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Posted on Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Washtenaw County Road Commission to pave some of North Territorial Road's potholes

By Amy Biolchini

Three pothole-filled portions of North Territorial Road will be repaved this year after Salem Township officials struck a deal with the Washtenaw County Road Commission.

The Road Commission’s Board of Trustees approved a contract with the township in a 3-0 vote Tuesday that secures a payment schedule for the project.


A portion of North Territorial Road in Salem Township that will be repaved as a result of a new agreement between the Road Commission and township officials.

Amy Biolchini |

“It’s horrendous, the way the road is,” said Salem Township Supervisor Gary Whittaker, explaining that North Territorial Road’s condition is the subject of many complaints from residents.

The Road Commission agreed to front the money for the approximate $1 million project on about three miles of North Territorial and portions of Gottfredson and Seven Mile roads.

The township's board agreed to pay the Road Commission back for the project with $350,000 this year, $350,000 next year and up to $350,000 in the final year.

Paying for the construction out of its reserves is only a measure the Road Commission was able to do because it had a dedicated source of revenue to cover the cost, said Roy Townsend, managing director.

“Our board agreed that we’d like to front the money as long as they pay us back,” Townsend said.

However, should the state government expand funding for local roads this year, the Road Commission has agreed that it will give the township back whatever money they’ve contributed to the project cost.

The township budgets $300,000 per year for its roads, Whittaker said.

“To me, it’s not really affecting our budget too much,” Whittaker said. “It’s taking care of a major problem we have right now.”

Whittaker said the township is able to afford the payments to the Road Commission because of the income it gets from tipping fees and the sale of methane gas at the Veolia Environmental Services landfill.

The township does not levy its own property tax and doesn’t offer many public services, Whittaker said.

The township has agreed to pay for the repaving of three portions of North Territorial Road, as well as a 0.6 mile portion of Gottfredson Road from M-14 to North Territorial.

Gottfredson Road from M-14 south to Plymouth Road also is slated to be resurfaced this summer. A contractor has already been selected for that project.

About one mile of Seven Mile Road between Chubb and Currie roads also will be repaved, but the county will pay for all of it.

The entire resurfacing project will be put out to bid soon and Townsend said he expects construction to begin at the end of the summer or in early fall.

Outside of Salem Township, there are about two miles of North Territorial Road in Northfield Township and two miles of the road in Webster Township that are still in bad shape that don’t have funding allocated to them for construction, Townsend said.

A number of residents who live along North Territorial Road spoke before the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners in May to ask them to find a solution for the continued deterioration of the pavement.

View Salem Township road improvements in a larger map

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


Great Lakes Lady

Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 9:13 p.m.

Wasn't N. Territorial resurfaced in the last couple of years? It seems these companies doing road work do poor jobs.....soon afterward, the roads are full of pot holes there no oversight to ensure these companies are using the correct materials, correct thickness, etc???


Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 4:50 p.m.

Most dirt roads are in better shape that N Territorial east of 23-- no need for speed limit signs in this area, you'll lose your tires and rims if you drive over 35.


Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 4:05 p.m.

What about Pontiac Trail? That road is also pot holed filled as well. Need to widen it a bit too. Glad to hear one of two roads are going to be fixed. Now, about Prospect Road in Ypsilanti.

Superior Twp voter

Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

No! Say it ain't so?!? The "BIG 3" are gonna be disappointed that their NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) test areas will no longer be useful.

Dog Guy

Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

Decades ago, before government was broken, stolen, confused, and misdirected, "Washtenaw County Road Commission to pave some of North Territorial Road's potholes" would have been an April 1 joke headline.


Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 2:22 p.m.

Would love to see some work done on the horrendous roads in Ypsilanti...Prospect...Grove (near Twp border) just to name a few. I cringe every day when I drive over those on my way to work and think about all the damage I do to my car...I know that they are suppose to be working on them soon, but when?


Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

Prospect really needs work. Between Michigan and Holmes. That stretch has deteriorated to the point where I can't wait for the bridge to be finished.


Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

Still waiting for the city of AA to start filling some of the 40,000 potholes. I have yet to see one asphalt truck in the city filling potholes this summer. Not one. At least N Territorial will get some filled....

Hugh Giariola

Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

I hope they have enough asphalt left over to patch that pothole on southbound Curtis Road. It's big enough to do some real damage.

zip the cat

Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 10:52 a.m.

What everyone who lives along the affected tank trap needs to do is withhold your property taxes and place them in escrow until the county fixes the road The residents deserve to have roads that are driveable


Fri, Jul 5, 2013 : 11:09 a.m.

Except that property taxes aren't the main source of road funding.