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Posted on Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

13 primary routes that will be paved in $3.5M county road program this year

By Amy Biolchini

Thirteen primary roads will be paved this year through the Washtenaw County Road Commission’s 2013 preventative maintenance program.

The program will invest about $3.55 million from money allocated to the Road Commission to pave 21 miles of roadways this year:

  • Ann Arbor-Saline Road from Textile Road to 800 feet north of Woodland Drive
  • Austin Road from Boettner Road to 1,290 feet east of Grass Road
  • Dexter-Chelsea Road from 1,000 feet east of Steinbach Road to Parker Road
  • Geddes Road from Prospect Road east to the Wayne County border
  • Gotfredson Road from Plymouth Road to M-14
  • Grove Road from Emerick Street to Harris Road
  • Holmes Road from Prospect Road to Spencer Lane
  • Packard Road from Golfside Road to 1,700 feet east of Hewitt Road at the Ypsilanti city limits
  • Plymouth Road from Whitehall Drive to Dixboro Road
  • Pontiac Trail from Dixboro to Seven Mile Road
  • Stony Creek Road from Saline-Milan Road to Carpenter Road
  • Tyler Road from Dorsett Avenue to Wiard Road
  • Ellsworth Road from Carpenter Road to Golfside Road

Construction is projected to last from July to September. All the routes will remain open to traffic, though there will be temporary lane closures. Businesses and property owners will still have access during the project.

Additionally, a number of townships have finalized their agreements with the Washtenaw County Road Commission for local road maintenance this year.

Dexter Township: $21,836 agreement in which the Road Commission splits the cost with the township for applications of brine for dust control to all gravel roads in the township

Freedom Township: $27,120 worth of brine application for dust control to all gravel roads; $54,736 in ditch work and culvert replacement and $16,000 in gravel application. Road Commission will split the cost of all projects with the township.

Lyndon Township: $27,807 agreement in which the Road Commission will pay $11,955 for applications of brine for dust control to all gravel roads in the township

Saline Township: $25,012 agreement in which the Road Commission will pay $9,745 for applications of brine for dust control to all gravel roads in the township

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

There is nothing wrong with Pontiac Trail between Dixboro and Seven Mile! Turn right onto North Territorial from Pontiac Trail and drive that stretch to Currie--it's literally crumbling into the ditches and falling apart, potholes and patches every few feet! Same if you go the other way to Spencer Road! Just a complete mess. Many pages of petitions have been signed at Edith's Market, which is located at that intersection and will be turned over to the Road Commission at it's meeting May 1st at 6:00. Truly, it is shameful and the Road Commission say they have no plans for North Territorial. You cannot drive down it without damage. I have the proof on my car!

Susanne Brace

Sun, Apr 21, 2013 : 1:23 a.m.

What is with the median barriers that are scheduled for Carpenter road by Packard, June through July this year? What is their purpose there? Why doesn't the road commission website give more details?

Susanne Brace

Sun, Apr 21, 2013 : 1:05 a.m.

Why not the stretch on Golfside between Packard and Ellsworth? As well as Carpenter road between Packard and Washtenaw? Ellsworth road from Carpenter to Golfside? Are you kidding me?? I drive that multiple times a day (sharing a car.) There is nothing wrong with it!


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 10:02 p.m.

Holmes was just completely redone last year or the year before ....that must be an error.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

$3.5 million is an absurdly puny amount of money to try and maintain the horrible roads in this county. There are WAY more bad stretches of road than the above that aren't going to get any better by waiting for action. Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. at I-94 may be the worst road section of them all and isn't on the list. The county and city need to come up with with other sources of funding somehow or our roads will be back to the 1800's condition pretty soon.

Sean Thomas

Sun, Apr 21, 2013 : 1:07 a.m.

the city would be responsible for ann arbor-saline until just south/west of the 94 bridge there.

average joe

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 5:50 p.m.

