Roadwise: Do you have road questions you'd like answered?
Readers frequently ask AnnArbor.com questions about county roads in response to stories we publish.
This is the first of a series of stories that answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
1. On snowplowing timelines. "Will it again be five days after a storm hits that our subdivision roads in York Township get plowed?”
“The Road Commission is responsible for winter maintenance on all county roads and state trunklines,” Jim Harmon, director of operations for the Road Commission said via email.
“Winter maintenance activities include applying salt and sand, as well as plowing snow on roadways and shoulders.
"During a typical year, the Road Commission will respond to approximately 50 winter maintenance call-outs, and will use about 15,000 to 25,000 tons of salt, and 5,000 to 10,000 tons of sand,” he said.
In 2010/2011, the Road Commission responded to winter maintenance on 53 occasions, used 18,178 tons of salt, and 5,817 tons of sand.
In addition, the Road Commission can easily spend up to $2 million annually for winter maintenance, depending upon weather conditions and the duration of the winter months. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) contracts with the Road Commission to provide winter maintenance services on the State Trunklines within the boundaries of Washtenaw County, which include: I-94, US-23, US-12 (Michigan Avenue), M-14, M-52, M-17 (Washtenaw Avenue), M-153 (Ford Road connected to M-14), Ecorse Road, and the Willow Run bypass.
“The costs for winter maintenance of the State Trunklines is entirely paid for by MDOT and can be as high as $1,000,000 per season, of the $2.8 million total budget,” Harmon said.
The Road Commission performs its winter maintenance in accordance with the Winter Maintenance Guidelines approved annually by the Board of County Road Commissioners, with the highest priority given to state trunklines and high traffic volume paved roads.
For more information about snowplowing on subdivision roads, go to this online brochure.
2. A reader asked about daytime work In Ypsilanti Township and if the work could have been done at night.
“The contracted project on Stoney Creek Road was developed and bid for daytime work. Although precise cost differences are unknown since bids were not solicited for night time work, we expect a 5 to 10 percent increase in total project costs," Harmon said via email at a time when road funding continues to dwindle.
3. On a story about lane restrictions on Pontiac Trail in Ann Arbor Township. Who is paying for this and why?"
“The recently completed milling and resurfacing of sections of Pontiac Trail located between M-14 and Nixon Road is part of the Road Commission’s annual primary road overlay program and was funded by the steadily decreasing Michigan Transportation Funds, “ Harmon said via email.
Do you have a thoughtful question you’d like the Road Commission to answer? Email them to email@example.com.
Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for AnnArbor.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.