Repairing township roads

BY JESSICA STEELEY
Clarkston News Staff Writer

Paul Brown on Snow Apple Drive
Township Treasurer Paul Brown on Snow Apple Drive. Photo by Jessica Steeley

With April showers and May flowers comes the spring bounty of potholes.
According to residents posting on social media, Snow Apple Drive and Parview Drive are the two worst roads in the Clarkston area.
Pat Kittle, Independence Township Supervisor, said the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) doesn’t have enough resources for subdivision roads like Snow Apple and Parview, and they can only be redone if local residents band together and pay for it.
“We’ve got a bunch of secondary neighborhood streets that I don’t know if they’ll ever be enough money,” Kittle said. “That’s why we put together the neighborhood road incentives.”
“We don’t pay for subdivision road resurfacing,” said Craig Bryson, RCOC senior manager of communications.
Residents can create a special assessment district, working with the county, Bryson said.
“We will work with them. Ultimately, they will pay for it through a special tax assessment levied over 10 years and they have to get 51 percent of the property owners in the subdivision to agree,” he said.
The RCOC will then design the road, hire a contractor, and assess property taxes to pay for the project, Bryson said. Kittle said if a neighborhood wants to create a special assessment district, the township will provide up to $20,000 to help with the road project.
The township receives information from the road commission about what roads need attention the most, then Kittle reviews the information and either signs off on it or tweaks the plans.
“They’ve been very good at setting priorities in terms of where are we going to get the best bang for our buck,” Kittle said. “It’s a tough decision. I just wish there was enough money to go around to fix it all.”
Other than that, there’s not much the township can do, the supervisor said.
“We don’t pay for roads,” Kittle said. “That’s the responsibility of RCOC, there are times that we will partner with them. For example, like on the North Sashabaw stretch between 1-75 and Clarkston Road; cost of that project is going to be about $5,000,000 all said and done, you know, but there’s a myriad of sources of funds there.”
Two major township roads are slotted to be repaired. Maybee Road between Marvin and Clintonville will be milled and given an asphalt cap during the week of April 24, 2017, Bryson said.
They will also be doing work on Sashabaw Road between Maybee and Waldon, replacing some bad concrete slabs with new ones.
“I would say that by far that stretch of Maybee is the worst in the township when it comes to paved roads, so, I’m hopeful that the money will continue to come in from the state,” Kittle said. “I hope that we get our fair share so that our residents can drive without worrying about blowing a tire in a pothole.”
Treasurer Paul Brown said large recycling and waste trucks are significant contributors to the bad conditions of subdivision roads. Neighborhood residents use several different waste services, as opposed to one, and those heavy weight trucks leave the roads worse-for-wear.
Primary roads are often where the RCOC puts the biggest emphasis, Kittle said. Roads such as Clarkston, Waldon, Maybee and Clintonville.
“It seems like the state legislature has taken some actions recently that over the course of two or three years there should start to be some funds coming in that will allow the RCOC to do their job,” he said. “Hopefully now with some of these additional state funds coming in, the road commission can get ahead of the curve a little.”

7 Responses to "Repairing township roads"

  1. Stan Miller   April 27, 2017 at 10:45 am

    The township wants these roads to be open to through traffic, so they are no longer “subdivision streets, they are thoroughfares. These two streets in particular see more traffic from people cutting through than they do from neighborhood residents. The township needs to step up and take care of these roads, and provide some speed enforcement as well.

    Reply
  2. Mike Powell   April 27, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    It’s laughable to blame “waste trucks” for the sorry condition of secondary roads when we have numerous school buses that frequent our roads numerous times per day. I count 4 different Clarkston, and 4 different Waterford school buses that travel every single school day up and down Mann road for a grand total of 32 bus trips per school day in and out of Mann. rd. vs. 4 waste trucks making 8 trips up and down the road per week. It doesn’t take a scientist to figure out which one will be doing the most damage. 160 bus trips back and forth per week vs. 8 waste truck trips back and forth per week. Let’s put the blame where it belongs, it’s the school buses that are tearing up our roads!

    Reply
  3. Rjh33   April 28, 2017 at 10:24 am

    Yes, so let’s do away with the school busses. All in favor of school busses being banned and leaving it solely up to parents to make sure that their kids get to school, say ‘I.’

    Reply
  4. RMG   April 29, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Everyone knows that Michigan roads are the worst but this is a major dodge by government agencies. Someone paid for the roads initially, so who owns the road? If the residents pay for the road, does it become reserved for those who paid for it? Why should others get to drive on a road that the residents paid for? Can the residents charge a toll for using their resurfaced road? If nobody pays for the resurfacing does the road revert to gravel? Why do our roads have such a limited lifespan?

    Reply
  5. Mike Fetzer   April 30, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Where is the scientific research showing that school buses damage roads? A school bus weighs about half as much as a waste truck and the load is distributed over a much longer base. Abandoning school buses in favor of private vehicle transportation for students would be an economic, logistical, environmental and safety disaster. The science shows that school buses are far, far safer and more efficient and economical than cars and SUVs for student transport. Moreover, eliminating school buses would result in greatly increased personal vehicle use of roads, creating more road/vehicle and other property damage and maintenance expense, gridlock, air and water pollution, fossil fuel use and cost, personal injury and lost productivity. Face it, shoddy road construction and lack of road maintenance are responsible for the deplorable condition of Michigan roads. Funds intended for road maintenance have been siphoned off by politicians for other purposes. It would be convenient to blame the weather, buses and waste trucks for the problem, but other northern states have these same conditions but better roads…

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  6. Michael Powell   May 2, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Where is the scientific proof that garbage trucks are doing the damage to the roads?
    Who said anything about “abandoning school buses in favor of private vehicles”? Certainly not I.

    All one has to do is travel the roads and bus parking areas around our local schools to see first hand the damage buses do to our roads. Damage that taxpayers are paying for in repairs to parking lots with the recently passed school bond. Stories about those “parking lot repairs” were highlighted in this paper. Why ignore this?

    For a politician to blame one vehicle (garbage trucks) while ignoring all of the other reasons the roads are falling apart does nothing more then create the illusion in the minds of the gullible that a monopoly on garbage pick-ups is needed to solve our deteriorating road problems when that is not the case.
    Why ignore the possibility that making adjustments and moving as many bus stops to primary roads as possible might keep our secondary roads from deteriorating? Especially when I see every bus stop in my neighborhood picking the kids up right in front of their home rather then the primary road less then 100 yards away.

    I do agree that we don’t have a funding problem, we have a shoddy work, political road fund theft problem. Look no further then the “new” intersection that was constructed by the RCOC at Waldon, Sashabaw @ I-75 that is already falling apart.

    Reply
  7. Brad Braunreuther   May 15, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Stan The Man
    Stan is absolutely correct here.
    Why in the world would residents get stuck with the bill when there is so much cut through traffic?
    Speed is very fast on Parview and with all of the pot holes drivers engage it recklessly even driving on resident lawns.
    Sheriff department is reluctant to write the tickets or control the speed through enforcement.
    The road condition is deplorable and the township sides with the county on this?
    Do your job and go find funding.
    I see dirt roads being paved to nowhere all over the state.
    Stop the paving and fix the roads we have.When they are in great shape then expand but only when warranted.
    Then use your power to direct the Sheriff department to enforce the speed.

    Reply

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