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Posted: 02/20/13

Bruce officials hold off on
choosing road treatments

Observer Staff Writer
      The decision on which roads to treat in Bruce Township is thus far paved with questions.
       Bruce officials agreed on Feb. 13 to the financial committment of $19,200 to cap three miles of road with limestone, but are holding off on choosing which roads will receive the treatment this summer.
       The Board of Trustees is scheduled to hammer out the details at its March 20 meeting.
       The Macomb County Department of Roads is offering a 90/10 split in paying for laying down six inches of limestone on gravel or dirt roads. Communities shell out $6,400 per mile while the county handles the remaining costs.
       The townships of Armada, Bruce, Lenox, Ray, Richmond and Washington took advantage of the offer last year, receiving a combined 18 miles of treated roads.
       Bruce Township is budgeting for three miles of coverage for the 2013-14 year, with plans on buying a fourth if another community decides not to use a mile.
       To try and decide what roads to cap, Supervisor Richard Cory asked residents to call in and give ideas of what roads could use it the most.
       He said he received a number of calls from residents on where to use the treatments, namely from Scotch Settlement, 36 Mile Road and Taft Road.
       "We got a ton of phone calls from people on 36 Mile Road," he said.
       Scotch Settlement will see extra use this summer when the Michigan Department of Transportation reconstructs a portion of M-53. A detour that will last a long weekend will re-route drivers toward the road.
       "People are going to be going all over the northern section trying to get around, and they're going to be going on Scotch Settlement, Brown and McKay," Cory said.
       The issue, though, was whether the township could convince Enbridge to assist in paying for 36 Mile Road treatments after they tear it up while installing crude oil and petroleum pipelines along the road.
       "They may help with some limestoning so we wouldn't have to use our three miles we have to pay for," he said. "Then we can use that three miles somewhere else, because really, there's over 40 miles of gravel, and just about everybody wants theirs done."
       Aside from 36 Mile Road, officials are considering .6 miles of Taft Road, .5 miles of 35 Mile Road west of Van Dyke, and .8 miles to cover West Gates to Eldred and Eldred to 33 Mile Road.
       Treasurer Deborah Obrecht said the township should keep in mind that roads outside of this plan will be affected by detours caused by the M-53 reconstruction this year.
       "This is a major impact on our community . . . and it's kind of throwing a monkey wrench in maybe some plans that may have been made by members of this board," she said.
       Trustee Paul Okoniewski, who helped plan out limestone applications in the past, spoke in favor of connecting roads previously treated with the newly treated roads as opposed to unplanned sections.
       "We end up piecemealing all around the township and you have no complete connections, and that was the whole idea of doing the quadrants," he said.
       He said the goal should be to form a network by the year 2020 by capping all roads once.
       Clerk Susan Brockmann said the contract with the county will need to be turned in by April, but the board has until July to decide where the treatments go. The actual treatments will begin in late summer.
       She said since the township has time to decide it should table the issue, suggesting that Okoniewski come back and explain the plan to connect the treated roads.
       "I think there's a lot up in the air, things going on right now with M-53," she said. "I think we can commit to the financial part of it."

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Retrieved 8/1/2015 at 8:13:32 PM.
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