Jackson County Resident Calls Road Repair "Worse than Gravel"

By: Josh Sidorowicz Email
By: Josh Sidorowicz Email

Springport Township, Mich. (WILX) It was supposed to be a better way to pave roads because repairs would be less frequent and less expensive.

But it hasn't worked out that way for a stretch of road in Jackson County where neighbors say they'd rather have dirt than what's in front of their Springport Township homes.

"Oh this is worse than gravel," said Paul Ray staring at the one-mile stretch of Stark Road in front of his home.

"I think gravel would be a lot smoother and you wouldn't have the potholes."

It was back in September--about six months ago--neighbors say the Jackson County Department of Transportation decided to repave Stark Road between M-99 and the Calhoun County line with a newer, cheaper method of repair.

The method costs anywhere between $10,000 and $12,000 per mile compared to $80,000 to $100,000 for regular asphalt and essentially grinds up the pavement, mixes it with a solution to bind it together and the rolls it back out.

"When it was first finished it was beautiful," said Jennifer Naylor. "It looked like regular blacktop, like a regular asphalt-type road and we were really excited about it."

But things got bumpy shortly after, and now Naylor and others are looking for answers either from the township or the county road department.

"It's a waste of taxpayers money," Ray said. "I'd like to just see them tear it up and put it back to dirt."

Naylor said the disappointment level is high because the expectations were too.

"We were excited that we were going to be having a decent road because the road we had before had a lot of potholes and it was bad enough where they felt the need to do something with it," she said.

Township Trustee Jason Sebastian said the township is aware of the issue and officials are planning to meet with the county transportation department in May to figure out how to fix it."

"This isn't something we're going to let fall by the wayside," he said over the phone.

"Even though it's ultimately up to the county department to fix, we're not going to just wash our hands of this one."

WILX left several messages Tuesday with the county transportation department's managing director but never heard back.


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