fix roads before they become seriously damaged — making maintenance significantly easier and cheaper. “If you’re trying to detect something in the roads, you have to do it at the bottom of the road — you cannot do it only at the surface because once the damage has reached the surface, it’s kind of too late,” said Nizar Lajnef, the MSU assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering who oversees the project.
By CHEYNA ROTH
Capital News Service
LANSING — The controversial May ballot proposal that would raise the sales tax and fix Michigan roads could have an unexpected side effect: safer working conditions for police officers. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death among police officers, said Terry Jungel, executive director of the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association. Through March 26, 12 officers across the country died in traffic accidents this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Michigan recently experienced this first hand when Ingham County Sheriff’s Deputy Grant Whitaker was killed in an automobile accident while chasing a suspect last December. “Our workplace is the highway,” Jungel said.
BATH – As the state grapples with how to fix its crumbling roads, Bath Township has budgeted some short-term pothole relief. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced a $54-billion state budget for the upcoming fiscal year on Feb. 11 that included $113 million in general fund spending for roads and bridges in Michigan. There is also an upcoming May ballot initiative for an additional $1.2 billion annually that would go toward the state’s worsening motor pathways. In its most recent available annual report, the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council indicated that that “at current investment levels, the condition of both roads and bridges will continue to deteriorate.” The report also showed that 33% of Michigan’s federal-aid eligible roads are in “poor” condition.
By DARCIE MORAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan and nearby states might share road funding concerns, but the Mitten might not have access to the same solutions. Michigan’s road funding is unique because of its comparatively low gas and diesel taxes, lower taxes for diesel than gas and an unusual funding formula that sends a disproportionate amount of money to rural areas, said Kenneth Boyer, a Michigan State University professor of economics. Indiana has dealt with cost issues by privatizing a toll road and increasing fuel tax revenue, said Indiana Department of Transportation media relations director Will Wingfield. That can’t work here, Boyer said. Michigan has no tolls, only bridges.
A recent false alarm of a gunman at Michigan State has many people concerned about their safety, and what to do in the event of a future threat. Ticket scalping may be decriminalized in the State of Michigan, allowing more people to legally sell tickets above face value. And, the Spartans are on a winning streak, having made it past the first round of the NCAA tournament, after recently winning the Big 10 Tournament.
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Pothole complaints for Meridian Township have been pouring in to the Ingham County Road Department all winter. As the temperatures rise above freezing, director Bill Conklin said he expects complaints to skyrocket. Potholes have already cost Meridian resident Tadley Evans hundreds of dollars. “Last week I hit a pothole full of water and blew out two of my tires,” he said. “I was livid.
by Ariel Rogers
Grand Ledge Gazette Staff Writer
GRAND LEDGE – The weather warming up brings a bigger problem than just slushy shoes – potholes. Michigan is well known for roads in poor condition. Jenne Street, the Meijer parking lot and the Quality Dairy parking lot are major problem areas for potholes in Grand Ledge. Blair Ballou of the Eaton County Road Commission said it is easier to talk about roads in good condition since there are so many that are not. The two Grand Ledge roads Ballou said that were the least problematic in Grand Ledge are Willow Highway and Broadbent Road due to recent resurfacing. “There used to be a sink hole that would need to be patched often on Willow Highway,” Grand Ledge resident Eric Beadle said.
By ASHLEY WEIGEL
Capital News Service
LANSING — Old tires may pave the way for new Michigan road repairs. Gov. Rick Snyder proposed spending $1.3 billion on road repairs in his first State of the State Address in 2011. So far, no one has found that kind of funding. But the Muskegon County Road Commission and other groups are investigating how to more cheaply fix Michigan roads with tires in a way that benefits the entire state. The advantages: repairs can be cheaper, make roads more pothole-resistant and help the state get rid of a tire disposal headache. The Muskegon County Road Commission won a $327,513 grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s scrap tire market development grant to explore the solution.