Village sets sight on five-year road plan

By: Linda Shepard | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published September 10, 2018

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BEVERLY HILLS — An ambitious new plan aims to tackle one of the village’s biggest irritants: road repair.

Ninety percent of the village’s local roads are in fair to poor condition, states a recent pavement surface evaluation and rating study — known as PASER — by engineering firm Hubbell, Roth and Clark.

“A road asset management plan looks at your resources, at the state of your roads, how much you are spending, how to best allocate that money,” Colleen Hill-Stramsak, a Hubbell, Roth and Clark associate, said in a presentation during the Sept. 4 Beverly Hills Village Council meeting. “It gives you flexibility.”

Currently, Public Act 51 state funding is earmarked to be split 50-50 between major and local streets. But once an asset management plan is approved by the Michigan Transportation Asset Management Council and the Michigan Department of Transportation, 100 percent of Public Act 51 funds can be used on local streets, Hill-Stramsak said.     

Public Act 51 is Michigan’s primary highway revenue sharing program for state and local road agencies, utilizing state-raised motor fuel and registration taxes. Local roads are those not eligible for federal funding.          

The new road asset management plan helps village officials decide how to spend resources and how to balance frequent road rehabilitation/repair versus infrequent but costly reconstruction.

“It is definitely a juggling act,” said Brad Shepler, a Hubbell, Roth and Clark associate. “We don’t want to chase numbers. We want to do what is best for the village. We want a good five-year plan.”

Shepler said the PASER rating system is uncomplicated. “It is the industry standard in Michigan,” he said.

According to the study, the cost to improve all roadways within the village to excellent condition is estimated to be $35.9 million. If the village spends $1.2 million on local road funding annually for the next 10 years, the average PASER rating for the village’s roadway network will maintain the current level.

Shepler said a capital improvement plan is slated to be completed within a month.

“I think this is a detailed and in-depth report, and we look forward to working with you and putting a plan in motion to repair our roads,” Beverly Hills Village Councilman John Oem said.  

“It would seem to me that this is something we need to get going on,” Councilman James Delaney said.

For more details about the roadway asset management plan, visit www.villagebeverlyhills.com.

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