by Angus W. Stocking, L.S.
“Genesee County is the 5th largest, of the 83 Michigan Counties,” says Randall Dellaposta, Director of Equipment and Facilities at the Genesee County Road Commission (GCRC). “And of course we have a lot of roadway to take care of—almost 2,000 miles of paved and unpaved primary and local roads, and are under contract with MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation) to maintain an additional 799 lane miles of state highway. Like other road commissions, we’re pressed to get it all done.”
One particular challenge is catch basin rehabilitation. There are several thousand catch basins in the 17 townships within GCRC’s jurisdiction, and many are made of brick and date back to the 1920s and 1930s. As they age, catch basin failure has caused major problems for Genesee County motorists. “We have certainly experienced failures, including collapse and roadway sinkage,” Dellaposta explains. “When that happens, we have no choice but to put up signs, close the road, and immediately start emergency repairs. And depending on conditions, we may see flooding before repairs can be completed. A failed catch basin really can be a severe roadway hazard.”