Winter storm cleanup costs Oakland CO. $3M - KMSP-TV

Winter storm cleanup costs Oakland CO. $3M

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(WJBK) -

Oakland Co. may be one of the richest counties in Michigan but when it comes to the roads, it gets the same funding from the gas tax and registration fees like every other county.

Craig Bryson from the Oakland Co. Road Commission claims back-to-back snowstorms that dumped more than two feet of snow, followed by below-freezing temperatures and nearly a 60 degree warmup wreaked havoc on the roads, the crews and the winter maintenance budget.

"That caused us to be working literally 24 hours a day seven days a week, with only a few exceptions, for almost a two-week period. That really eats a lot of our budget up that way," Bryson says. The cleanup has already cost the county three million dollars.

The Oakland County Road Commission will continue to patch potholes, saying it's mandatory for the safety of motorists, but the money may not be available to resurface roads to prevent future potholes. Bryson says the county has already used two thirds of its winter maintenance budget.

"The cure for potholes is to resurface the road, and pothole patching is just band aid, temporary repairs that we have to do. And because of things like this weather, we'll do less of the resurfacing which means we'll have more potholes in the future. I mean, it's a vicious cycle," he says.

If the winter weather proves to take a milder turn the commission may break even.

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