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Troy to plow county roads this winter

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published November 4, 2015

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The city of Troy will clear county roadways of ice and snow this winter. The City Council unanimously approved an agreement with the Road Commission for Oakland County Oct. 26.

Mayor Pro Tem Jim Campbell was absent.

The city has approved contracts with the Road Commission to plow county roads for the past 14 years.

Troy Public Works Director Tim Richnak told the council that city crews and contractors clear 80 miles of county roads.

The city will maintain nine county roads under the contract:
• Adams
• Big Beaver
• Crooks
• Dequindre
• John R
• Livernois
• Long Lake
• Maple
• South Boulevard

He noted that the cost for road salt spiked due to the extremely harsh winter of 2013-14.

“We had a double-digit increase last year,” Richnak said, adding that 53 percent of the winter maintenance costs last year were for salt, while the average road salt expenditures the majority of the time are 32 percent of total maintenance costs.

Prices last year increased from $36.77 per ton to $76.61 due to lack of supply to keep up with the demand. Richnak said the contract price for road salt this year dropped to $57.10 a ton.

Under the approved contract, the Road Commission will reimburse the city $274,660. On average, the city spends $122,246 more than that a year to keep county roads clear of snow and ice.

The city has budgeted $561,860 for winter maintenance of major city roads, $521,670 for county roads and $737,250 for subdivision roadways for the upcoming winter.

Kurt Bovensiep, public works manager for the city of Troy, said crews clear roadways of snow of over 3 inches or when roadways are unsafe. For example, crews would clear roadways of wet snow of less than 3 inches if temperatures were expected to drop below zero the next day.

He explained that crews start clearing the northwest corner of the city first because it’s the hilliest, with the most curves. Crews then rotate when they clear roadways in the rest of the city.

Bovensiep urged everyone to use an online map that will show when roadways would be cleared at www.troymi.gov/snowremovalmap.

“We recommend contractors use this,” he said, noting that the plows cannot remove the snow left in front of driveways after streets are plowed. He also asked residents to move cars off streets so the plows can clear the entire roadway.

In a letter to the city dated Aug. 18, Darryl Heid, director of highway maintenance for the Road Commission, said “the Board of Road Commissioners and I extend our appreciation to you, the City Council and your personnel, for the fine work that has been done.”

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