Saturday, June 13, 2009

Rural Mich. counties turn failing roads to gravel

Tell us about how we're not in a depression. First, demolished sub-divisions. Now, gravel roads.

    LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some Michigan counties have turned a few once-paved rural roads back to gravel to save money.

    More than 20 of the state's 83 counties have reverted deteriorating paved roads to gravel in the last few years, according to the County Road Association of Michigan. The counties are struggling with their budgets because tax revenues have declined in the lingering recession.

    Montcalm County converted nearly 10 miles of primary road to gravel this spring.

    The county estimates it takes about $10,000 to grind up a mile of pavement and put down gravel. It takes more than $100,000 to repave a mile of road.

    Reverting to gravel has happened in a few other states but it is most typical in Michigan. At least 50 miles have been reverted in the state in the past three years.