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West Bloomfield to participate in county gravel road program

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published April 13, 2018

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Drivers on gravel roads in West Bloomfield will see marked improvements in the township over the summer.

The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees voted to participate in the Road Commission for Oakland County’s Gravel and Limestone Program March 19. The annual program allows Road Commission crews to place and grade gravel and limestone on Road Commission-operated roads within the county. 

The Road Commission is in charge of all the roads in West Bloomfield, including their maintenance and snow removal. 

West Bloomfield Township hasn’t participated in the program in about 30 years, estimated Development Services Director Marshall Labadie. 

“No one knows when (was) the last time we added gravel to the roads, and they’re falling into really bad repair,” said Labadie. “We do have a lot of single-family access on these roads. There are a couple accidents every year on these roads.” 

The roads receiving gravel will be Halsted Road, between 14 Mile Road and just west of Walnut Lake Road, and Walnut Lake Road from west of Halsted to Walnut Lake Middle School. 

The Road Commission will place the gravel on the roads in late June or early July. 

To pay for the project, the township board voted to access Tri-Party Program funds of up to $90,000. With the Tri-Party Program, local municipalities share one-third of the cost of a road project with the county government and the Road Commission. West Bloomfield Township will pay $30,000 out of its general fund, and the remaining amount will be shared by Oakland County and the Road Commission.

“We have flat tires and damaged vehicles, and the public is upset with the board and the township as a whole,” said Township Supervisor Steven Kaplan. “Those gravel roads should at least have some gravel.” 

The township board voted 6-0, with Trustee Diane Rosenfeld Swimmer absent, to approve the township’s participation in the program.

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