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Road project to continue in spring



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December 08, 2010 - Brandon Twp.- Just before the snow flew, three township roads received new gravel. Another 25 roads in the township will have to wait until spring when the weather clears.

On Nov. 24, the Road Commission for Oakland County, using Tri-Party funds, graveled Stanton Road between Baldwin and Dartmouth roads. RCOC employees then put gravel down on Dartmouth between Stanton and Oak Hill Roads and on Nov. 29, graveled Oak Hill Road between Hadley Road and M-15. Part of Ramsey Road was also graveled.

"These were the roads that needed the most attention," Thurman said.

Roads scheduled to be graveled in the spring include Sherwood, Wooley, Burris, Lake Point, Alfred, North Shore, Oakfield, Viola, Viola Court, Bald Eagle Lake Road, 2,000-foot GRIP project west of Baldwin, Ardsley, Canal, Circle, Douglaston, Glenfield, Masters, Meadow, Palisades, Sunset, W. Seymour Lake, Weideman, Reese, and Allen ( from Bald Eagle Lake to Reese).

This winter, residents may notice roads throughout the township that are slower to be plowed. The Road Commission for Oakland County is warning motorists to use extra caution while driving. Due to ongoing budget cuts, there are 50 fewer RCOC employees to drive snow plows and salt trucks.

In the past, RCOC was able to replace the initial 106 drivers with up to 84 drivers for a second 16-hour shift to continue fighting storms or to clean up after storms. This year, the agency will have less than 40 drivers available for the second shift. The agency has 104 fewer employees than in 2007.

Craig Bryson, RCOC public information officer, said that the Michigan Department of Transportation has issued a mandate that prohibits overtime except during emergencies or storms. RCOC is a contractor for MDOT. The mandate directly affects the clearing of M-15, which is a state highway.

On the impacted routes, MDOT has instructed RCOC not to clear the roads during overtime (anytime other than the normal weekday shift of 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) except during storms or unless otherwise instructed. For these roads, MDOT mandated that RCOC clear them to the point that the road is "generally bare of ice and snow" in the wheel tracks, and then finish clearing the next regular work day. In the past, RCOC would have cleared these roads to bare pavement regardless of the time.

"This year is the fifth straight year in which our primary source of operating funds revenue from the state gas tax and vehicle registration fees has declined," noted RCOC board member Greg Jamian. "Those five years of decline follow nearly 10 years of virtually flat revenues. We'll receive less funding in the current fiscal year than we received in 2000."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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