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Posted on Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 5:56 a.m.

10 local bridge projects up for debate at Road Commission's Tuesday meeting

By Lisa Allmendinger

The Washtenaw County Board of Road Commissioners is expected to discuss a list of 10 potential local bridge projects for submission to the Michigan Department of Transportation’s funding pool at its meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The Local Bridge Program applications are due by May 1. Kelly Jones, Road Commission bridge project manager, has suggested a list of bridge projects that "stand the best chance" of receiving state funding.

Each road agency is allowed to submit five bridge projects to the state and each must be at least 20-feet long to meet the state’s definition of a bridge, according to a memo to the commissioners.

If selected, the state’s Local Bridge program picks up 95 percent of the construction costs while the Road Commission will be responsible for the “design, right-of-way, construction engineering and local match for construction costs."

“If the bridge is (selected and) located on a local road, the township (in which it’s located) would be responsible for paying 50 percent of the local costs with the Road Commission,” according to the memo.

The project scope for the 10 bridges ranges from replacement funding to rehabilitation to preventive maintenance.

Also on the agenda is the Willis Road Bridge right-of-way agreement with Augusta Township, the appointment of a weighmaster, and a discussion of a special assessment district for road repairs in the Polo Fields subdivision in Scio Township.

The Road Commission meets Tuesday at 1 p.m. at 555 N. Zeeb Road in Scio Township.

Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for, who also covers the Washtenaw County Road Commission. She can be reached at



Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

A Weighmaster? Really? Are there actually overweight trucks on our roads? Finally a step towards addressing a major factor in the damage to our roads.


Tue, Feb 21, 2012 : 2:18 p.m.

<a href=",1607,7-151-14013-28111--F,00.html" rel='nofollow'>,1607,7-151-14013-28111--F,00.html</a> Frequently Asked Questions  Roads ?I have heard that Michigan truck weight laws are the most liberal in the nation. Is this true? Answer: Michigan permits trucks up to 164,000 pounds on the system. However, different than other states, Michigan requires a lower weight per axle which more evenly distributes the load and reduces wear and tear on roads. MDOT engineers have thoroughly studied this issue and the result of this research is that heavier trucks do not cause a disproportionate amount of damage as long as the weight is evenly distributed over an appropriate number of axles. Additionally, trucks over 80,000 pounds make up only less than 5% of all trucks operating on our roads. If Michigan were to reduce it's truck weight laws to 80,000 pounds, more damage to the system may occur because of the need to put more trucks on the road. More trucks on the road raise serious questions concerning safety and traffic congestion. Several other states are currently looking at Michigan's axle weight laws and are considering adopting similar laws. Copyright © 2011 State of Michigan