Oakland Township is blessed with a ‘rural’ atmosphere. That appeal is made possible, in part, because many of our roads are not paved. Unpaved gravel roads however deteriorate rapidly under various weather conditions and high traffic counts. In a recent Township wide survey, our Township residents made is clear that we love the rural atmosphere, but we are not satisfied with the quality of our gravel roads. The Township Board took steps at the April 25, 2017 board meeting to respond to the wishes of our residents.
The Township Board had previously established a Road subcommittee to develop an organized approach to deal with the road issues in our Township. The members of the subcommittee include Trustee Robin Buxar, Trustee Frank Ferriolo, and Clerk Karen Reilly.
The responsibility for maintaining the roads in our Township is the Oakland County Road Commission’s. As with statewide road improvements, funding is very limited. Up until recently, the only source of funds for road improvements were ‘Tri-Party’ funds. The Tri-Party fund receives money from the State, the County, and local communities. The cost is shared equally among all three. The Road Commission ultimately makes the decision which roads will get improvements, but they rely very heavily on input from the community. The subcommittee provided a structure methodical approach to identifying Oakland Township’s highest needs.
In 2016, the Township Board made a somewhat controversial decision to subsidize additional road improvement above and beyond what the Tri-Party fund would cover. The 2016 Tri-Pary funding was $125,092 ($41,697 from Oakland Township). The Board approved spending an additional $68,421 for road improvements. The total cost to the Township was $110,121.
The 2017 road improvement plan developed by the subcommittee, and approved by the Board on April 25th, has three parts:
Limestone addition to the following road segments:
- Dutton Road (end of pavement to Livernois)
- Gallagher (Silverbell to Orion Road)
- Premier (Lake George to Kline)
- Buell Rd (End of pavement to Hadden)
Gravel addition to the following road segments:
- Hadden Road (Gunn to Inwood)
- Harmon (Stoney Creek to Predmore)
- Predmore (Harmon to Lake George)
Increase frequency of grading/chloride application (every 2 to 3 weeks from 4 to 6 weeks) :
- Dutton (Brewster east to beginning of pavement)
- Siverbell (End of pavement to Orion Rd)
- Snell (End of pavement east to County Line)
- Gunn (End of pavement east of Collins east to County Line)
- Lake George (Stony Creek to Predmore)
- Predmore (Lake George to Rochester)
Here is map of roads that will have increased frequency of maintenance
Click on map to enlarge view
The total cost to cover all three items is $230,664 ($84,508 from the State and County). The total cost to the Township will be approximately $146,000.
Why is this important to the citizens of Oakland Township? Road maintenance and improvement are the responsibility of the Road Commission. Trustee Ferriolo determined that about 50% of Oakland County communities subsidize road improvements above the Tri-Party levels. The decision by the Township Board to spend an additional $104,000 over our obligated Tri-Party amount was based on the residents’ response to the recent survey, where we indicated we were not satisfied with our Township roads. The Board has made an attempt at improving the situation.
We all need to be aware of the work that will be done on our roads this summer, and need to monitor the quality of the roads to determine if we notice a significant improvement from previous years. Our feedback will influence the plan for 2018.