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Roads get fresh coat of gravel



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County Road Commission workers spread gravel along Ray Rd. Monday. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
April 25, 2012 - Motorists who travel Oxford Township's gravel roads will notice a much smoother ride on some of these scenic rural routes.

On Monday, workers from the Road Commission for Oakland County began spreading fresh gravel surfaces on 5.1 miles of township roads.

"We tried to pick roads that are heavily used and in pretty bad shape," explained township Supervisor Bill Dunn.

The project encompasses:

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n Ray Rd. from Oxford Rd. to Ballantyne (1.5 miles);

n Oxford Rd. from Gardner Rd. to a half-mile to the east;

n Metamora Rd. from M-24 to Davison Lake Rd. (1.5 miles);

n E. Drahner Rd. from the entrance of the Oxford Hills Golf & Country Club to Barr Rd. (1.6 miles).

"I've already had a resident call me up and thank me for doing this," Dunn said. "When you redo the roads, especially the gravel roads, people notice right away and they really appreciate it."

A total of 8,160 tons of 21-AA crushed stone is being spread on the aforementioned roads. It takes 1,600 tons to coat just 1 mile.

Consisting of 100 percent crushed stone, 21-AA (a designation that refers to the size of the stones), is a high quality material, far superior to standard road gravel.

Road gravel is a blend of stone and clay packed together. When water mixes with the gravel, it loses its strength and turns to mush as many local drivers can attest.

But when water hits 21-AA, it hardly affects the material because the dust between the crushed stones serves as a binder that interlocks them like concrete.

The result is a stronger, smoother road that stays intact for a much longer period of time than ordinary road gravel.

Oxford's entire resurfacing project will cost $67,320.

Of that, the township is paying $30,223.

Oakland County and the road commission will pay the remaining $37,097 via a 50/50 split through the Tri-Party program.

"Roads are the most basic thing government provides and they're one of the most important (amenities) because people use them everyday to get to work, to school, to the market, wherever," Dunn said. "It's worth it to keep them in good shape."

Dunn noted that the Edward C. Levy Co., which owns American Aggregates of Michigan, Inc., sold the township the crushed stone for the discounted price of $5 per ton.

Normally, this material sells for $10 per ton.

"Once again, Levy has shown what a good corporate citizen they are," he said. "They don't have to give us any kind of a deal, but they always do because they're a part of this community, too, and they like to help out whenever they can. I appreciate that and so do the taxpayers."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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