3 Midland County roads remain closed after June flooding

MIDLAND COUNTY (WJRT) - (12/05/17) - More than five months after severe floods hit parts of Mid-Michigan, some roads remain closed.

In Midland County portions of three roads are closed, with one expected to open by Friday.

Those roads included 9 Mile Road north of M-20, Water Street in the Edenville area, and 8 Mile Road not too far from the county line.

Work on 9 Mile Road should be done by Friday. Tuesday road crews were paving the road.

Work on the other two roads won't happen until next construction season.

Following the floods in late June, Midland County had portions of 105 roads closed.

Road Commission Managing Director and Engineer Terry Palmer said at least 70 of those roads needed some type of temporary or permanent fix as a result.

"Everyone had to work 16 hour days, but we've gotten through it and most of them are open now," Palmer said.

In order to make those emergency repairs the road commission had to rearrange the budget, immediately.

"For 2017 we cancelled all projects that hadn't already started, so we had some working capital," Palmer said.

Palmer said the road commission had to delay chipsealing on 90 of the 100 miles planned. In addition, at least 10 miles of paving were delayed.

Those projects have been shifted to 2018.

As a result some work planned for 2018 has been delayed to 2019. Projects with delays include work on LaPorte, Miller, Alamando and Castor roads.

Palmer estimates the road commission has already spent at least $5 million on emergency repairs, but crews aren't done.

"We still have about $2.8 million of emergency repairs to do. We've done a lot of temporary fixes, but we need to get the permanent fix in," Palmer said. "We'll get to everything, it's going to take a little time."

While much of the repair work has been paid by the road commission, Palmer said the Federal Highway Administration will reimburse them for 80% of the cost on certain primary roads. Funding from the Emergency Relief Fund will be made available.

And while road projects had to be delayed, the flooding will not impact snow removal this winter. Palmer said salt for the entire winter plus other materials have arrived and are ready.

Palmer said he's never seen anything like what he experienced in June. He feels the rain in the days before the heavy, intense rain was key to causing all the problems.

"We got up to 7.7 inches in six hours. So the ground totally saturated, high intense rain, all the smaller crossings got their peak flow really fast," Palmer said.

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