Archived Story

Cass County Road Commission gives project update

Published 11:28pm Thursday, August 23, 2012

Crews working on the new Redfield Street Bridge placed the concrete deck of the structure Wednesday. The bridge, which cost $804,500, is expected to open in mid-September.

The Redfield bridge is located east of Adamsville Road in Ontwa Township, in southern Cass County.

Narrow band radios to be purchased

The Cass County and St. Joseph County road commissions are partnering to purchase about 100 narrow band digital radios to meet a mandate by the Federal Communications Commission. The mandate becomes effective Jan. 1, 2013.

The new radios will be used by both road commissions’ crews and staff to communicate with each other when necessary during operations or in emergencies. The radios also are capable of transmitting information from the GPS and data about equipment on the vehicles. The cost is estimated at $600 per radio.

“We are looking to move toward digital communications, which provide clearer transmission and higher quality,” said Christopher Bolt, interim manager of both road commissions.

“These radios are capable of both analog and digital communications, making them more flexible, depending on conditions and how they are programmed.”

Chip and seal complete for season

Crews have completed 28.1 miles of chip and seal work for the summer season on portions of 25 local roads. The preventative maintenance work cost $17,763 per mile, including pavement striping, for a total cost nearly $500,000. Under a matching program, the Cass County Road Commission paid for 30 percent of the work and the townships, 70 percent, or nearly $350,000. The work was contracted to the St. Joseph County Road Commission, which specializes in chip and seal work.

Several federal projects finished

Wilbur Hill Road from Mathews Street to the Dowagiac city limits (0.65 mile) was completely reconstructed by pulverizing the asphalt and repaving at a cost of $134,000. The money came from the small urban fund, which is competitive federal funding available for areas around d the City of Dowagiac.  The road commission paid a 20 percent match, which was $26,800.

Reith-Riley Construction, of Benton Harbor, was the contractor.

Indian Lake Road and Old M-62 from the current M-62 north (one mile) is being bid through the State of Michigan and has an estimated price tag of $92,600. The 20 percent match of $18,500 will be paid by the townships of Silver Creek and Pokagon. Otherwise, road commission officials say, the project could not be done.

Federal projects scheduled for fall

Four projects on primary roads are scheduled for September and October by the road commission crew.  Portions of roads that will receive one and one-half inch overlays of asphalt are Pokagon Highway from Oak Grove Road west (0.75 mile); Dailey Road from Pine Lake Street south (0.75 mile); Marcellus Highway from O’Keefe Road to Griffis Road (one mile), and Decatur Road from Dutch Settlement Street north (one mile).

The projects total $317,500. They are being completed with rural task force program money. That is money from the federal government that the road commission receives through the Michigan Department of Transportation. It is available to rural counties with populations of less than 400,000. There is no match required.

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