Alcona road painting set to begin

LINCOLN – If the weather holds, contractors will begin applying stripes and other pavement markings today to area roads, Alcona County road officials said. The first project is a 5.8-mile stretch of Spruce Road from the Chippewa Point gas station on US-23 to Hubbard Lake Road.

According to the road commission, about 50 miles of road are painted each season on a rotating basis. One mile of centerline marking alone costs more than $250.

The paint is water based, but dries in 20 seconds, said Supervisor Harold Truman, after Wednesday’s meeting of the Alcona County Road Commission. However, rain can cause delays.

Crews also have been applying chip seal to township roads, but have been held up by the recent rains, which brought more than an inch of precipitation to the area. Tar cannot be applied when the roads are wet, and on occasion crews have had to wait several hours before they could apply heated tar, he said.

If a truck load of tar has to be returned to an asphalt company, it costs the county $2,400, officials said. As is, a truckload of tar costs an extra $100 to maintain for every hour it sits waiting for the weather to change.

The county has more than 20 separate agreements with townships to provide coatings to area roads this summer.

In other business:

the commissioners approved payment of $257,868 in bills, including $107,000 for a new dump truck. The vehicle is being equipped with a dump box, underbody road scraping blade and hydraulics, and should be in service before winter.

the commissioners agreed to provide pavement material for a section of Poor Farm Road in Greenbush Township at a cost of $5,997.

the road commission will manage the inspection of dams, including one at Cedar Lake this fall, as part of a three-year inspection cycle. The cost will be around $300 to $500 per dam.

the commissioners canceled their next regularly scheduled meeting July 24 because Managing Director Jesse Campbell and Truman will be on vacation. They approved in advance payment of any bills.

Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.