Road Commission grants total $244,000

Published 11:17 pm Thursday, May 26, 2011

CASSOPOLIS — Cass County Road Commission has been awarded two federal safety grants totaling $244,000, for realignment of the Old 205 intersection in Mason Township and for guardrail replacement on three county bridges.

The grants, approved through the Michigan Department of Transportation, are funded at 80 percent with a 20 percent local match.

The Old 205 project application was awarded $99,300.

The work will be completed by road commission crews and will involve realignment of the road’s intersection with Cassopolis Road about 50 feet to the east of the current stop sign.

It also will involve construction of a dedicated and mandatory left turn lane on the Old 205 curve for vehicles planning to travel northbound on Cassopolis Road.

The new intersection will be set at nearly a 90-degree angle to the existing highway, requiring southbound drivers to bring their vehicles to a full stop before entering the highway.

The current intersection alignment, set almost on the diagonal, is the scene of many accidents.

The changes are expected to greatly reduce the accident rate.

Additionally, the existing right (eastbound) lane of the highway will be lengthened along with some reconstruction of the road to meet today’s standards for a through lane and adjoining eight-foot shoulder.

Work will be done in the summer of 2012.

The second grant for $144,500 also requires a 20-percent match by the road commission of $28,900 and will involve replacement of guardrails on three county bridges in 2012.

Those are the Indian Lake Road bridge in Pokagon Township for $71,700; the Middle Crossing Road bridge in Silver Creek Township for $39,300; and the Dutch Settlement Street bridge in Wayne Township for $33,500.

The road commission earlier this year was notified that it received a grant to pave the entire 1.7 miles of Old 205 this summer with recycled tires.

The experimental project costing $362,000 is being funded at 50 percent by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

The road commission’s cost will be $181,000.