Funding limits Keweenaw road projects

Daily Mining Gazette file photo Although Cliff Drive in Keweenaw County received repairs in July 2017, it is now in rough shaped. According to the Road Commission, due lack of funding for the road there are no repairs scheduled for the popular summer road, which is an alternative route between Phoenix and Ahmeek.

MOHAWK — As road repair season grows near, the Keweenaw County Road Commission does not have a set list of what repairs are necessary to what roads, said engineer Gregg Patrick.

“Repairs we don’t know much about until the snow melts,” Patrick said. “General things we kind of keep an eye on things. We kind of wait until we get into our springtime repairs and the snow is melted.”

Patrick said seasonal road restrictions pertaining to weight limits apply to county trucks, as well as other commercial vehicles, so road crews try to avoid traveling on their roads until further along into spring when they can be inspected.

“We try to stay off of our own roads,” said Patrick, “until we can get on them and start looking at them, and decide what we’re doing.”

Popular roads during the summer, such as Cliff Drive and Brockway Mountain Drive, are not scheduled for repairs or repaving this year due to lack of funding.

“We’d love to redo those roads, but we just don’t get any special or extra funding for them,” Patrick said. “They used to be funded years ago on the Federal Aid System, but they were removed, I think, way back in the 1970s.”

Brockway Mountain Drive was a topic at last week’s regular meeting, when the Keweenaw ATV Club requested clarification on ATV use on the road, considering ATV use of the county road is in violation of county ordinance.

Currently the club is seeking a resolution through the County Board.

The Sand Point Road in the Lac La Belle area and the Gratiot Lake Access Road will receive repairs and pavement this summer, funded by the five-year road millage approved by voters in the August 2015 election.

The millage, Patrick said, expires in 2020.