Watson Township officials learn about local road projects for 2015

AllegaLarry Brown Watsonn County Road Commission Engineer-Manager Larry Brown gave the Watson Township Board a sneak peek Thursday evening of the road projects in store for the coming year.

Brown said there will be a chip seal and fog coat done on M-222, the main artery between Martin and Allegan, which travels through the township. He called the project “preventative maintenance so we can get another five years” out of the road.

A federal 80-20 safety grant will handle most of the cost of improving the grade at the intersection of 16th Street and 120th Avenue toward Big Lake, most of which is gravel. Brown said though the grant does not include any paving, about 2,000 feet of the area will be paved “because if we don’t, I’m afraid we’ll have erosion there.”

He added that 16th Street will get re-graveling done so that road will be improved all the way to Hopkins.

Brown reminded the board and audience that removal of the bridge on M-222 over the U.S.-131 expressway will begin Monday, Feb. 9, with the target date for completion set at June 5, just before the Martin Motor Sports Park’s annual B-93 Birthday Bash. Martin and Watson townships and the Motor Sports Park will share costs for reconstructing and improving 12th Street from the corner at J&H Marathon to the park.

Brown noted the expressway ramps will remain open, but motorists coming from the west on M-222 will be asked to take a detour route on 106th Avenue and vehicles coming from Martin on the east will have to use 124th Avenue.

He said he worries the detours will wreak havoc on Martin school buses.

Watson Township Supervisor Pam Brown asked about dust control, inquiring if there was a better alternative than salt brine, which gets complaints because it is corrosive on cars, trucks and farm vehicles. Larry Brown told her calcium chloride is even more corrosive and other alternatives, such as enzymes, are more expensive.

Watson is likely to continue brine applications either through Southwest Michigan Dust Control of Bloomingdale or Bruce Allan of Byron Center. That decision likely will be made at the board’s next meeting March 5.

PHOTO: Allegan County Road Commission Engineer-Manager Larry Brown (standing) speaks as Supervisor Pam Brown and Treasurer Sue Jones listen.

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