Wood bridge on 140th Ave. in Leighton to be repaired

The 140th Avenue bridge finally will get a repair job done, the Leighton Township Board learned Thursday evening.

Supervisor Steve Wolbrink told his colleagues that Craig Atwood from the Allegan County Road Commission notified him that lumber had been found for deck replacement on the old bridge, which has been a traffic problem for at least three years.

The Township Board approved spending $5,600 for the work.

Board members years ago noted that a new bridge on 140th Avenue would cost about a quarter of a million dollars, so the news from Atwood was welcome.

Township officials acknowledged they had thought 140th Avenue didn’t have a lot of traffic to warrant a bridge project, but a study showed 226 vehicles crossed the aging bridge in a 24-hour period.

Leighton also gave final approval to GVL Excavating to proceed with plans to mine sand at 329 144th Ave. to prepare a site for residential development.

The board voted 4-0 last month for an ordinance amendment that would remove a stipulation that the operation’s outlet be on a County Primary Road. The road actually is a County Improved Road, having been freshly paved just two years ago.

Township Board members agreed the condition of the road is equal to or better than a primary road.

Township Supervisor Steve Wolbrink noted the repaving project “was pricey… and we don’t want to see it damaged.”

Developer Gordon VanderLaan agreed, saying, “ I drove that road myself when it was bad.”

VanderLaan promised that trucks removing and hauling sand would take the material to the east in order to avoid Green Lake residential areas.

In other business Thursday, the board:

  • Approved a raise, from $50 to $75 per meeting for those who serve on the Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Board of Review, with the chairman getting $85. Ben Potts, Matt VanderEide and Trustee John Hooker all were reappointed to three-year terms on the Planning Commission, as was Jonathan Roodvoets to the ZBA.
  • Learned from Fire Chief Matt Weston, the Leighton department already has surpassed all of last year in number of calls, with 338 compared to 326.
  • Agreed to a request from Treasurer Jaci Bultsma to attend a Michigan Townships Association conference in January on spending money from the federal American Relief Plan (ARPA).



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