Spruce Road fix may cost $75,000

Cliff Youngs discussed the Spruce Road project during the Green Township Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday night. Officials approved to spend up to $75,000 on the newly-designed project, which would install a culvert rather than a bridge. (Pioneer photo/Brandon Fountain)

GREEN TWP. — The answer to fixing Spruce Road is not a bridge.

Instead, as engineer Cliff Youngs explained during the Green Township Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night, fixing the problem with Spruce Road would require nothing more than a conventional culvert.

For months, township officials have raised concerns about progress being made on the project, which they committed $65,000 of their road funding to fix this year. The Mecosta County Road Commission has pledged $30,000 toward the Spruce Road project.

During their meeting, officials voted 6-1 to spend up to $75,000 for a newly-designed project for Spruce Road that does not include a bridge.

There were initial concerns about what type of project to bid, Youngs explained to the board, as well as making sure whatever was put in place would meet Michigan Department of Transportation guidelines.

Youngs said when bids returned for the project, the design called for a geofabric sandwich to eliminate scouring of the surrounding, with a total cost of around $110,000.

With discussion being discussed about ways to eliminate bridge sheeting to eliminate potential future issues, Youngs said he decided to look into a different structure, which would only require a permit modification through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

“I came to (Supervisor) Jim (Chapman) and told him I called a contact about a large swatch culvert and they gave us a price,” he said. “It reduces the original sandwich sheeting scouring to what is essentially a culvert — or a steroided version of a culvert.”

Youngs explained it would be 17-feet wide and 10-feet tall, and be recessed into the ground three feet. The cost is $105,000.

“The prices are a lot the same, but the headaches are reduced astronomically for you,” he said. “Everyone is pretty familiar with culverts. There’s not very much maintenance done with them. Bridges require a lot more attention.”

The additional $10,000 on the project’s price tag, Youngs said, would be spent to pay for a cofferdam, so the culvert could be installed.

Trustee Jim Peak said he felt it necessary to get the Spruce Road project completed so the township could tackle Round Lake Road.

Trustee Kelly Cushway, who voted against the measure said he felt the cost of the project was too much to spend when the road is used by very few residents. Cushway initially voted against the project in July 2017, citing the same reason.

More official action from Tuesday’s Green Township meeting will be in a future edition of the Pioneer.


Posted by Brandon Fountain

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