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Clinton Township, Macomb County partner up for road reconstruction

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published September 17, 2018

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon called a recent partnership between the township and Macomb County a “good start” for local road reconstruction.

On Sept. 4, the Clinton Township Board of Trustees voted 7-0 to participate with the Macomb County Department of Roads on local needed repairs.

The projects include Little Mack Avenue, from 15 Mile Road to Armanda Court, and Little Mack Drive, from Weybridge Drive to Groesbeck Highway, totaling approximately $1.27 million; Greenfield Road, from Romeo Plank Road to Canal Road, totaling approximately $354,000; Rivergate Road, in the Rivergate subdivision, totaling approximately $139,000; and Weideman Street, in the Winshall Villa subdivision, totaling approximately $92,800.

For the Little Mack projects, the township will pay 60 percent of the cost, estimated at about $766,000. The township will pay 50 percent of the Greenfield project, totaling about $177,000. The township will also pay 50 percent of the Rivergate and Weideman projects, totaling about $69,000 and $46,000, respectively.

Funds will come from the township’s general fund budget.

The two Little Mack projects, as well as the Greenfield project, will involve milling the existing roads, some concrete pavement replacement, some curb and gutter replacement, joint repairs and asphalt resurfacing.

Projects on Rivergate and Weideman involve the replacement of deteriorating concrete slabs.

Cannon later said he had worked with township engineers for more than a year to get these projects on the docket, saying the roads would have never been looked at or touched unless the township initiated participation. He worked with Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel to reach this agreement.

He said projects like Little Mack and Greenfield are imperative due to the amount of use by public safety vehicles and local school buses.

“It really addresses all parts of the township,” he said. “It doesn’t do near what we would like to do. … I give Mark Hackel a lot of credit, because I’ve been pushing hard and they finally came through.”

The township and county have had a mutual road funding relationship over the years, with projects completed on Romeo Plank, 14 Mile and Kelly roads; 19 Mile Road, from Hayes Road to Romeo Plank; and most recently, Hall Road renovations involving crosswalks and traffic signals.

Clinton Township Treasurer Paul Gieleghem said during the meeting that special assessment districts, or SADs, are relegated to proper county engineering estimates. Sometimes, those projections don’t pan out — such as an attempted SAD on Cimarron Street in 2016.

“We’re not turning farm fields into subdivisions here in Clinton Township,” Gieleghem said. “We’re trying to rejuvenate neighborhoods that are close to 70 years old. Some consideration has to be given to that. We’re 95 percent developed. We don’t have additional new streams of revenue rolling into this community.”

A pavement surface evaluation and rating, or PASER, study is expected to be completed this fall or next spring due to a grant. PASER ratings indicate the condition of local roads and identify those most in need of improvements.

Trustee Mike Keys found the entire process somewhat disconcerting.

“My struggle does come in with the lack of data, with that lack of planning aspect, to say, what are we going to be doing next year? What are our priorities? … It’s not about picking five roads a year, or finding dollars to accommodate the current mood of the residents,” Keys said. “It’s about saying, what roads need to be fixed this year, what need to be fixed next year, and how do we plan taking on those costs and those liabilities?”

Clerk Kim Meltzer stated that she doesn’t see how board members could perceive the partnership as a negative result.

“If we didn’t do this now, we’d be waiting for the PASER agreement a year from now, and it’s just waiting, waiting, waiting,” she said. “We can’t get them all fixed in one day, or even in one year, so let’s chip away at this and move forward. This is progress.”

Resident Bob Campbell said PASER projections from past years have already identified the condition of township roads. He said it comes down to choosing the poorest roads to be fixed, or locating alternative sources of funding.

“To choose among the roads as to which one we do first is gonna be an enormous challenge because everything is poor,” Campbell said.

Cannon acknowledges that not everyone is happy with certain SADs. 

“There’s gonna be a lot of bad roads, so which ones do you pick first?” Cannon said. “Well, I pick the ones people extensively use. … Anyone that drives any of the roads of the five (projects) are atrocious, and it’s necessary to do them.”

The projects are expected to be completed this year.