State Rep. Jack O’Malley, of Lake Ann, this week held two informative meetings with his House Transportation Committee colleagues to help tackle the state’s road repair issue.
This was the first week of special hearings with experts to discuss Michigan roads.
The American Society of the Civil Engineers and the Michigan Department of Transportation discussed the process to build a road from planning, design, and construction phases. Road-building standards, environmental standards, the impact of the water on the conditions of roads, and the impact of road construction on traffic were topics of discussion.
“It’s important we understand the process of building a road and the materials being used for better road quality,” said O’Malley, the committee chair. “Building a road is an art and we must ensure we are maintaining good quality work in the construction process. We have to make sure tax dollars are used efficiently and effectively.”
Highlights of the hearings include:
· It takes between five months and two years – depending on the size of the project -to plan and design a road.
· The state of Michigan has one of the best warranties in the country due to legislation adopted in 2015. A contractor is responsible for correcting deficiencies during the warranty period, which lasts for no more than five years.
· With freeze-thaw weather conditions in Michigan and the lake effect weather, maintaining roads is drastically different from our neighboring states.
· Diverting traffic costs time and money and adds to the expense of the repair job.
The House Transportation Committee will next meet at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 23 in Room 327 of the House Office Building.