Road commission discusses roadway clearing

CENTREVILLE — St. Joseph County Road Commission director of operations Michel Harris reported to road commissioners at their meeting Wednesday, Dec. 21 that in December 2015 they used 766 tons of sand/salt mix, but so far this month, they had used 2,873 tons.
“We burn through 13,000-14,000 tons of material per year,” he said, noting it costs $90 per ton.
“A quarter of that already, and today’s [the first day of] winter,” road commissioner Dave Yunker said.
The road commission does not have a bare road policy, rather its personnel put mix on hills, curves and intersections, and put spots of mix on straightaways.
“We’re doing the best we can with what we have,” Yunker said. He advised that “we live in Michigan, we have winter, slow down.”
Managing director Chris Minger said if the road commission tried to de-ice the primary roads with the staff they had, they would have to give up doing the local roads.
Road commissioner John Bippus asked about the possibility of increasing the budget for the road commission’s winter activities and decreasing the budget for summer activities, but said that the numbers “would be a guess.”
Elena Meadows can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or

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