One of the potholes which will hopefully be addressed by planned road work in Gun Plain Township this coming summer fills with cold February rain. The Michigan Department of Transportation said recently the unstable weather of freezing and thawing we’ve had this winter was particularly tough on the roads. (Photo by Dan Pepper)

Gun Plain picks roads for summer work

By: 
Daniel Pepper (Staff Writer)

Gun Plain Township board members have chosen a list of roads to work on in 2017.

Board members voted to choose the list at their Thursday, Feb. 2, regular meeting after discussing the list along with other possibilities at a special road meeting in January.

The overall cost is estimated at roughly $518,620.

The list includes asphalt for: Deer Run, County Club Boulevard, Clubhouse Court and Midlakes Boulevard in the Lake Doster area. Asphalt will also get put down on Gainder Road, Carrie Avenue and Morrison Avenue off 110th Avenue and 10th Street. Lastly, 4th Street from Riverview Drive to the township line will get asphalt.

Chip seal and fog coat will be put down on Miller Road, from 10th Street to 6th Street, which will also receive crack sealing beforehand.

Supervisor Mike VanDenBerg said the township was using a different process than in the past, where a different sort of small rock (called trap rock) will be put down onto the road. Trap rock consists of smaller, harder pieces of rock and Kalamazoo County has recently begun using it to good effect, VanDenBerg said.

“Might be a little higher cost because we’re going to use the trap rock, but we think it’ll last a little longer,” he said.

The Allegan County Road Commission is planning to repave 6th Street this summer and the township is paying $50,000 to pave wider shoulders onto the road from Marsh Road to M-89. The shoulders will make it safer for bicyclists and pedestrians to use the road.

The township also plans to put gravel on: 110th Avenue from 5th Street to  2nd Street; 103rd Avenue, off 4th Street; 105th Avenue from 8th to 6th Street; and 107th Avenue from 11th Street to US-131.

As part of a longer-term plan, the township wants to reclassify two of its roads.

We’re trying to look at having 6th Street no longer a Class A road and have 8th Street be the Class A road,” VanDenBerg said.

A Class A must be built and maintained to a higher and more expensive standard and is meant to take higher volumes of traffic and especially large trucks.

A future plan may involve that.

VanDenBerg said, “We’d gotten a  price about that to widen 8th Street because we have people walking and biking along there and we get all the semis on it going to the industrial park, when it’s not really built for that.

“But that will be out a couple of years.”

The board also chose to do three road mowings, pending a final cost. The county will do two, VanDenBerg said, and the township is waiting to hear the final cost on adding a third, but plans to do so.

The township also chose SWB Enterprises LLC to apply dust control to unpaved roads three times for a total of $12,615 total.

The roadwork is funded by the township’s 2 mill extra-voted road millage and by money from the township’s general fund. In the past, the township had devoted about 1 mill above the road millage to road work, but this year it chose to shift about $100,000 from that to future fire department expenditures, including replacement air tanks and saving to replace fire trucks.

Contact Dan Pepper at dpepper@allegannews.com or at (269) 673-5534 or (269) 685-9571.

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