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      City of Marquette starting much-needed road repairs

      With winter out of the way, the City of Marquette is getting to work on fixing damaged roads.

      Fixing broken roads is a task we have to face after nearly every winter in the U.P. But the recent winter was uncommonly cold, which means the city has a uncommon amount of roads to fix.

      "Typically , during a normal winter, we'll have maybe 8 to 12 restoration projects that will be required. This year, we've experienced between 50 and 60 due to the harsh winter." said Marquette Public Works Director Curt Goodman.

      A lot of the new road problems can be attributed to damages from frozen water mains building up pressure and the city digging up sections of road to fix them. These missing sections are everywhere in the city from Grove Street, to Elder Drive to Magnetic Street to name only a few.

      Through a specialized system the city evaluates how bad the road damage is and what method will be used to fix it. Which can be anything from outright reconstruction to a process called mill-and -overlay.

      "The contractor will come through and basically mill up part of the road. It's not full depth, maybe an inch, inch and a half they take off the surface of the road, the asphalt. That's milled up, thrown into a truck and taken away. They then come back and actually pave an inch, inch and a half over that, what's left over." said city engineer Keith Whittington.

      The roads with water main issues aren't the only type of road in need of fixing. But they are the most pressing concern right now.

      The city has set aside $350,000 to fix all of said roads, but they"re hoping to qualify for a FEMA grant and possibly be reimbursed by Governor Snyder's Declaration of Emergency Initiative.

      With permission to start granted at a city meeting last night, Public Works hopes to fix all the affected roads by next month. More mainstream road repair is going to take a few more months to begin once the city begins its budgeting process.