PI County Road Commission to hold informational meeting

ALLIS TOWNSHIP – The Presque Isle County Road Commission will hold an informational meeting tonight in Allis Township to discuss the effects of a nearly $2 million construction project.

The county received a $1,484,272 grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation to fix part of its high-wire corridor, road commission Superintendent Jerry Smigelski said. It’s a route used by Moran Iron Works to move steel fabrications from its shop in Onaway to the Port of Calcite in Rogers City. Moran recently received a grant as part of its plans to add 75 people to its work force, so the county was able to apply for a Transportation Economic Development Fund grant.

“In our case, Moran Iron Works in Onaway has provided new jobs that are required to obtain this grant,” he said. “So when we fill out the grant application … Moran Iron Works said they will have ‘X’ amount of jobs that will either be new jobs or retained jobs because of this. That’s how they base the funding, it’s based on the number of jobs it will help create.”

The grant will go toward road work to bring stretches of West 638 Highway and Glasier Road in Allis Township, along with a short stretch of Petersville Road in Rogers Township, up to all-season standard, Smigelski said. After grinding up the existing asphalt, adding gravel and repaving the roads, these stretches will no longer be subject to spring frost laws. As a side benefit, the project will replace pavement that’s currently in bad shape.

Smigelski and a representative from R. S. Scott Associates, the project’s engineering firm, will meet with the public at 7 p.m. tonight to answer questions about how this project will affect residents in the construction zones. The meeting will take place at the Allis Township Hall, at the intersection of West 638 Highway and Glasier Road.

Work should begin at the end of August or the beginning of September, and should be completed by Oct. 31, Smigelski said. The roads will be open to traffic during the project, except for a few temporary closures at the intersection of Pickett Road and West 638 Highway.

“There’s a hill there we’re going to be removing some material from,” he said, adding a stretch of Glasier Road also will be closed temporarily for “some excavation of some muck.”

At this point, engineering for the project is complete and up for review by MDOT, Smigelski said. He expects to get the OK to put out for bids on the project in July.

The Presque Isle County Road Commission, along with Allis and Rogers townships, will be putting up nearly $500,000 combined as a local match for the grant, Smigelski said. Out of this, Allis Township will foot about $100,000 and Rogers Township will cover around $10,000.

Money for the grant comes from the Michigan Transportation Fund, Smigelski said. A portion of the fuel tax and vehicle registration revenues going into the fund go toward grants like this one.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.