Berrien, Cass counties embrace interoperability

Published 9:49 am Wednesday, October 13, 2021

SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN — The Berrien County Road Department along with the Cass County Road Commission are embracing interoperability to improve Michigan public roads. CCRC worked with BCRD this year to complete a prime and double sealcoating project in Cass County.

BCRD staff operates, runs and maintains their own sealcoating crew, while CCRC operates, runs and maintains their own asphalt paving crew. CCRC inquired if BCRD’s sealcoating crew could work on a prime and double sealcoating project for Nubour Road, officials said. BCRD staff worked with CCRC to utilize a limestone aggregate in the operation. Operation took an existing unpaved road, Nubour Road, from gravel to sealcoat surface.

Officials said the project provided benefit to Cass County road users, and also enabled BCRD staff to explore a different aggregate material for future sealcoat operations within Berrien County. BCRD currently utilizes blast furnace slag (a by-product of steel production) or trap rock (granite) aggregate in Berrien County sealcoat operations, where this operation utilized a limestone aggregate. This project allowed for BCRD staff to become more familiar with limestone in their existing sealcoat operations.

Officials said BCRD will evaluate performance of the limestone material after winter operations have concluded. County Road agencies are always looking to learn, improve and work together to see road conditions improve, they added.