Mild Winter Results in Road Savings
The relatively mild winter has allowed road crews in St. Clair Shores and Macomb County to save money and divert resources to other projects.
The mild winter in St. Clair Shores and Macomb County has resulted in savings and diverted resources to other projects.
St. Clair Shores Department of Public Works reported that through early February street crews had only used 30 percent of the salt used during the previous winter.
Crews that would have been plowing and salting worked on other projects including:
- Picking up and sweeping leaves along city streets before Christmas.
- Responding to emergency tree trimmings and removals during wind and ice storms.
- Street sign replacements at more than 50 locations.
- Removal of 60 trees since Jan. 1, 2012.
Savings were also realized at the county level, where the Macomb County Department of Roads reported nearly $1.4 million in equipment, manpower and maintenance savings compared to the same time last year.
Salt usage was also down, with the county only using 4,799 tons. Last year the county had used 39,119 tons of salt.
“We expect next year’s salt purchase to be less due to the abundant stockpiles at our five salt storage facilities,” Bob Hoepfner, director of the Department of Roads, said in a release. “As everyone in Michigan knows, we still have a month of winter left and anything can happen.”
County officials said savings from the winter maintenance budget will be used to expand the limestone program on our gravel roads, complete additional asphalt resurfacing, repair concrete pavement through the Pavement Preservation Program and purchase additional equipment.
“While we may have seen shortfalls in specific areas of the county budget, these Act 51 funds are designated specifically for roads and cannot be used for other county services,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel in a release. “We will surely take advantage of Mother Nature’s good mood as it gives us an opportunity to use the $1.4 million for the sole purpose of road improvements.”