Shelby Township awarded thousands in funding for evaluating roads

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published November 16, 2021

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Oct. 20, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments announced that it had awarded more than $56,000 in state funds to communities throughout the seven-county southeastern Michigan region to support local road asset management planning.

Specifically, the communities that received funds will be using those funds to evaluate the conditions of road surfaces. SEMCOG put out a call in July for projects to use these funds, and the result was 15 funded applications.

Shelby Township has been awarded at total of $10,090.19 to evaluate 286 miles of roads. Of the 15 projects awarded funds, Shelby Township’s project is the second largest. The largest project belongs to Oakland County, which will be evaluating 515 miles of roads. The third-largest project belongs to Royal Oak, which will be evaluating 249 miles of roads. Macomb Township received an award to rate 234 miles of roads. Taken together, the 15 government bodies that received funding awards from SEMCOG will rate 1,792 miles of local roads.

Shelby Township Trustee Vince Viviano said the township really needed this award to help revive many of its roads.

“I think it is great not only for Shelby Township getting the influx of funds, but the region and the other communities receiving the funds also is a windfall for all of us,” Viviano said in an email.

Since 2018, SEMCOG has followed guidelines from the Transportation Asset Management Council and expanded the practice of asset management to nonfederal-aid-eligible roads — residential streets — for implementing the concepts of asset management and to improve investment in southeastern Michigan’s roads through coordination and collaboration.

The program has reimbursed 39 communities more than $136,000 while collecting road condition data on more than 3,900 miles of local roads and residential streets, according to SEMCOG.

“Effective, impactful infrastructure investment relies on an accurate assessment of the condition of existing assets. (The Michigan Department of Transportation) and many of our regional transportation partners collect this type of data on the most heavily traveled roadways throughout the region to support sound investment, and these local awards enable communities to jump-start their own asset management efforts,” Amy O’Leary, the executive director of SEMCOG, said in a prepared statement.

SEMCOG promotes asset management as a way of improving the region’s infrastructure while giving attention to cost effectiveness, safety and sustainability. With the monies awarded, local streets will be rated using the Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating, or PASER system.