February 8, 2016

Work on Turner, Pine River roads pushed to spring

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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ARENAC COUNTY — Resurfacing work planned for Pine River Road and Turner Road east of M-65 this summer has been pushed back to next spring, according to Arenac County Road Commission Superintendent Blair Dyer.

Dyer said the projects have been fully engineered and the bidder has been selected, but due to a slow start, resurfacing would not begin until late October at the earliest.

“I wanted to get it started now or September,” Dyer said. “I need the extra month, and am not comfortable without it.”

The projects are being financed through the federal gas tax. Dyer said the money goes to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), which then allocates the money to counties to do road projects. The projects here have four counties involved — Arenac, Ogemaw, Roscommon, and Iosco — and Dyer said it took longer than usual for all sides to agree.

After that, he said there was additional paperwork he had to work through with MDOT, in addition to the usual task of getting the road engineered, the work planned out, and getting bids for the work.

Dyer said the road commission was unable to get the contract assigned in time to meet MDOT’s timetable, which would mean a later start for work. To Dyer, that is a risk not worth taking.

“It’s not complicated (road) work,” Dyer said. “But with all the paperwork you have to go through with this money, I wouldn’t want to take a chance for a rainy fall.”

Dyer believes resurfacing work should begin in earnest in late April at the earliest, or sometime in May, depending on when the ground thaws.

The work entails culvert replacement, repaving parts of the roads, and realigning Pine River Road with a bridge connected to the road.

“It’s better to wait than get a rotten job,” Dyer said.

The work is budgeted for $400,000 for Pine River Road, and $380,000 for Turner Road.


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