City, county crews collaborate to manage ‘pothole crisis’

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published March 2, 2018

CENTER LINE/WARREN — Lasting relief from the pothole menace may only come when the weather breaks for good, but local officials said their crews will work together on temporary fixes designed to make roads passable in the interim.

Late last month, Warren Mayor Jim Fouts pledged to muster “all hands on deck” for pothole repair on the city’s roads and on roads maintained by the county. On Feb. 22, he announced that the city would assist the Macomb County Department of Roads with repairs in Warren, per their request, as a “service to the motoring public.”

“During my 10-plus years as Warren mayor, I have never heard so many complaints about potholes on all major roads in our communities,” Fouts said. “And I have never seen so many potholes.”

He said city crews have been working 12-hour shifts to patch potholes on city-maintained roads, including Ryan, Hoover, Chicago, Nine Mile and 13 Mile roads.

“The (Macomb County Department of Roads) is responsible for maintaining all other major roads in our city,” Fouts said. “I understand that this crisis can only be solved by the cooperative efforts of the county and city. This is local government units working together to benefit the motoring public.”

Fouts said he directed the city’s Department of Public Works administrators to address city roads, as well as county roads, on a schedule that extended through Feb. 23. Warren water and sanitation employees were reportedly deployed to address areas of 12 Mile, 14 Mile and Schoenherr roads during that period.

Any plan for a collaborative effort along the troubled surface of Mound Road through Warren, similar to what was announced previously between Macomb County and the city of Sterling Heights, would be sent “immediately” to the Warren City Council and recommended for approval, Fouts said.

“That’s why the time for united action is now,” he added.

Center Line City Manager Dennis Champine said the city had been in contact with the Macomb County Department of Roads and the Michigan Department of Transportation about repairs to the eastbound Interstate 696 service drive on 11 Mile Road, east of Van Dyke Avenue.

“We were out there working on that particular (pothole), which is still pretty rough. Fortunately, Warren’s DPW did pitch in on that one and helped us lay down some cold patch, not only on that corner, but also on the southwest corner (of) 696 and Van Dyke,” Champine said. “Our guys also went out and did all of Van Dyke and all of 10 Mile Road, making sure all of the potholes in all of the areas of concern were in fact addressed.”

Champine said the city would forward its labor and material costs to the county for any road repairs made outside of Center Line’s areas of responsibility.

“They’ve assured us that will be a bill paid by the county,” Champine said. “We know that the county was under a lot of stress, and I’m sure their workers are pretty tired, for all the roads they have to cover.

“It looks like a number of these communities — at least, for sure, Sterling Heights, Warren and Center Line — stepped up to the plate to help them out and obviously made our residents happy, knowing we were out there pitching in,” Champine said.