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Relief for residents rocked by rough roads



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April 20, 2011 - Good news for Oxford Township residents who live and drive on those rough gravel roads, their daily rides are about to get a whole lot smoother.

Last week, the township board voted 5-1 to allocate its $55,443 in Tri-Party Program funds toward the purchase of gravel to spread on approximately 5.8 miles of local roads.

"We've had a lot of complaints about the roads," said township Supervisor Bill Dunn.

The township's road committee met with Neil Farner, a superintendent with the county road commission, and determined the following gravel roads needed a fresh coat of stone:

n W. Drahner Rd. between Sanders and Baldwin roads (1.5 miles)

n Stanton Rd. between Baldwin Rd. and Twin Lakes Drive (0.5 mile)

n Coats Rd. between Seymour Lake and Hummer Lake roads (2.1 miles)

n Dunlap Rd. from Market St. south to where the pavement begins (0.7 mile)

n Coats Rd. from W. Drahner Rd. to a half-mile south (0.5 mile)

n Coats Rd. from W. Drahner Rd. to a half-mile north (0.5 mile)

Tri-Party funds are a split between three government entities municipalities, Oakland County and the county road commission. Oxford Township's portion of these funds amounts to $18,481.

According to Dunn, the Levy Corporation, which owns the American Aggregates gravel mining operation, has agreed to match the amount of material the township purchases and donate it to the community.

"We've got a local company that is a very good corporate (neighbor)," Dunn said. "Now, we're looking at the possibility of (having) $100,000 worth of work done for our share of ($18,481)."

Oxford won't be using ordinary gravel to coat its rural roads. Dunn said the township will be spreading 21-AA crushed stone, which 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.

But when water hits 21-AA (a designation that refers to the size of the stones), it hardly affects it because the dust between the crushed stones serves as a binder that interlocks them like concrete.

Dunn indicated it takes about 1,600 tons to cover one mile of road.

Although the county road commission has agreed to spread the material, grade it and chloride it, Dunn said the agency will not haul it to the various roads because it's "low on personnel and equipment."

Therefore, the township will be using a portion of its Tri-Party Funds to pay a private trucking company, TKMS Ltd., to haul the crushed stone. "One thing that's fortunate for us, they don't have to haul it a long way," Dunn said. "(The crushed stone is) produced right here at Ray Road."

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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