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      Road commissions begin with spring projects

      Road Commissions all over the Upper Peninsula are prepping for what most likely will be a troublesome spring.

      â??Iâ??ve got two employees that go out and monitor the system daily to check for any flooding, any plugged culverts, any ditch line issues,â?? said Dickinson County Road Commission Superintendent, Jim Harris.

      The Dickinson County Road Commission has been out for about a month and a half steaming out culverts and patching up potholes.

      â??We have the crews on occasion out on the weekend if we get calls when there are some bad potholes,â?? Harris said.

      Besides the employees that monitor the county roads, those at the commission say they also rely on the general public to call in and tell them when they see a nasty pothole. They expect the pothole situation to be so bad this spring that they're planning ahead with resources.

      â??We just purchased over 90 tons of patch material, so we're ready,â?? Harris said.

      At anywhere from $115 to $120 per ton, they're looking at spending around $10,500 on patch material alone. Fortunately for them, they received a grant of $179,000 to help with these spring project costs. But potholes arenâ??t the only thing they worry about.

      â??One of the biggest concerns is flooding,â?? Harris said. â??This year, especially since we had so much snow, we're working on the ditch lines and culvert steaming.â??

      â??At home I have a bunch of flooding,â?? said Iron Mountain resident, Jennifer Simon. â??Weâ??ve gotten more snow this year. My garage is completely filled with water across the bottom, and it seems like the snow is having a large impact on my life right now.â??

      The Road Commission says the public can actually help when it comes to projects for this spring.

      â??As far as snowplowing goes, try not to plow your snow out toward the ditch line and fill the ditch line,â?? Harris said. â??It becomes burdensome because we have to go their location, remove the snow, and it all takes time.â??

      Thatâ??s precious time that would otherwise be spent filling in the many potholes throughout the area.