5-year plan would grind up part of one road

By Rob Ball

A five-year plan of road projects for Brady Township for 2022-2026 lists projects estimated at approximately $180,000 in each of those years, with the Road Commission for Kalamazoo County paying half from its distribution of state funds, the township paying half from its general fund.

The five-year plan also lists unmet needs totaling $1.7 million.

The agency assigns a number from 1 to 10 indicating quality of road segments in each township, with a 10 assigned to new pavement, a 1 to a road in poor shape. The road commission has proposed to pulverize pavement on a few of those lowest-rated segments, returning them to gravel roads.

An advertisement in this issue of the South County News, placed by a group of Brady residents opposed to reversion of roads to gravel, includes the road commission’s list of 18 township roads in grades 1-4, calling them “poor to failing.”

The roads listed are those shown with red lines on a road commission map of the township. “Red doesn’t mean failed,” said Mark Worden, the road commission’s engineering and public relations director. “Until we deem them as failed, they’re just in poor condition.”

When a road is designated as “failed,” Worden said, owners are notified and invited to a meeting in the township hall to discuss the matter. If needed, warning signs may be posted.

In 2022, the plan proposes work in Brady estimated at $181,750: chip-sealing a quarter mile of X Ave. at a cost of $7,250, filling cracks and chip sealing portions of 30th, 29th and 28th streets totaling three miles at a total cost of $152,000 and pulverizing half a mile of 33rd St. north of YZ Ave. at a cost of $22,500, making it a gravel road.

In 2023, it proposes filling cracks and chip sealing half a mile of 32nd St.at a cost of $27,000, pulverizing and surface paving half a mile of 34th St. from V to VW at a cost of $143,000, and pulverizing another half mile of 33rd St. south of XY Ave. and returning it to gravel, all at a total cost of $192,500.

In 2024, it would fill cracks and chip seal a mile of 32nd St. for $40,000 and gravel, pulverize and resurface half a mile of 34th between W and VW for $143,000.

In 2025 and 2026, the plan proposes preventive maintenance only.

The total estimated cost of the work proposed over the five years: $936,550.

The unmet needs list proposes surface paving of five roads and returning three more to gravel: YZ Ave. from 33rd St. to 34th, 33rd St. from XY to X Ave. and ZY from 32nd St. to 4,140 feet east of 33rd.

Worden was asked approximate per-mile costs of several kinds of road treatments. Reconstructing a mile of asphalt costs about $300,000; returning to gravel, about $40,000; chip-sealing, $20,000-35,000.

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