2014-03-09 / News Briefs

Saginaw County Road Commission switches to 80/20 split on roads

Chesaning Township considers options
By Jeanne Marcello
Staff Reporter

CHESANING TWP. – The Saginaw County Road Commission (SCRC) came to Chesaning Feb. 28 to meet with area township officials and discuss the state of the road commission’s shared funding and services offered.

According to Managing Director Dennis Borchard, the Saginaw County Road Commission will be switching to an 80/20 split this year. Townships will have to fund 80 percent of their road maintenance and repair projects, while the road commission funds 20 percent.

According to Chesaning Township Supervisor Bob Corrin, they previously split 65/35. “Shiawassee County is paying a lot more than we are (for fog seal),” he commented.

SCRC Director of Engineering Joe Wisniewski reported that the bridge project on Gary Road, over the Shiawassee River, has been moved back. It is now planned for winter construction. He explained there were a lot of concerns about the height of the bridge. They’re going to make some changes to the plan and hope to start it in November. Popp explained they will have to be out of the river by mid March (2015) for spawning season, but intend to have the project completed by June 2015.

Other projects that will be going forward are on Fergus Road and Gary Road.

Corrin asked the SCRC officials to keep him informed about the timing for road closures, so he can pass that information along to the Chesaning Union Schools bus garage. They may need to adjust their school bus routes during those closures.

Wisniewski also mentioned that as soon as the temperatures get into the 40s, they will have to put weight restrictions on many side roads. “We’re forecasting it’s going to be a long weight restriction,” he commented.

Borchard said, “I want to emphasize to every township that’s dealing with drainage issues; we want to help.”

There’s a newer product they’re offering that looks like asphalt. It’s made with scrap tires. There are grants available, Borchard said. Any communitythathasaapavingproject in mind may want to consider it. They will need to turn in the letters of interest in by fall. He explained that if they mix the asphalt with at least 10 percent of this material, the grant pays half the cost of the road project. “The cost is usually 25 percent higher, but with the grant, it’s then half the cost,” Borchard explained.

Daniel T. Medina, director of maintenance, commented, “It’s a good product, but the studies aren’t there.”

Corrin responded, “They did Ferden Road with that.”

Popp said, “If any cracks appear, we need to get crack sealing.”

“It’s new, it shouldn’t be cracked,” Corrin said.

Borchard summed up the current situation at the road commission, “We get 12 million per year from the gas tax.” He explained that 5.5 percent of that will be divided amongst the local municipalities based on a combination of mileage and population. “We have the same revenue since 1997. We’ve had a nice fund balance to keep going, but we don’t have that anymore. We’re asking you to help us.”

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