It would be interesting to know how the WCRC determines which roads are in NEED of being resurfaced. Earlier today, I drove the Stony Creek rd stretch that is on the list and it appears to be in very good condition for a road that is scheduled to be resurfaced. I didn't find one pothole (even a patched one) in the entire stretch. (3 to 4 miles?) I would assume that perhaps the traffic count is higher than on other roads, but do we just allow the worse stretches to completely fall apart while the seemingly better roads get re-done? The stretch of Stony creek rd gets bad east of Carpenter, but even though it is filled with patched potholes it isn't going to be re-paved. And what about Willis east of Stony Creek, which even has it's own flowing spring in the middle of the road. It absolutely makes no sense.

Tom Todd

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 4:37 p.m.

Has Snyder told the Washtenaw County Road Commission not to fill pot holes this spring.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 4:36 p.m.

I just took a better look at the list....They just reconstructed Holmes road last summer... new street lights and all.. water and sewer lines too. the only stretch that isn't redone is from Ford rd. to spencer lane.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 3:44 p.m.

Wow. A lot of it is dirt roads too. This will be so nice not to drive on in the winter or any time with nasty little pots in the dirt. Golfside to Hewitt? This is paved. Interesting.

Amy Biolchini

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 3:18 p.m.

To those who have asked about Carpenter Road between Washtenaw Avenue and Packard, the Road Commission is planning to completely re-do that stretch of road and add two pedestrian crosswalk islands next year.

Ann English

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 11:35 p.m.

The condition of Carpenter just south of Washtenaw Avenue is yet another reason to use residential roads east and west of it instead. My primary reason to avoid some intersections is to avoid long stoplights. I don't use the Stadium-Packard intersection unless I'm drawn to the gas stations there, but I didn't notice any rough pavement leading to it the past few times I was there. They did a good job re-paving that part of Stadium east of Packard last summer.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

The worst road I drive (and there is some competition for this top ranking) is the section of West Huron River Drive from the Ann Arbor city line to the Foster bridge. When the rest of the road was repaved, thanks to a combination of funds from the local bicycle touring club, neighbors, Scio township and the Washtenaw Road Commission, this section was not, and it continues to get worse. It is in Ann Arbor Township, which should be ashamed of its condition.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

I drove on this section yesterday, and drove into a pot hole that felt like it would wreck my suspension. In fact if you are trying to avoid potholes on this road you will probably wreck.

Ann English

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 11:46 p.m.

I wonder if a photo from that part of West Huron River Drive opened the Scio Township dirt road preservation Opinion article early last week. If that section doesn't get re-paved, some people could have second thoughts about visiting Bird Hills. You say this section continues to get worse. If the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run runners fall on it due to its worsening condition, hopefully such an event would call attention to its neglect more effectively than occasional or even regular motorists. Foster Road to Newport Road to Sunset is one detour from that Huron River Drive section, but then you have to watch for pedestrians.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

Everyone: please take a mental note: The county does not have jurisdiction over roads within a city's limits. So no point in griping about roads within the cities of ypsilanti or ann arbor. Unless they are state routes/highways, local jurisdictions have control. I think, anyway. right? Someone back me up here.

Amy Biolchini

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 3:17 p.m.

Ross, you're correct.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 3:06 p.m.

yep.I do believe you are correct

You Don't Say

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

Not sure there is criteria for choosing which roads get repaired other than where city and county officials or their friends live. Stone School Road from Ellsworth to the 94 overpass is a disgrace. The other roads mentioned are horrible as well and need replacement. Not sure who the bigger idiot is, MDOT or Washtenaw County Road Commission. Neither one ever seems to make much sense. I have been to meetings and they just blow you off because you are attempting to upset their personal agenda. Anyone who has lived in Ann Arbor for more than 30 years should know the city would rather spend its money on artwork and other useless things instead of taking care of its citizens. Been that way during the 40 years I have lived there. Why do you think it took them so long to replace the Stadium Blvd overpass? The old bridge would still be there if it had not been falling apart. As the citys infrastructure and city services continue to slowly degrade, council and the mayor continue to scratch their heads and give us the old deer in headlights look instead of taking care of the issues that really matter like the road system, police, fire, EMS and streetlight repair.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

A map sure would be helpful.

Lewis M

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:41 p.m.

