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The Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC) will present its proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget during a public hearing Thursday, Aug. 24, at 6:30 p.m. at the Oakland County Board of Commissioners Auditorium, 1200 N. Telegraph in Pontiac.
The public is invited to attend the hearing and offer input on the proposed budget.
The proposed $146.9 million budget represents an increase of about $17.8 million compared to the $129.1 million 2017 budget adopted in September of last year. The 2018 proposed budget increased primarily due to an anticipated increase in state and federal road funding.
Federal funds are awarded on a project-by-project basis, and the amount RCOC receives tends to fluctuate from year to year. These funds can be used only for heavy construction projects and not for routine maintenance activities such as pothole patching, grading gravel roads, plowing, etc.
RCOC anticipates slightly more than $88 million in state road funding, compared to just over $78 million received in the current year. State road funding is derived primarily from state-collected fuel taxes and vehicle-registration fees.
These state dollars continue to represent RCOC’s largest source of funding and its main funding source for operations. The anticipated increase is the result of the increased road-funding package enacted by the state Legislature in late 2015 which took effect in January 2017.
The proposed 2018 budget includes plans for approximately $49.7 million worth of road improvement projects such as road widenings, reconstructions, resurfacings and gravel road paving or work toward future road-improvement projects; $32.4 million for road maintenance efforts such as pothole patching, gravel road grading and salting and plowing in the winter; and nearly $12 million for maintaining traffic signs, signals, pavement markings and guardrails among other activities. The remainder of the budget is dedicated to operating expenses including customer services, vehicle maintenance, staff wages, buildings and grounds and administration.
RCOC’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Final adoption of the budget will take place in September.
“We are pleased to have new revenue coming in,” RCOC Chairman Eric Wilson said. “In 2017, the new money went right into improved pavement and that will be the case again in 2018.”
RCOC Vice Chairman Greg Jamian concurred. “Our Legislature finally enacted a road-funding package that is bringing in additional revenue,” he explained. “Even though it is not nearly enough to address decades of underfunding that led to the poor condition of roads,” he added, “it is a step in the right direction.”
Board Member Ron Fowkes added that the Board remains concerned about the second half of the funding package approved by the Legislature, which requires that the Legislature annually commit substantial state General Fund dollars to roads beginning in 2019. “We continue to be cautiously optimistic that the Legislature will appropriate $600 million yearly in addition to the funds from the increased gas tax and vehicle registration fees,” he noted. “The increase is nice this year. However, it does not make up for the past decade of declining revenue. That decline has meant reductions in our road-building and maintenance programs for a number years, so we continue playing a game of catch up while working within our financial ability.”
During the public hearing, RCOC Deputy Managing Director/County Highway Engineer Gary Piotrowicz will provide an overview of the 2018 Road Improvement Program (RIP) which includes next year’s road construction projects. Among the planned projects are:
Widen and reconstruct Baldwin Road between Morgan and Gregory roads in Orion Twp. (continuation of project started in 2017)
Widen and reconstruct Dequindre Road between Long Lake and Burningbush Drive on the Troy/Sterling Heights border (continuation of project started in 2017).
Intersection improvement at Adams and Gunn roads in Oakland Twp.
Resurface Opdyke Road between Auburn and Perry on the Auburn Hills/Pontiac border
Reconstruct Tripp Road between Dixie Highway and Van in Groveland Twp.
A complete list of projects expected to be constructed in 2018 is attached. Projects are typically selected based on a detailed computerized road-assessment program combined with engineers’ analysis. The decisions are often made years before work actually begins because of funding requirements.
“RCOC continues to improve the safety of our roads throughout Oakland County,” RCOC Managing Director Dennis Kolar said. “We know that many roads still need improvement and appreciate the patience of our citizens and businesses as we continue to work through a very long needs list.
“The improving economy is putting people back to work and more traffic on roads increasing congestion. Unfortunately, funding has not kept up with population and job growth and the demands to widen roads,” Kolar added.
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Editor’s Note: The list of anticipated projects to be constructed in 2018 and a summary of proposed revenues and expenses are attached.
PROPOSED 2018 BUDGET
October 1, 2017 - September 30, 2018
Total Revenues $146,857,412
Total expenses $146,857,412
Proposed 2018 RCOC Road Improvement Projects (RIP)
This list includes only projects that will be constructed in 2018, not those where only design or only right of way acquisition (ROW) work is planned for 2018. To avoid confusion over the project costs, the costs listed are the estimated construction costs for each project, and do not include any preliminary engineering (PE) or ROW acquisition costs.
Widen (reconstruct adding additional through lanes) Project Cost
Baldwin Road, Gregory to Waldon in Orion Twp. (widen to 5-lane/4-lane blvd.,construct
three roundabouts (second phase of a two-part project) $12,500,000
Dequindre, Long Lake to Burningbush on the Troy/Sterling Heights border (widen 2 lanes to 5) $13,000,000
Reconstruct (remove existing road and construct new road) Project Cost
Tripp Road, Dixie to Van (includes culvert replacement), Groveland Twp. $ 2,200,000
Hamlin Road, Adams to city limits, Rochester Hills $ 3,200,000
Repair, Rehabilitate & Resurface (repair road base/add 3 to 4 inches new asphalt) Project Cost
Adams Road, Square Lake to South Blvd., Bloomfield Twp. and Troy $ 1,800,000
Maple Road, Haggerty to Drake Road (includes adding center left-turn
lane where it does not currently exist), West Bloomfield Twp. $ 5,500,000
Opdyke Road, Auburn to Perry, Auburn Hills and Pontiac $ 4,725,000
South Blvd, Adams to Crooks, Rochester Hills and Troy $ 1,500,000
Gravel Road Paving Project Cost
Napier Road, 9 Mile to 10 Mile, Lyon Twp. and Novi $ 2,500,000
Intersection Safety Improvement Project Cost
Flint Road at Miller/Orion, Lake Orion and Orion Twp. $ 400,000
Grand River Avenue at South Hill, Lyon Twp. $ 1,200,000
Adams at Gunn Road, Oakland Twp. $ 2,000,000
Bridges Project Cost
Landsowne Road, over Williams Lake Canal, Waterford Twp. (preventative maintenance) $ 125,000
Manor Road, over Rouge River, Bloomfield (preventative maintenance) $ 185,000
Secord Lake Road, over East Creek, Addison Twp. (preventative maintenance) $ 250,000
Wixom Road, over Huron River, Commerce Twp. (bridge replacement) $ 2,400,000
Culverts Project Cost
Haggerty Road, over Seeley Drain, Farmington Hills and Novi $ 650,000
Kurtz Road, over Swartz Creek, Holly Twp. $ 850,000
Lake George Road, over Stoney Creek, Oakland Twp. $ 950,000
South Blvd., over Ferry Creek, Rochester Hills and Troy $ 750,000
Concrete Slab Replacement Project Cost
Long Lake Road, Corporate to Tower, Troy $ 525,000
Preservation Overlays (simple resurfacing) Project Cost
North Holly Road, Grange Hall Road to Countyline $ 1,500,000
Walton Blvd., Squirrel to Adams, (includes 3 culverts) Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills $ 4,400,000
Total cost of projects to be constructed in 2018
(some of the costs may be outside of the 2018 budget year) : $58,150,00