“I think the township has done a good job working with the Ottawa County Road Commission and using money the taxpayers have given us,” Township Manager Bill Cargo said. “We’re fighting a constant battle with water and Mother Nature.”
The township recently completed the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER) of the township’s nearly 80 miles of local and subdivision roads and streets. Ratings of the 23.3 miles of primary roads in the township were completed earlier this year by the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Road Commission.
“They found our roads to be in better overall condition than other communities,” Cargo said of comments received by the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, a federal- and state-designated regional planning and development agency.
The township earmarks monies each year to assist the Road Commission in maintenance for subdivision streets that allows the township to complete needed treatments that extend the life of road surfaces.
“The difference between a city and the township is that the township has no direct control over our roads,” Cargo said. “The Road Commission has direct responsibility over primary roads.”
Primary roads in the township include Comstock Street and Mercury Drive, while local roads include Ferris and Groesbeck streets.
According to Cargo, most of the money coming in from a voter-approved county millage pays for improvements to primary roads.
The township works to make improvements to local and subdivision roads. This work is supported with money from the township’s General and Tax Increment Finance funds, along with a voter-approved transportation millage up for renewal in 2016.
The township has budgeted about $3.5 million for road maintenance since 2011, and has resurfaced about 18.3 miles of local or subdivision streets; crack-sealed about 49 miles of road; re-graveled nearly 4 miles of rural road; and applied 15 dust palliative treatments to the 19 miles of gravel road.
The road rating process isn’t something that takes place every year, Cargo said.
”It’s normally (rated) once every three years,“ he explained. ”If you do it annually, you can make a difference in what kinds of maintenance before you resurface roads.“
Cargo noted that regular maintenance helps prevent roads from breaking down before their time.
”It has an impact and it helps to slow down the degradation of roads,“ he said. ”We can postpone the most expensive part.“