2013-12-26 / Front Page

County road will receive $800K facelift

Grant funds support local road, hwy projects

MANISTIQUE – The Schoolcraft County Road Commission has received an $800,000 grant from the state’s Roads and Risks Reserve Fund to complete work on County Road 498. The county will also reap the benefits of a larger $4.1 million resurfacing project on U.S. Highway 2 from east of the Delta County line to M-149 in Schoolcraft County.

According to Lisa Kleeman, finance director of the SCRC, the commission was “thrilled” to see the funding come through.

“Craig (Kelso, SCRC manager) and I worked diligently with Sen. (Tom) Casperson’s office to obtain this funding,” she said. “We worked individually and submitted information, then worked with a group of engineers across the U.P.”

The county was only one of four U.P. counties to be picked to receive funds, she added.

The $800,000 project will begin at M-77 in Germfask and extend to the Luce County Line – a portion also known as Ten Curves Road. The work includes a two-course bituminous overlay – blacktop paving – and upgrading curving.

This same area recently saw the completion of over $1 million worth of work on two bridges, Kleeman explained. A new bridge and the rehabilitation of another was completed over the summer.

The newly received grant funds will be put to work in the spring, with the project expected to last only a short time.

There is no set start date for the MDOT $4.1 million resurfacing to take place between Schoolcraft and Delta counties.

Over $115 million from the RRR fund was distributed across the state.

“This is fantastic news and a great first step toward improving our roads,” said Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe. “Three years of sound budget decisions and living within our means has made it possible to direct existing resources toward our roads. Instead of seeking new revenue, we were able to tighten our belts and fund priority projects throughout the state. The people of Michigan want and deserve better roads. There is still much more work to be done to address all of our infrastructure needs in Michigan, but this is an important part of that process.”

As part of the Fiscal Year 2014 General Government budget, the Legislature created the RRR Fund, using $230 million in one-time General Fund revenue. One-half of the funds were available for appropriation on Oct. 1, 2013, and the other half can be appropriated for roads on Feb. 1, 2014, if it has not been dedicated to other purposes.

This funding is in addition to $121.3 million from the state General Fund used to fully match available federal transportation funds.

“I’m very encouraged by the Legislature’s willingness to devote greater investment in our transportation system,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “The Roads and Risks Reserve Fund is a terrific start, and we’ll carry that momentum forward to our goal of fully funding the needs of Michigan’s roads, bridges, rails, airports and public transit.

The longer we wait, the more difficult the solution will be,” he continued.

The Michigan Department of Transportation is prepared to deliver the additional state highway and bridge projects this coming construction season, addressing more of the infrastructure needs in the state.

A full list of MDOT RRR projects is available at: http://www.michigan. gov/documents/mdot/OGA_ Dec12_ State_ List_ 442695_ 7.pdf.

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