Road commission faces budget difficulties fixing potholes

ISHPEMING — We’re in the middle of spring weight restrictions and that means there are a fresh crop of potholes showing up.

The roadbeds that support the asphalt get soft which brings out the imperfections in the pavement. When those imperfections are driven on they get kicked out and form potholes. A mix of cold and warm weather with an abundance of rain heavily effects the condition of the roads.

“Because of the condition of our roads, funding has been down,” said Marquette County Road Commission Engineer Manager Jim Iwanicki “the last time there was an increase in our revenue was in 1997. We haven’t been able to keep up with the paving that we would like to do, so we have a lot of roads out there that are in poor condition because of the age of the roads, and because of that poor condition and the age of the roads you tend to get more potholes on those than we would normally like to see.”

The Marquette County Road Commission’s budget difficulties force them to prioritize what is being done. Their primary goal is to take care of winter maintenance. Once that is over, they spend what they have left for summer maintenance.

“We do a lot of band–aid fixes out there,” Iwanicki continued, “and those include pothole patching, some thin overlays, and again it’s not the thing we would like to do, but it’s the thing we can afford to do.”

The Marquette County Road Commission encourages citizens to learn more about Proposal 1 for May to see what changes could be made.