Snow melt wreaks havoc on rural roads - WNEM TV 5

Snow melt wreaks havoc on rural roads

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
ARENAC COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

"It's terrible. We lived on a paved road for thirty three years and then moved up here to this big mess," said Sue Aikens.

That mess is the dirt road Sue Aikens and her husband Charles live on. Simply put there's muck everywhere.

"We have to wash our car every time before we can put it in the garage because the mud just falls off. It's like soup," Sue Aikens said.

Many streets in Arenac County full of the sludgy dirt. TV5 found folks sledding through the mud.

"You either have road rage or four wheel drive," Charles Aikens said.

Charles Aikens said he knows the rapid snow melt, coupled with our recent rains isn't helping. But he believes enough isn't being done to maintain these roads.

"Mother nature has a role but this is the same every year we have the same problem here," Charles Aikens said.

Mounds of mud and muck get pretty tall, which is not ideal for those driving small cars.

Heather Preston worries about what might happen if there is an emergency.

"I don't have four wheel drive. I don't have a four wheeler. I mean I'm stuck," Preston said.

Preston said she thinks the road commission can do a better job of making her street more useable.

"Most of the time you're trapped at home. Or you have to park way down the road and walk home," Preston said. "And that's not great when you have groceries or a bag of dog food. It's horrible."

Sue Aikens said she wants the days of dealing with mud to end soon.

"I'd at least like some gravel on this road. You know our taxes are the same as everybody else's. And this muddy road is for the birds," Sue Aikens said.

Blair Dyer, the superintendent of the Arenac County Road Commission, said the road conditions right now are the worst he's ever seen.

Dyer said the rapid warm-up is to blame for the deteriorating road conditions. But Dyer said while the gravel roads are holding up better, there isn't money available to convert the dirt roads to gravel.

"Normally it takes about $24,000 to $25,000 of stone road per mile," Dyer said.

Dyer is asking people to be patient, and said there isn't much his crews can do until the water dries up.

"I think we're over the worst of it and as soon as it dries up a little bit we'll be able to fix them up," Dyer said. "Just know that we're out there trying to help. But right now the rain we've had is not helping us much either."

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