COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - The condition of Branch County roads keep getting worse while money to fix them is dwindling. That’s the message Road Commission Manager Trent Arver gave the Township Supervisors Association at their monthly meeting last night. Arver told the group that in 2005, thirty percent of the county roads were in good shape, and only 3 percent were considered poor. Six years later, the number of roads considered poor rose to 46 percent.
Arver said that over the last nine years, asphalt prices increased 68 percent while the cost of seal coating materials went up one hundred and eighty three percent, leaving fewer roads to be maintained.
Arver said .that our road system is in the shape it is because we have not kept up with increasing revenues to keep up with inflation. Some of the other states are at least a little ahead of the game.
The current road commission budget is six point six million dollars. Arver said in order to modestly improve current road conditions and replace the 19 deficient bridges in the county, an additional 19 and a half million dollars would be needed.
Arver said he would like to have a committee or group formed to set some priorities and determine if it would be feasible to let some roads return to gravel.