Blame it on the Breakers
By Kelly Smith
A few days ago my friend/ editor/ therapist sent me a note asking if I had interest in putting together a piece for NNN.
“Sure, let me think about a topic,” I replied.
As I drive around on this lovely spring Sunday on April the 15th listening to the staff on the radio talk about what trees they are on, what roads they have been over and where they need to go next, I begin to wonder, “What did we do to Mother Nature to cause her to retaliate in such mean and unnecessary manner?”
Well, the only logical answer is…. Spring Breakers!
You know who we’re talking about. The folks who left most of us here a few weeks ago in the snow and cold while they sat on some beach in a much warmer climate snapping pictures and posting them, or worse yet sending them directly to your phone.
Yes those people. So as I drive around watching ice and sleet pelt the windshield I did smile a little, taking solace in the fact that those whom a few weeks ago were lying around getting sunburned and accustomed to warm temps are now freezing their buns off and shedding skin like some reptile. So as you can see if you look hard enough, you can find something to smile about while we all patiently wait for Mother Nature to work her karma magic on those most deserving .
As for how the prolonged winter type weather has affected the Newaygo County Road Commission, we are spending monies that we hoped to use on summer projects for gravel and pavement on sand and salt . We are also a few weeks behind schedule for summer maintenance activities. This delay has had a very negative impact on our gravel roads as they have either been frozen or too wet for us to be productive on them, resulting in some resembling minefields more than roads. These will be our priority as soon as conditions allow us to make some progress.
Being that we will be on gravels well into what we had hoped to be the beginning of the construction season we will be falling behind with those projects as well. Summers hours begin soon which will include working overtime in an attempt to gain back some of those days lost to unproductive weather.
Here’s a few of the notable initiatives around the county for this coming season :
There will be a project on Hardy dam that is scheduled to start around the 16th of April and should last approximately a month, this will include a lane closure with a temporary traffic signal.
We will be replacing a couple large culverts on 40th street between M37 and Spruce this summer, which will be detoured for approximately 8 -10 weeks.
With the new Meijer store west of Fremont underway a reconstruct of Green Avenue from 48th to 44th and 44th from Green to Market. This project will last most all of summer.
We also have a joint project with Sheridan Township and for the reconstruction of Lake drive between Green Ave and Connie St.
MDOT has scheduled a couple of large scale projects on M37 between Newaygo and the south limits of Grant. The first project will be the paving of M37 from Grant to Newaygo, the second and much longer in duration is the reconstruct of M37 in Grant. This project will include a posted detour for most all of the summer season. Grant itself will still be accessible, but please plan your commute accordingly.
This is a very small portion of the scheduled projects for the upcoming orange barrel season, a season of necessity in providing the much improved road system our state is in dire need of.
We will be updating our list of projects on our web page, and we will also try and keep updates on social media as to where we are and where we will be when possible. So until next time, please be careful on the roads, watch for us coming to a road near you and most of all remember….
It’s the spring breakers fault.
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