Martin and Watson townships are combining efforts to get 12th Street from M-222 south to U.S.-131 Motor Sports Park repaired and paved this year.
The road is shared by the two townships and they have worked together on maintenance costs, but this time they want it paved nine-tenths of a mile south to just past the entrance of the speedway. They will meet with members of the Allegan County Road Commission Monday evening, Jan. 19, to get a better handle on costs.
Watson has pledged up to $150,000 for the project and Martin $250,000, but $100,000 will be absorbed by the U.S.-131 Motor Sports Park, according to Manager Jason Peterson. There also have been reports that J & H, which has the Marathon gas station and Subway Sandwich Shoppe at the corner of 12th Street and M-222, may kick in $30,000 because it stands to benefit from curb work near the site.
Martin Township Supervisor Glenn Leep said he has been told informally by the Road Commission that the total cost should be around $389,000, but figure on $400,000 because of the possibilities of cost overruns.
Watson Township Trustee Rod Zeinstra said, “Let’s lock it (the project) in now,” noting that gas prices have plummeted, so the cost may be as good as it gets for awhile.
But Leep said he already is disappointed with the material being proposed for asphalt, which he said won’t last as long as local officials want. Though it costs $51.01 per ton, he said he’d like to use a higher grade that costs around $57.
“It is by far the cheapest, but we it doesn’t hold up,” Leep explained. “Hands down, we want to go with the better one.”
But both townships want swift action and are urging the Road Commission to get started with preliminary work.
Zeinstra said, “I’m disappointed in with what we’ve been hearing in the last week. We have committed to up to $150,000, but we have concerns… We’ll hammer this out Monday night.
Zeinstra and Watson Township Supervisor Pam Brown said they plan to be at the meeting and County Commissioners Don Black and Jon Campbell are invited.
Peterson said, “I’m not as much worried about 12th Street, it’ll be passable. It’s the bridge work that needs to be done.”
The cost estimate already accounts a potential of 5 percent in overages, but Brown still said she’s worried about the final bill.
“How can we commit to something if we don’t have the numbers?” she asked.
That’s what the meeting Monday night is supposed to clarify.
And Martin Township Clerk Carrie Coburn said the commitment of at least $400,000 should be enough to get the ball rolling.
“The work order should be getting them to get moving on the project,” she said.
Zeinstra added, “When the work order is completed, they should know they’s got $400,000 to work wit5h.”
Black, who was in the audience, commended officials from the two townships for working together on a common goal and pledged his support Monday evening.
“You guys should be congratulated,” he commented. “This project has been a long, long time coming.”