By BETH ALTENA
During the regular meeting on Monday, February 27 Plainfield Township’s Board of Trustees approved a major infrastructure plan to spend a million dollars in 2017 on road projects. Under the new business agenda, the background of the increase from previous years was explained by Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden.
“Each year we work with the Road Commission on road projects,” he described. He explained that primary roads are under state and federal jurisdiction, while local roads are the responsibility of the township to maintain.
“We are fortunate to work with a very good Road Commission that offers a dollar to dollar match.” This put the township in a much better financial position than townships without this kind of arrangement, he explained. Van Wyngarden stated in a memorandum to the board that in last year’s budgeting process, the township decided to put a higher priority on road maintenance, and increase the budget from $250,000 to $500,000 with the match from the Road Commission equaling $1 million for the year.
Van Wyngarden stated this increase is up from past years when the township budgeted $170,000 per year for maintenance. Last year the township approved increasing that amount to $250,000 for a half million in maintenance dollars for roads, but the Road Commission said it was still not enough to catch up on aging road conditions. “We asked what it would take to make an incline, not a decline of roads and they said triple it,” Van Wyngarden told the board.
The township relies on mapping from an asset management company that evaluates road conditions from one (brand new) to ten (basically dust) to decide which roads most critically need maintenance or replacement.
“We have the full gamut in Plainfield Township,” Van Wyngarden explained. He said Road Commission professional go out, drive the roads and evaluate their condition based on professional knowledge. “What they see might be different from what you or me might see,” he said. Road cracks that look bad might actually be superficial.
“They select what roads to fix using criteria and relying on their expertise.” In addition, the type of traffic on a road can suggest what treatment for maintenance is appropriate. Subdivision roads can be treated with an ultra thin overlay that is much less expensive and can extend the life of these roads for another ten years.
“The Road Commission encouraged us to do pavement preservation techniques on these types of road.” He went on to say the township does have some roads that will require more extensive treatment. He said in past meetings the township has had half a room of people concerned about the conditions of the roads.
“Patches are so bad it’s like riding on cobblestone,” Van Wyngarden stated. Herrington Road off Belmont is the worst section in the township. “That stretch is very windy, very wet, very low.” We need to completely reform that road, which is bringing it down to the base layer, pulverizing the asphalt and lay down two new layers to complete a new roadway.
A memorandum detailed the roads to be affected and are as follows:
- Herrington Avenue (Belmont Avenue to Chandler Drive) and Packer Drive (Rogue River Road to Van Dam Drive), crush, shape and repave with an estimated cost of $254,500
This is a more intensive reconstruction of portions of these road that need more than just a new top coat of asphalt.
- Herrington Avenue (Chandler Drive to end) and Packer Drive (Van Dam Drive to Belmont Avenue), shallow overlay, with an estimated cost of $80,500
A portion of these roads are less used or in better shape and will receive a less intensive treatment.
- Scott Creek Court (Samrick Avenue to end), Glenmerle Drive (Northland Drive to Ceilcrest Lane), and Ceilcrest Lane (end to end), full depth mill and fill with an estimated cost of $96,500
These residential streets are beyond preventative maintenance treatment and need a full removal and replacement of the topcoat of asphalt.
- Warwick Glen Drive (Childsdale Avenue to end), ultra thin overlay with chipseal interlayer with an estimated cost of $49,500
This residential street will receive a preventative treatment to extend the life of the pavement, saving money long term.
“Separately we will conduct roadwork in conjunction with our infrastructure projects in the Hills and Dales neighborhood as we continue to replace aging water and sewer mains in this neighborhood. Those strets will also be repaved, using the money from our water and sewer funds that is also matched by the Road Commission.”
Van Wyngarden also noted the township was able to budget this increase without raising taxes, but by reprioritizing over other projects. The motion to approve the additional funding for this year’s road maintenance projects was moved by Frank Pfaff, supported by Ben Greene and approved unanimously by roll call vote.