SHIAWASSEE COUNTY — Three area municipalities have won grant funds to fix local roads next year: the city of Ovid, and the villages of Morrice and Chesaning.
The money, totaling $514,773, comes from the Michigan Department of Transportation’s Transportation Economic Development Fund. Municipalities must provide matching funds.
Final grant awards are contingent on the state Legislature approving the statewide fund, $2.869 million, as part of the 2020 budget.
“We’re ecstatic we’ve gotten to this point,” said Phil Hruska, the village’s road administrator. “We’re planning to get our roads back to what they need to be.”
Morrice officials intend to use the village’s $166,626 grant, if approved by the Legislature, toward completely rebuilding three roads: Mason, Purdy and Main streets, which Hruska said are in deteriorated condition. School traffic, including buses and farm equipment, has sped up their deterioration, he said.
The total cost of the project, which will cover about 1.1 miles of road, is $382,000. Hruska said the village also hopes to tackle fixing the part of Morrice Road that runs through Morrice.
“My hope is more grants will be available for us,” he said.
In Saginaw County’s Chesaning, officials said they plan to spend their $250,000 grant award primarily to improve East Liberty Street, the half-mile section that lies east of M-57.
“It’s always a welcome surprise our grant applications are successful,” he said. “It’s always nice to step up your roads.”
Instead of a complete rebuild, Liberty will get a crush and shape, a treatment that grinds existing asphalt and a half-inch of underlying material. The material is then regraded, compacted and covered with multiple layers of fresh asphalt.
Liberty is a secondary access road to Big Rock Elementary School, and has deteriorated under the pressure of bus traffic, Village Administrator Troy Feltman said.
Depending on whether there’s enough money left after the work on Liberty, a crush and shape could also be in store for Center Street, from M-57 west, he said.
Feltman said the grant funds could be available to Chesaning after Oct. 1 of this year, and he hopes to get as much work done as possible before winter. He said the village has drawn up designs for the projects, and will put out bids after Oct. 1.
The city of Ovid is aiming to use its $98,147 grant award to repair several streets: Williams, East, Meridian, High, Mill and Park.
“We’re very pleased we got the grant,” Mayor William Lasher said, “and we look to utilize the funds for the benefit of our residents.”
The targeted byways all lie in residential neighborhoods, he said, and are in poor condition.
“In Ovid, we repair the worst roads first,” Lasher said. “These are the worst.”
The stated mission of the Transportation Economic Development Fund is to enhance the ability of the state to compete in an international economy, to serve as a catalyst for economic growth of the state and to improve the quality of live in the state.
The funds are available to state, county and city road agencies for immediate highway needs relating to a variety of economic development issues.