September 17, 2014

Arenac road commission ready to handle winter conditions

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ARENAC COUNTY — Arenac County’s Road Commission manager says the county is in good shape to deal with the upcoming winter.

Blair Dyer, Arenac County Road Commission Manager and Superintendent, said the county is in good shape for the winter, especially since last winter was a lighter one in terms of snowfall, compared to past years.

“We’ve got our salt in,” he said. “Our barns are basically full. We have an older fleet here, but we have a large fleet. We bought some large trucks.”

Dyer said in April that the road commission had between 2,000 and 2,500 tons of salt left from last year’s winter season, after purchasing 5,000 tons of salt to prepare for the season.

In addition to using salt during the winter, Dyer said the road commission uses a sand and salt mixture to help deal with icy conditions on the roads.

Dyer said to help deal with the winter conditions, the road commission hires seasonal employees, some of whom work a night shift and help out wherever they are needed.

“There are some that come back each year,” he said.

As far as winter expenses are concerned, Dyer said the major expenses are on the commission’s trunk lines, along I-75 and US-23. He said the commission’s budget has not been determined yet, but he added that he expects it to be similar to last year’s budget, which was approximately $180,000, not counting salt expenses.

One road commission project that has been completed is the Turner Road project. The commission received $274,000 in stimulus money from the Michigan Department of Transportation, to be used for that project.

Dyer said the road commission started that project back in May or June. He added that the project entailed crushing asphalt, adding stone where needed, and repairing cross culverts. He said the portion of Turner Road that was repaired was between Herr Road and Tonkey Road.

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