Washtenaw County Road Commission

Coalition Demands Road Funding Solution

Nov 6, 2014
Andrew Cluley

With the elections over, attention is swinging back to an issue high on most motorists' list of concerns:  Michigan's crumbling roads.  More than 20 organizations across the state are banding together to demand Michigan legislators take action.

The Local Matters Coalition argues getting some sort of road maintenance measure passed during the lame duck session would allow major construction and repair work to start as early as next spring.

Saturday Is 'Shake Your Mailbox' Day

Oct 16, 2014
flickr.com

Governor Rick Snyder and county road commissions across the state are asking Michigan residents to take some time Saturday giving their roadside mailboxes a shake.  "Shake Your Mailbox Day" is meant to help make sure mailboxes and their supports are ready for the harsh winter months.

Washtenaw County Road Commission Director of Operations Jim Harmon says it's a seasonal burden for property owners with mailboxes by the side of the road.

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Last winter's harsh weather forced communities across Michigan to use more salt and fill more potholes than is typically the case.  This left less money available for roadwork, and the problems are expected to linger.  


Ann Arbor-Saline Road
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The major headache that is the Ann Arbor-Saline road project is about to improve some. The project isn't over, but beginning Wednesday Phase III gets underway.


Washtenaw County Forms Roads Funding Committee

Jun 6, 2014
eWashtenaw.org

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners has created a Roads Funding Committee to study the county's options for paying for road repairs.

The county Board of Commissioners had earlier rejected a point-four-mil tax for road repairs.  This week's vote to create the Roads Funding Committee was just short of unanimous.  Commissioner Conan Smith voted "no".

eWashtenaw.org

Driving around the Ann Arbor-Saline Road area can be like waiting for a slow train, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The Washtenaw County Road Commission begins Stage 2 of its Ann Arbor-Saline Road Improvements project Friday.

Northbound lanes will be closed between the eastbound I-94 on ramp and Eisenhower Parkway.

The southbound lane closures at the Main Street intersection and the south side of Northbrook Drive and Oakbrook Drive will remain in effect.

facebook.com

One of Washtenaw County's worst roads is about to get a lot smoother, thanks to the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society.

The group has donated $40,000 to help re-pave a half-mile stretch of Huron River Drive.

Washtenaw County Road Commission Managing Director Roy Townsend says the half-mile stretch will be closed and re-paved in August.

The project should take a week to complete.

Find out more about the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society online:

http://www.aabts.org/

And on Facebook:

wcroads.org

Washtenaw County's bridges are falling apart, and the Road Commission can't afford to fix them.

The Commission's Managing Director Roy Townsend says around 70 of Washtenaw County's bridge are in need of repairs or other maintenance and another 30 have been labeled "structurally deficient."

Townsend says it would cost the county more than $30 million to replace them.

The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners is currently considering a 1 mill property tax to fund roadwork.

wcroads.org

Washtenaw County is suspending the seasonal weight restrictions on its roads Thursday.

The limitations reduced the amount of weight a heavily loaded vehicle could carry by 35 percent per axle.

Washtenaw County Road Commission's Asssitant Director of Engineering Matt MacDonell says the roads are weakened by the yearly spring thaw, and can be damaged by heavy vehicles driving on them.

Washtenaw County Road Commission

Stage 1 of the Ann Arbor-Saline Road improvement project will get underway two weeks from today. The Washtenaw County Road Commission will complete the project in three phases. In the first phase, the southbound lanes of Ann Arbor-Saline Road will be closed between Eisenhower Parkway and the I-94 exit ramp.  The detours for this phase of the project will be as such: 

Ann Arbor-Saline Road
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The road construction project on Ann Arbor-Saline between Eisenhower and Oak Valley Drive that was expected to start next week won’t get going for another couple of weeks or so because the ground remains frozen. 

Andrew Cluley

The Washtenaw County Road Commission is warning that area roads will continue to be in rough shape for a while, as long as the weather continues to freeze and thaw.

Jim Harmon is the road commission's Director of Operations.

"We're experiencing rough road conditions s county-wide at this time," Harmon said, "both on our paved roads and un-paved roads, and our crews are working each day to try and patch and hold these roads together until things completely thaw out and stabalize."

Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Potholes line roads throughout the area, but one particularly rough stretch will be the site of major improvements.   Construction starts at the end of the month on the stretch of Ann Arbor Saline Road near I-94.

Rain, Melting Snow Cause Flooding

Feb 20, 2014

Rain and melting snow has caused widespread flooding across Washtenaw County.   County Road Commission Operations Director Jim Harmon says crews worked hard Wednesday to clear storm drains, but as the rain fell and snow melted, those same drains clogged again. Harmon says flooding is reported anywhere from a few inches to several feet.   He urges motorists to expect flooding, and not to try to drive through areas where you can't tell how deep the water is.   Harmon welcomes reports of flooding at 734-761-1500, and if residents can safely do so, trying to clear neighborhood storm drains would be a big help.

Washtenaw County Road Salt Supplies Dwindling

Feb 10, 2014

Local supplies of rock salt are dwindling as the snow continues to fall in Washtenaw County.

The Washtenaw County Road Commission stands ready to handle the heavy snow and wintry mix of sleet and ice forecast for Saturday and Saturday night. Road commission Director of Operations Jim Harmon says crews will be ready to clear snow and salt roads beginning at 4:00am Saturday. Harmon says crews are prepared to work an 18-hour day Saturday, and to come back for more Sunday, if necessary. Harmon advises anyone who doesn't absolutely have to be on the road Saturday to stay home.

The Washtenaw County Road Commission spent $565,000 - one fifth of its budget - to clear snow and maintain roads during the severe weather earlier this month.

Nearly 3000 tons of salt and sand were dumped onto roads, and plow crews and other road personnel worked non-stop for five days to make sure the roads remained clear.

Washtenaw County Road Commission DIrector of Operation Jim Harmon says costs generated so far this season will not affect services going forward. He says the cost of cleaning up from a storm of that size is not unusual.
 

Ann Arbor-Saline Road to get Face-lift

Oct 8, 2013

Ann Arbor-Saline Road between Oak Valley Drive and Eisenhower Parkway is getting some much needed attention. WEMU's Bob Eccles has a look at the upcoming construction project.

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The conditions of one road in northern Washtenaw County has gotten so bad that hundreds of motorists have signed a petition asking for improvements.  WEMU's Andrew Cluley has the details.