Archived Story

First road reverts to gravel

Published 10:02am Thursday, December 10, 2009

CASSOPOLIS – Road Commission crews are working this week to return a paved local road to gravel – the first in Cass County to undergo the process.

Pioneer Street in Marcellus Township was paved 22 years ago and is being reverted to gravel as part of the road commission’s three-year plan with Marcellus Township for road maintenance.

“Reverting roads to gravel is becoming common in Michigan because of the economic considerations of road maintenance within the state,” Louis Csokasy, road commission manager, said Tuesday.

Pioneer Street is an east-west road located between M-40 and Hemlock Lake Road.
It carries about 200 vehicles per day.

An outside vendor was on the scene Dec. 8 to use a highway roto tilling machine to grind up six inches of the road bed, including the asphalt surface and underlying gravel.
Two inches of new gravel will be laid beforehand to provide an adequate mixture of ground asphalt and rock.

Calcium chloride will be added to the mix to absorb the water and provide a binder for the new road bed.

Road crews then will grind the new bed, roll it to achieve a uniform texture and regrade it.

Cost of the project is estimated at $12,000, which includes $3,000 in new gravel and $9,000 for the lease of equipment.

Csokasy addresses road commissions in Frankenmuth

Csokasy was to speak Tuesday afternoon in Frankenmuth at the annual conference of the Association of Southern Michigan Road Commissions.

He will discuss Cass County’s use of data analysis to make decisions about road projects and road maintenance.

Three aspects of the commission’s work in that area will be addressed.

The first will include a brief history of road maintenance in Cass County and how costs are driving decisions for the future.

The second is the local road commission’s work in developing three-year road maintenance plans with each of Cass County’s 15 townships.

The third will deal with the road commission’s implementation this past summer of a continuous improvement process to resolve service requests received from the public.

Leasing space to drug team

Tentative plans are under way for the road commission to lease space to the Cass County Drug Enforcement Team for storage of evidence in drug-related cases.

Road commissioners last week approved a three-year lease at $20,000 a year for 6,400 square feet of space in the road commission’s headquarters on O’Keefe Street in Cassopolis.

Final approval for the transaction, which includes upgrades to the road commission’s former tire storage area, is tentatively scheduled to go before the Cass County Board of Commissioners yet this month.

Lease fees would be paid from the drug enforcement team’s annual budget.

The road commission plans to outsource its tire storage and change operation.

“This is a win-win for Cass County,” Csokasy said. “It eliminates the necessity for the construction of a new building to house drug evidence and the road commission receives rental on space that is underused.”

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