2008.10.15.Mary Shellenbarger: Packard Road project

Packard Road “Maintenance?”

 

Finally, the westernmost just over two mile paved portion of Packard Road is going to be “fixed.” The residents began hearing of the repair work verbally on October 1 from the Lenawee County Road Commission, and local telephone companies. The last notification I’m aware of was on October 9.  “Maintenance” is to begin on October 20.

The Road Commission is widening and straightening the road from 18 to 22 feet; they are excavating new ditches, and installing new culverts. They have asked residents to clear what they can from the entire state-allowed right of way of 66 feet. The Road Commission told the residents conflicting repaving information, anywhere from next spring, to one to two years from now. One resident was told that the road would only be repaved if there was money.        

This “maintenance” will make this short section of  Packard Road two feet wider than Lime Creek Road, with a much wider clear vision area.  Several people will lose one-third or more of their front yards, including their landscaping and large, old trees to the right of way. Even the large trees left standing on the right of way boundary may not survive the root damage inflicted upon them by the ditch excavation; thereby denuding the road and some people’s front yards.

Medina Township is funding this project.  A public hearing was not required because they are calling this a “maintenance” project.   

The Lenawee County Road Commission is calling the multi-year, multi-phase project “reconstruction,” which I have been told should have had a public hearing held.

Because of the magnitude of changes being made, several of the residents are very upset.  They expected to have their road fixed within its basic current confines, with minimal impact to the character of their road, yards, and homes. They would have appreciated earlier notification, and the opportunity to have been included in the decision making processes. They would like a full written disclosure of the “repair” work to be done. They are concerned that the project will be started, and not completed–leaving them with what? Hopefully, not a bigger mess than what they now have.

Could this be the fate for every other area road that is ruined and needs “repair”? If so, I hope those residents will be treated with more consideration and respect.  

 – Mary (Walter) Shellenbarger 

(former Packard Road resident)

Ionia, Mich.

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