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Michigan sends out $4M to help local communities fix their own damn roads

Michigan sends out $4M to help local communities fix their own damn roads

By Kyle Kaminski

November 30, 2023

Grant funding awarded through Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration will help Michigan cities and road commissions rebuild local roads in a dozen communities.

MICHIGAN—A total of $4 million in state grant funding announced this week by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration will go toward fixing several well-traveled local roads across Michigan.

“These grants will help communities across Michigan fix local roads faster to get people to work, allow businesses to expand, and move goods all year round,” Whitmer said in a statement.

The funding comes from the state’s Transportation Economic Development Fund, which since 1987 has provided annual funding to help hundreds of communities finance highway, road, and street projects—specifically those designed to boost private investment and job creation.

Since Whitmer took office in 2018, the state has completed repairs on an estimated 20,000 lane miles of road and at least 1,400 bridges through projects that have supported more than 100,000 jobs. State officials said the funding announced this week will only add to that total.

“Let’s keep working together to fix the damn roads so people can go to work, drop their kids off at school, and run errands without blowing a tire or cracking an axle,” Whitmer added.

Here’s a quick overview of how—and where—the latest grant funding will be spent (Pro tip: You can hit Ctrl+F and search your city or county name to see if your community is getting funding):

Gogebic County

The Gogebic County Road Commission received $375,000 in state funding to help resurface Lake Road from Jackson Road to Slade Road, which includes paving new asphalt, painting new pavement markings, and updating the guardrails to meet safety standards. 

Lake Road is the primary access route between US-2 and the Gogebic-Iron County Airport. State officials said the road is currently rutted in the wheel paths, which can hold ice and rain. 

The total cost for the project is $570,000; the local road commission will cover the rest.

Marquette County

The Marquette County Road Commission received another $375,000 to help resurface about 8,000 feet of Cherry Creek Road (CR 551)—which includes milling, paving, and new curbs.

Cherry Creek Road provides access between the US-41/M-28 intersection to CR 480. State officials said the project is expected to improve the road condition and safety.  

The total cost for the project is $764,000; the local road commission will cover the rest.

“I have been and will continue to be a big advocate for investments being made in Upper Peninsula infrastructure,” state Rep. Jenn Hill (D-Marquette) said in a statement. “This program is placing Yoopers’ tax dollars right back in their communities by improving the roads they use every day, making our communities safer and stronger.

Roscommon County

The Roscommon County Road Commission received $375,000 to help resurface Old US-27 between Federal Avenue (CR 305) and M-55. The road work will include culvert replacement and cleaning, new curbs and gutters, and paving road approaches. 

Old US-27 connects to M-55, Federal Avenue (CR 305) and Emery Road (CR 400). State officials said road conditions have deteriorated, creating the potential for unsafe driving conditions that could impact multiple local businesses in the area.

The total cost for the project is $920,000; the local road commission will cover the rest.

Midland County

The Midland County Road Commission received $375,000 to help resurface Salzburg Road from Waldo Road to Rockwell Road. The work includes resurfacing the road, adding two layers of asphalt, and widening the shoulders to help improve the connection to M-47.

The total cost for the project is $819,000; the local road commission will cover the rest. 

Saginaw County

The Saginaw County Road Commission received $157,000 to help resurface Kochville Road from Davis Road to North Michigan Road. The road work includes milling the existing surface, laying asphalt, and adding gravel shoulders. 

State officials said Kochville Road is nearing the end of its operational life and has experienced an increase in truck traffic due to nearby concrete plants and docks. This project will reportedly bring the road up to standards that enable full truckloads during seasonal weight restrictions.  

“If we want to keep our region moving forward, we need to keep our workers and goods moving,” state Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City) said in a statement. “With over half a million dollars in combined grants—for repairs to Salzburg Road in Midland and Kochville Road in Saginaw—our work with MDOT and local road commission partners will ensure these critical transportation infrastructure upgrades, and keep area commerce running smoothly.” 

The total cost for the project is $196,000; the local road commission will cover the rest. 

Ottawa County

The Ottawa County Road Commission received $375,000 to help resurface 8th Avenue and Hayes Street from Garfield Street to the Kent County line. The project includes repaving with two courses of asphalt, widening shoulders, painting new pavement markings, and improving sidewalk ramps to meet accessibility standards. 

These streets connect the industrial areas of Marne and the agricultural areas of Kent County with I-96. Officials said repairing the road will increase safety—namely by widening the shoulder.

The total cost for the project is $1.04 million; the local road commission will cover the rest. 

Jackson County

The Jackson County Department of Transportation received $375,000 to help resurface Airport Road from I-94 north to County Farm Road. The project includes milling and resurfacing with two courses of asphalt, upgrades to sidewalk ramps to meet ADA standards and new curbs.

State officials said Airport Road is vital for connecting local businesses, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, gas stations, schools, and surrounding neighborhoods to I-94.  

“This funding will enhance the efficiency of transportation for residents, and it will contribute to the economic growth and development of our community,” state Sen. Sue Shink (D-Northfield Township) said in a statement. “Investing in our state infrastructure is always wise, and I am committed to securing further funding for vital projects like this.” 

The total cost for the project is $624,000; the local road commission will cover the rest. 

City of Belding

The City of Belding received $375,000 to help resurface Bridge Street from M-44 (State Street) to Ellis Street. The road work includes new asphalt surfacing, replacing the curb and gutter, and painting new pavement markings. 

Bridge Street connects M-44 to downtown Belding, schools, parks, and nearby industrial areas. State officials said the road condition has been rapidly declining, and it requires resurfacing.    

The total cost for the project is $484,000; the city will cover the rest. 

City of Manistee

The City of Manistee received $375,000 to help resurface 12 blocks of the Old US-31 truck route—including parts of 1st, 5th, Kosciusko, and Sibben streets. The project includes asphalt resurfacing, curb and gutter repairs, and accessibility upgrades for adjacent sidewalk ramps.   

The Old US-31 truck route connects to US-31 and is the only permitted all-season route to many factories and businesses in town. State officials said these grant-funded improvements will improve safety and prevent further deterioration of the roadway. 

The total cost for the project is $577,000; the city will cover the rest. 

City of Coldwater

The City of Coldwater received $375,000 to help resurface Butters Avenue from Garfield Avenue to Race Street. The road project includes reshaping the roadway, curb and gutter installation, and drainage improvements. 

Butters Avenue serves as an emergency route for US-12. The road condition has deteriorated and reportedly needs repair in order to improve efficiency and safety of commercial truck traffic. 

The total cost for the project is $1.1 million; the city will cover the rest. 

City of Springfield

The City of Springfield received $375,000 to help resurface Avenue A between M-89 (Dickman Road) to M-37 (Helmer Road). The road work includes milling the existing surface, asphalt paving, and painting new pavement markings. 

Avenue A is the main corridor for east and west traffic between Battle Creek and Springfield. Officials said the road needs repairs on the top surface in order to improve the asphalt quality.

The total cost for the project is $529,000; the city will cover the rest.  

READ MORE: Small towns in Michigan get some help fixing their damn roads

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Author

  • Kyle Kaminski

    Kyle Kaminski is an award-winning investigative journalist with more than a decade of experience covering news across Michigan. Prior to joining The ‘Gander, Kyle worked as the managing editor at City Pulse in Lansing and as a reporter for the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

CATEGORIES: INFRASTRUCTURE
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