In Center Line, a portion of the service drive at the corner of 11 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue has deteriorated nearly completely to expose the rebar used to reinforce the concrete.

In Center Line, a portion of the service drive at the corner of 11 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue has deteriorated nearly completely to expose the rebar used to reinforce the concrete.

Photo by Brian Louwers


Officials scramble to respond as roads disintegrate

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published February 23, 2018

CENTER LINE/WARREN — The snow melted. The ice thawed. The rain came, and the water receded, leaving dangerous, nearly impassable roads.

Welcome to February 2018 in Michigan.

As work crews across the region struggled to plug potholes with asphalt patch that’s sure to crumble as the weather rollercoaster rumbles along, lawmakers and administrators spent the last week of the month taking heat from constituents and pledging to do everything in their power to fix the mess.

In Lansing, the Michigan House of Representatives approved $175 million in supplemental funding for road repair. Sources said that amount will include $924,337 for the city of Warren and $49,110 for Center Line.

The emergency appropriation was still slated for consideration in the state Senate the week of Feb. 26, after the Warren Weekly went to press.

“This is great news for residents who have been dodging potholes along major roadways,” said state Rep. Patrick Green, D-Warren.

Green said he voted in favor of the supplemental budget bill that will, upon final legislative approval, make the money available immediately through the Michigan Department of Transportation budget.

“Our roads in Warren and Center Line are crumbling and are only going to get worse,” Green added. “Immediate funding allocated directly into our communities allows us to get to work right away repairing roads we drive every day.”

That would certainly include stretches of the Interstate 696 service drive near Dequindre Road and Van Dyke Avenue, where MDOT is responsible for maintaining the roadway but has reportedly sought help from the county or municipalities to address local problems.

In Center Line, a portion of the service drive at the corner of 11 Mile Road and Van Dyke had deteriorated nearly completely to expose the rebar used to reinforce the concrete. A photo of the potholed lane posted to Facebook drew more than 7,000 shares and 350 comments in just seven hours Feb. 22.

Center Line City Manager Dennis Champine responded to say that the city had received a request from MDOT “to address this repair issue,” and that, “The city will be filling that hole today.”

Other commenters tried to direct attention to Mound Road, other areas of the service drive and Dequindre.

The city is responsible for maintaining some roads, including most odd-numbered “mile” roads and the “half-mile” roads, along with Dequindre, Ryan and Hoover roads. County roads include Mound and Schoenherr roads, Groesbeck Highway, and the even-numbered mile roads. Eight Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue are the property of MDOT, which in some cases contracts with the county for road maintenance.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has indicated that Ryan Road is a likely candidate for fast-tracked emergency road repair at the local level for the coming season.