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Posted: 05/01/13

Brown asks Enbridge
to help fix local roads

Observer Staff Writer
      County officials are adding their names to the list of people wanting an energy company to take care of gravel roads.
       Following a presentation held April 23 for the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, Dist. 7 Commissioner Don Brown is asking Enbridge Energy to set aside funds for maintenance of local gravel roads.
       Enbridge Energy is replacing its 6B line that originates in Griffith, Indiana and travels northeast through Michigan. The company is installing 210 miles of new pipeline to better transfer crude oil and petroleum.
       Jason Manchum, spokesperson for Enbridge, said Bruce Township residents can expect to see the $1.3 billion project to begin in the area late summer and last into 2014.
       "The commissioners seemed to be on board, no concerns," Manchum said.
       The old line will be deactivated and sealed during the process and filled with inert gas for monitoring purposes.
       Brown represents the communities where the pipeline project will take place. He said the project will cause road maintenance problems for the area, mainly on 36 Mile Road where the pipe will be installed.
       Combined with increased traffic on local roads caused by M-53 reconstruction detours, Brown said there will be increased hardships for residents and drivers alike.
       "They're making a major investment in the area, but at the same time will cause many disruptions, so I just hope they'll respond accordingly," Brown said.
       Brown is asking the company to set aside funds for the Macomb County Department of Roads to offset the cost of additional maintenance issues. He said the grant could be used for additional chloride and limestone applications on affected roads.
       "Anything we can do to add to the road maintenance budget for the nothern Macomb County area is helpful," he said.
       As of April 29, Brown said he has yet to receive official word from Enbridge on his request.
       The project's Bruce Township portion starts at Dequindre and runs north of the Ford Proving Ground next to 36 Mile Road. The pipeline veers north for .5 miles past Hipp Road, then travels three miles north of Ebeling Road before heading north two miles south of Reid Road.
       Aside from concerns for the roads, Brown believes Enbridge is "doing a responsible thing" by replacing the old pipeline to help prevent an inclident like the company's 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill.
       "We don't want to see that type of thing happen in our community, so I'm glad to see they're putting in a new pipeline," he said.
       His concerns echo those made by the Bruce Township Board of Trustees in March when Enbridge presented an overview of the project. Enbridge representatives said they would speak with project directors about the issue.
       The board agreed in March to sell township land at 36 Mile Road and Hipp Road to Enbridge for $36,425 for easement purposes.

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