2014-11-06 / Business

Road Commission touts 2014 progress

By PAULA KAY SCHMIDT
810-452-2647 • pbarbee@mihomepaper.com


POTHOLE MEMORIES — This is part of a one mile section of Fenton Road in Grand Blanc Township that the GCRC repaired earlier this year at a cost of $754,000. 
Photo by Paula Kay Schmidt POTHOLE MEMORIES — This is part of a one mile section of Fenton Road in Grand Blanc Township that the GCRC repaired earlier this year at a cost of $754,000. Photo by Paula Kay Schmidt GENESEE COUNTY — Although everyone complains about “orange barrel season”, it’s a fact of life everywhere in the country. Of course, when the complaints are over, no one rushes to the Genesee County Road Commission in thanks either— that’s another fact.

So in order to highlight it’s work, the road commission (GCRC) has sponsored an annual tour for the last few years, which highlights that which often goes unnoticed—once it’s done.

Executives from all over the county spent a morning in an MTA bus with the road commission, including Flint City Transportation Director Kay Mohammed, members of the Flint- Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Genesee Intermediate School District Director of Transportation Chad Sexton, and Dave Guigear, Mundy Township Supervisor attended the tour.

Areas highlighted were the Miller Road corridor, from Linden to S. Dye Rd., the Linden Road bridge just south of Flushing Rd., Saginaw Rd from Carpenter to Coldwater in Genesee Township, and Richfield Rd. from Irish to Victoria Station in Richfield Township.

Locally of course, Grand Blanc residents have seen repairs on Fenton Road in the township from Hill to Maple Ave. and the currently in progress Saginaw Rd. Repairs between the same two roads.

According to the GCRC, both their repairs and the fact that they are a huge employer make them a significant contributor to local economies. Commissioner John Daly said it has taken a few years, but they are making progress toward being able to have a regular maintenance schedule—versus just addressing critical hot spots.

Part of that effort was a push by GCRC in recent years to have local township supervisors and boards create Three Year Plans—to address roads that were the worst and would need to be fixed in the immediate future.

Construction Engineering Manager John Plamondon said it wasn’t much, but it’s been a start and has enabled them to get to a place where they can be more systematic about addressing standard maintenance which will help the roads last longer.

Another part of that process is working with local municipalities to buy consumable repair products in bulk to lower costs. Both Daly and Plamondon state they are eager for the change from “how it’s always been done” to a re-invention which will in the long run better serve residents and businesses.

“That’s the way we’ve got to be,” Plamondon explained. “Make the system more standard and uniform.” Sexton indicated their partnership with GCRC and the MTA has made a significant difference in their transportation budget.

This occurred with the building of the MTA propane fuel facility on S. Dort Hwy in Grand Blanc Township, which they use for their buses, and makes it so they don’t have to have their own facility.

The county road commission has been a staple of Michigan life since they were organized by Public Act 283 in 1909. The GCRC is not a direct part of the county government, but an extension of the state government.

The GCRC has a great deal of helpful information for residents on their website at: http://www.gcrc.org/index. php or may be contacted via: Genesee County Road Commission, 211 West Oakley St., Flint, Michigan 48503, phone (810) 767-4920.

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