BY SHEILA R. McAFEE
It seems like just yesterday that construction began on West Road, and for a month now, it’s been a smooth, unobstructed ride from Fort Street to Allen Road. What bliss!
Construction on the Wayne County thoroughfare wrapped up Aug. 1, 60 days ahead of the projected Oct. 1 completion, said City Administrator Jim Wagner, adding that crews remain on site working on catch basins and striping the roads.
The focus now turns to completing the smaller street projects the city began soon after the West Road construction started, frustrating motorists who tried to avoid the traffic snarl on West by taking side streets, only to find more orange barrels.
Utilizing Act 51 funds from the Michigan gas and weight taxes, community road repairs are part of a “to-do list” that is compiled each year. City Administrator Jim Wagner said the state funds are appropriated to help cities maintain and fix roads. Projects range from general wear and tear to more major jobs, like necessary reconstruction following a water main break.
“We received a little more than expected because of the slight increase in the gas tax, so we are getting as much done as we can,” said Wagner.
According to City Controller Karen Sall, the 2017-18 budget estimate is $990,000 for the major road fund and $400,000 for local road fund, but not all of that will be earmarked for repairs.
City officials must forecast maintenance needs for the upcoming winter, and that includes road salt, which is hard to think about with the recent heat wave.
“Roadwork is weather driven, but city officials would like to wrap up projects by Nov. 1.” Sall said.