FLINT TWP. — After years of being a potholed mess, Court Street is now a smooth black ribbon of flat asphalt, thanks to a recent milling and resurfacing project that is drawing rave reviews from both residents and township officials.
The road work extends the entire length of Court Street -about three and half miles from the Flint City limits to Elms Road. Part of the work from Linden Road to the city limits was budgeted to be done last year but county road crews were too busy to get to it before the construction season ended.
That turned out to be a good thing since it allowed for the entire roadway to be done this year at last year’s prices, said Mike Pifer of Kraft Engineering & Surveying, Inc., who oversaw the project.
It also made it possible for the entire project to be contracted to Ace-Saginaw Paving Company, which Pifer described as the best in the county, if not the state. Township roads usually are paved by crews from the Genesee County Road Commission.
Ace received kudos not only for pricing and work quality but also for efficiency. The project began on May 22 with work being completed from the city limits to Graham Road. After a three-day break from May 26 for the Memorial Day holiday, work resumed May 29 on the western leg of the road from Graham to Elms and wrapped up on May 30, Pifer said.
That means that Ace completed milling and resurfacing the road in about five days which meant limited inconvenience for residents and other travelers on the road. Traffic was reduced to one lane and maintained by flag control., he said.
On top of being an excellent paving job, the project came in on budget, Pifer said, noting that is not always easy to do given fluctuating asphalt prices.
The total project cost of $409,743 will be split 50-50 by the township and road commission, Initially, it was thought that the township would pay for the bulk of the work but a one-time state of Michigan supplement made the 5o-50 split possible, potentially freeing up leftover funds for other township road projects.
“It was in bad shape,’” Pifer said of driving conditions on Court Street. He noted that the work done was a maintenance project that will hold up seven to ten years before major reconstruction will be needed.
Township Supervisor Karyn Miller said that some ditching work remains on Court Street from Linden to Elms that the road commission is planning to complete by the end of the summer.
Applause from the audience greeted the end of Pifer’s presentation. Two residents spoke during public comment to add their appreciation.
“It was the fastest jobs I have ever seen,” said Ralph Lewis, expressing his thanks.
Nina MacGillivray, a Court Street resident, said she had resorted to driving down the center of the road to avoid potholes along the edges, before the work was done. She also said she had to pick up chunks of broken asphalt before mowing her lawn. She also praised the courtesy and efficiency of the Ace work crew.
“I watched 14 trucks, I counted from my driveway, that were like a symphony they were so synchronized,” she said. “I have never seen anything like it.”
One of her neighbors, who had been out of town, expected to come home to a construction mess but returned to find the road work done and he could not be happier, she said.