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January 16, 2013

Repair plans in place as potholes pop up

By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer

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Repair plans in place as potholes pop up
Warren officials said crews would actively fill potholes developing on city streets as a result of fluctuating temperatures this winter.

WARREN — There just had to be a downside to last week’s warmer temperatures, and it came in the form of potholes that left sections of city streets pockmarked and bumpy.

But this year, more than in years past, city officials said they’re better equipped to repair roadways cracked by vehicle traffic during the freeze/thaw process.

Warren Public Service Director Richard Sabaugh said potholes are being patched, as usual, and that larger sections of street — or in some cases, complete roadway stretches — are being targeted for more comprehensive repairs.

The work is made possible by the city’s road millage, approved by voters in November 2011. The 2.1-mills tax increase is expected to raise $7.6 million annually throughout five years for necessary repairs along 413 miles of city streets.

“Patching is year-round.  The replacement, it’s the best way to put it, starts in late March or early April,” Sabaugh said.

Roadway repairs, whether they are quick-fix pothole patches or more substantial street construction, are generally complaint-driven.

Sabaugh said citizens could file complaints at any time with the Department of Public Works.

Acting City Engineer Donna Dordeski said an updated assessment of Warren’s city-owned road infrastructure was conducted in September 2011. Road projects — those more substantial than simple pothole patches — selected for 2012 and 2013 were picked from a backlog of maintenance requests going back 10 years, in some cases.

In 2012, the city opened a completely reconstructed section of Warner north of Common. The project was the first major work finished through the new millage.

Other projects completed in 2012 included Mac Arthur, from Dodge to Toepfer; Stephens, between Ryan and Mound; a lane of Nine Mile Road, between Van Dyke and Hoover; Reid Drive, Norrid Circle and Buchanan Drive; Irene, from Hoover to Gilbert; and a 700-foot section of Desmond, south of Irene.

Officials confirmed that work for 2013 would include: Lyons Circle, in the Green Acres Subdivision near 13 Mile and Mound; Regal Drive, from 13 Mile to Parkside; a section of Warner from Nine Mile to Morrissey; Toepfer from Warner to Ryan; Desmond, Edwin, Ironwood and Geoffry, near 12 Mile and Hoover; and a 700-foot section of Roan north of 10 Mile.

If funding permits, the city could also target Federal from Nine Mile to Studebaker, and Gilbert from Irene to Common.

Dordeski said, while the projects could not eliminate the potential for potholes, cracks and bumps, the millage provided more resources that can be used to make more lasting repairs citywide.

“Obviously, pavement will deteriorate. There’s always going to be deterioration happening because deterioration has many variables,” Dordeski said. “We expect to be able to complete a lot more repairs.”

Complaints about road conditions, including potholes, can be filed by calling Warren’s Department of Public Works at (586) 759-9270.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brian Louwers at brianlouwers@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1089.