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Posted on Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

Waters Road paving project expected to begin this fall following final meeting

By Amy Biolchini

About a mile of a highly-traveled dirt portion of Waters Road from the township line to Wagner Road in Lodi Township likely will be paved this fall after residents in the area agreed to pay a portion of the cost.

The final meeting on the paving project will be held Tuesday night at the Lodi Township Hall at 3755 Pleasant Lake Road.

Townsend said he expects the issue to pass the board and anticipates paving crews will be working on Waters Road before mid-November.

In a matter of about three months, Waters Road residents collected about 60 signatures to create a special assessment district for the paving improvements they wanted to see on the roadway, said Roy Townsend, managing director of the Washtenaw County Road Commission.

The Road Commission has agreed to pay two-thirds, or $200,000 of the project cost, while Lodi Township has agreed to pay the remainder of $100,000, Townsend said.

Residents in the special assessment district will then pay the township back for the work.

The Road Commission recently wrapped up a safety improvement project to the same portion of Waters Road this summer.

Trees were removed from shoulders and ditches of the roadway, and drainage from the roadway was improved. Gravel and six inches of limestone were added to the road in August.

The project was necessitated after a number of accidents had occurred on that portion of roadway that involved vehicles running off the road and hitting nearby trees, Townsend said.

In adjacent Pittsfield Township, Waters Road is paved and receives a fair amount of traffic. At the township line between Pittsfield and Lodi, however, the pavement abruptly stops and the dirt road begins.

Crews from the Road Commission have had to grade Waters Road about once a week, Townsend said, as the 1,500 vehicles per day that travel a road built for 500 vehicles per day cause potholes to come back quickly.

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



Wed, Oct 3, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

About time. When I moved to Michigan, I was astounded to discover all the dirt roads still around close to urban areas. Where I grew up, we believed in the modern amenities: running water, electric lights, and paved roads. About time Michigan caught up with the 20th century...

Ann English

Wed, Oct 3, 2012 : 11:27 p.m.

So Waters Road was built to accommodate 500 vehicles a day, not triple that number? Apparently those who decided to put Oak Valley Center and Village Centre into that area back in the late 1980s didn't know about the low traffic volume expected permanently on Waters Road. It runs between the two shopping centers. And the subdivisions it runs between. That gives more reasons to use it. So far, when I've used it to reach Wagner Road, I've had it all to myself. I'll be interested to see it when it's "improved," such as, will it be riskier to drive on in the winter due to a crowned surface and deeper ditches?


Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 11:29 p.m.

So they spent six weeks fixing it only to spend another few months paving it now? How does that make sense?

Eric S

Wed, Oct 3, 2012 : 12:04 a.m.

It might make sense: Pavement needs a solid base. If the fixes have had a chance to pack in, it might reduce the amount of pavement foundation work. For only $300k you know that they're going to do a "country paving" over the top, and not a full-depth road bed rebuild.


Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

I'm surprised the residents on that portion of the road want it paved. The stretch of road is already busy with cars that commonly exceed th speed limit. Just wait for the road to paved....more traffic at faster speeds.


Wed, Oct 3, 2012 : 12:12 a.m.

me too. As soon as it's done I'll be cruising through at 5-10 mph over the speed limit. Sorry, just being honest.


Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

Finally! Guess the residents helping to foot the cost aren't too worried about the big increase in traffic that is likely to result? I know that I, for one, will no long have to take scio church over to oak valley once this work is done (when coming southbound on Wagner and trying to get to 94 / miejer / etc). Looking forward to the improvement.