ACRC salvages metal culverts

HUBBARD LAKE – Work resumed this week on a stretch of Hubbard Lake Road, and appeared to be going smoothly as a crew replaced metal culverts with concrete tubes.

Dan Kibbe, president of Huron Engineering & Surveying in Alpena, said the road will probably reopen to limited traffic next week.

Kibbe said the metal culverts were carefully removed by a Team Elmer’s construction crew so they can be reused by the Alcona County Road Commission on other projects.

The steel tubes became an issue for several reasons. The biggest was that Michigan Department of Transportation specifications required they be covered with at least 36 inches of gravel and pavement, causing them to lose some of their water-bearing capacity, Kibbe said.

In another portion of the road, a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality specialist recently recalculated the amount of water flowing underneath the roadway area from a large wetland, and specified that two 36-inch diameter concrete culverts be installed at that location this week.

Jesse Campbell, Alcona County Road Commission managing director, said the road commission will pay for the steel tubes, which have been salvaged.

Kibbe said his firm has volunteered to cover the additional cost of the concrete culverts and installation.

“It’s a partnership. We’re working together with the county,” Kibbe said. “I told Jesse, let’s get it in the ground, and get the project completed while we have good weather.”

If all goes well, Kibbe said the project is expected to be completed Oct. 18.

Another issue to be resolved is payment of $55,780 in construction management fees, officials said. That will be discussed down the line.

The stretch of road between Bennett Road and Spruce Road East cuts through Beck’s Swamp and has been plagued with water issues and potholes for decades.

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