City Adopts 2016 Road Projects List, Approaches Local Road Investment Milestone


At the end of the current year the city of Dexter will have invested $1.7 million into local streets due to the implementation of a comprehensive road maintenance plan, that was adopted by the city council in April 2014.

The most recent stage of this ongoing effort to be pro-active with maintenance of local roads in the midpoint of their life cycle involved the adoption of a July 2016 road projects list that focuses on subdivision roads in Dexter Crossing and Westridge. The plan was amended at the last regular city council meeting to also include Carrington Drive and Eaton Court, as well as micro-surfacing a portion of Dexter-Ann Arbor Road.

The roads that were already on the list included: Coventry Circle, South Downs, Wellington (Carrington to Bristol) Preston, Bristol, Parkridge Court, Samuel Glacier, Boulder, Westridge, Eastridge, Webster, and Bridgeway.

This work will be done by Michigan road construction firm Highway Maintenance.

When holes like these start showing up on a roadway, it’s either time to cape seal or wait for the road to deteriorate and need complete replacement eventually.

Dexter will receive $108,000 in countywide road millage from the winter 2015 tax rolls which will be paired up with $102,000 from the city’s road maintenance fund for a total of $210,000 in work to be completed by the end of this year’s construction season.

The city’s road committee created the above list of streets, which were ones mostly needing cape sealing, which is the less costly method of addressing roads that are only slightly worn with a surface treatment that extends their useful life measured by the 1 to 10 PASER (Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating). The goal of the maintenance plan is get each local road to a 5 or greater rating and then maintain the greater than 5 rating going forward.

There are some major line items on the list both in terms of the amount of work and, of course, the amount it will cost.

Soil boring tests found that “Kingsley, a majority of Bristol and a portion of Wellington” will need to be reconstructed from curb to curb since the base and asphalt levels are “not acceptable.” based on the city’s engineering standards.

City Councilman Zach Michels asked City Manager Courtney Nicholls about the core samples and wanted to know if the deficiencies in work quality could be avoided in the future.

“Our earlier inspection process wasn’t as robust,” Nicholls responded. adding that there’s one less inch of asphalt in tandem with too much base when there should be less base and an additional inch for a total of four inches of asphalt.

“It’s something we’ll have to deal with,” Dexter Department of Public Services Superintendent Dan Schlaff said to both Michels and Nicholls.

The good news is that this grouping of roadwork will take care of most of the subdivision work in the city, according to Nicholls.

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Councilman Jim Carson, who spearheaded proactive road maintenance years ago with now former Councilman Joe Semifero, said he was pleased with the progress that has been made in maintaining city streets in a manner that reduces longterm repair and replacement costs.

“The intention was to develop a plan that could go on for years that our staff and (Department of Public Service) and our street workers could buy into … they have done that very well,” Carson said. “If you look at the PASER ratings, we’re ahead of the game. The goal was to get roads repaired and in good condition in the middle of their life and not the end of their life and we’ve gotten a handle on that.”

Prep work for these road projects will begin first week of June and commence through July.

In other news, past due utility bills that are not paid by April 30 will automatically go on a property owner’s tax bill. If taxes aren’t paid with or without past due utility charges rolled in, the city can seek a lien on the property which encumbers the title.

This is one of the new ways that the city does business as a charter city, in addition to posting an ad and providing a report to the city council, which showed 11 properties were in jeopardy of falling into this exclusive and also unfortunate grouping.

“Everyone has been contacted multiple times,” Nicholls told council. In the case of a rental property, it is the owner’s responsibility to pay the bill.

If you have news you would like to see on contact Content and Community Manager Sean Dalton at

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1 Comment

  • It isn’t lead in the water, but the cause is the same and the solution to the past ineptitude is the need for more money in the future. “…Zach Michels asked City Manager Courtney Nicholls about the core samples and wanted to know if the deficiencies in work quality could be avoided in the future. “Our earlier inspection process wasn’t as robust,” Nicholls responded…”

    No accountability for the people who didn’t do their job yet keep their jobs. This is just the tip of the iceberg in road repair needs for Dexter and the surrounding area as the growth spurt of the late 90’s and early 2000’s road infrastructure degrades earlier than expected because of shoddy and cheap installation that was overlooked by the government process of inspection.

    Another example of this are the homes which were “totaled” from the tornado a few years back. Totaled because they were NOT secured to the foundations. Millions of dollars of homes lost because inspectors did not confirm that a hundred dollars or so of hardware was used to secure house frames to the foundations.

    Millions of dollars of repairs will continue to be needed because road inspections of the past were not as “robust” as they needed to be. And from that type of government accountability we had back then, it has grown larger into a city that will be asking for more money to correct the lack of “robustness” of the past.

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