Stadium blvd west of the new bridge! Dingel should be forced to drive that stretch over and over and then pose for one of his famous photo ops. Milkshake. Millions of dollars spent on the new bridge, and they can't pave 1/10th of a mile.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

Agreed there. Especially that little dip that really sends one flying over near the golf course heading east. Fun driving for all.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

Can't agree more with Frank and others why other roads with much worse conditions are not included. Who (of course, the Road Commission) and how did they make the selections? I also really think the Carpenter Road from Washtenaw to Packard is one section that really needs a resurfacing.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

I drive a truck and equipment for the county on a daily basis. There is no worse stretch of road in the county than Scio Church road between Wagner and Oak Valley rd. . A driveability test would fail this part without a question. Bikers take their lives into their hands in this section. Not having this section on the rework schedule for this season (not add more patches to patches to patches to patches) is nothing short of criminal negligence in my opinion.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 8:36 p.m.

Agree. That stretch DESPERATELY needs resurfacing and bike lanes added. Having to swerve into the oncoming lane to avoid bicyclists is not safe for anyone.

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

If you are unhappy with your roads and the preferences in which roads are re-surfaced, attend your county road commission meetings and let them know.

Frank Lee

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Aside from not receiving adequate or direct answers, I find it odd that "thank you" and supportive correspondence is presented at meetings. The Commission can pat themselves on the back during their own time. I'm certain the majority of correspondence consists of issues that need to be addressed, which is a far more appropriate use of the boards time. In short, public opinion is selectively voiced but is never really heard.

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

Good for you, Frank! More people need to do that, especially in smaller counties. It is surprising what some commissions try and get away with. Not suggesting that happens in Washtenaw, but in smaller towns, where the local newspaper no longer exists, etc, Sometimes they try and sneak stuff through.

Frank Lee

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

I have, both in physical and written form.

Frank Lee

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

It's time to get serious about road maintenance in Michigan. With our excessive freeze/thaw cycles, we cannot expect our roads to hold up as well as they do in the better part of the United States. For the many roads that need repaved without subgrade improvements, Cold In-Place Recycling (CIPR) should be used. We could easily increase the amount of roads repaved each summer under the same allotted budget. I would also like to know what criteria is used to select the roads to be repaved each time funds become available. "Ellsworth Road from Carpenter Road to Golfside Road"…really? This would be the second stretch of Ellsworth to be repaved recently that appears to be in much better condition compared to other roads in the county that receive equal or greater traffic counts.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

I drive that every day, does not seem bad to me. What I do not understand is how certain roads are already in " need" of replacing when they were just reconstructed a few years ago. Carpenter road.. Packard to washtenaw is just horrid!!.. You can't even drive close to the speed limit for fear of losing the underside of your car.

Hugh Giariola

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

Conspicuously missing are 2 of the worst stretches of road in the county: Carpenter Road between Packard and Washtenaw Ave, and N. Prospect St. in Ypsilanti between Cross St. and Holmes Rd.

Chris Sallek

Sun, Apr 21, 2013 : 2:27 a.m.

I agree on Carpenter Road between Packard and Washtenaw, ESPECIALLY the outside southbound lane. I nearly always drive the inside lane and figured if I was ever stopped for doing so, I'd tell the officer that I'd be glad to drive the outside lane AS SOON AS IT'S REPAIRED. Not sure how the MI law pertaining to passing lanes applies to major city/township streets/roads, but I ASSUME an officer might consider ticketing for driving in the "passing" lane if he/she could. I COULD be wrong.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 3:04 p.m.

Ross...that section of Prospect is in the city but Ypsi townships roads are maintained by the county.( like the stretch of Packard being repaved )


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

Think you are correct. Prospect north of Michigan ave. is city.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 2:12 p.m.

Pretty sure that north propsect in ypsi is not under the county's jurisdiction. Either ypsi city or township.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

Do I ever agree, especially that Carpenter Road stretch, I live in that area and travel those roads frequently.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 11:26 a.m.

How about Dexter Townhall between N.T. and Cedar. They have patched it enough to pay for it.