Potholes plague Rochester Hills motorists and officials

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published March 6, 2018

 Livernois Road near Rochester High School may be reconstructed this summer. The road suffers from potholes and poor condition.

Livernois Road near Rochester High School may be reconstructed this summer. The road suffers from potholes and poor condition.

Photo by Linda Shepard

ROCHESTER HILLS — Some city potholes could be history if plans progress to fix them this summer.

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett said the conditions of Livernois and Hamlin roads frustrates both local motorists and city officials. “It is not safe for me to eat out anywhere near Livernois or Hamlin,” he said. “So I am ordering in until those roads get fixed.

“It has been a really challenging time,” Barnett said. “A ton of inclement weather, freezes and thaws, and drainage issues across the city (lead) to potholes.”

Livernois is a county road, and under the jurisdiction of the Road Commission for Oakland County. “It is not our road,” Barnett said. “We don’t collect taxes for that road.”

Rochester Hills Director of Public Services Allan Schneck said the city is currently in talks with the Road Commission to provide advance funding for a Livernois reconstruction.

“Essentially, the city would provide the federal funds required to build the project, and in a later year the city would see reimbursement,” Schneck said. “We will be bringing a cost participation agreement to City Council in the future that would get the design engineering going.”

Road Commission officials are currently extending shifts for pothole crews — starting some workers as early as 3 or 4 a.m. to work on lighted roads and scheduling crews for evenings and weekends.

“We know that this situation is creating a burden for motorists, and we are doing everything we can to alleviate that,” RCOC Chairman Eric Wilson said in statement.

“We appreciate the public’s patience as we work to patch the potholes,” he said. “As the ground thaws and stabilizes, we’ll see the number of potholes drop significantly. In the meantime, we’ll continue to do everything we can.”

Wilson said the pothole situation would be much worse this year if the RCOC had not resurfaced or reconstructed approximately 80 miles of roads over the last three years. “Many of the roads that we resurfaced were the worst pothole roads,” he said.

“The true root cause of the severe pothole problem is Michigan’s decades-long road funding crisis that has crippled road agency efforts to repair roads,” Wilson said. “However, we are taking every step within our power to address this challenge.”

Report potholes to the Road Commission by calling (877) 858-4804 or emailing dcsmail@rcoc.org.