Fixed or flawed? GR neighbors question road resurfacing results

Brenton Court in Grand Rapids
Brenton Court in Grand Rapids after a city road resurfacing project.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — While the surface is new in a neighborhood off Kalamazoo Avenue in Grand Rapids, property owners are concerned they still may be in for a bumpy ride.

“Throughout the whole roadway there’s different streaks… where there’s a variation of coverage,” said resident Dan Cooke, pointing out the small ruts in the road.

City crews resurfaced Brenton Court and three other connecting streets.

“They had a mechanical spreader that just kind of squirted out this slurry and had a couple of guys that were swabbing the deck and mopping stuff around,” he said. “It was funny, everybody came out and said ‘Is this it? Are you kidding?'”

24 Hour News 8 took the homeowner’s concerns to Grand Rapids Public Services Director James Hurt.

Brenton Court in Grand Rapids
Brenton Court in Grand Rapids after a city road resurfacing project.

“Structurally, the treatment will work real well. The surface will be fine,” Hurt said.

He says the projects on Brenton Court and other residential streets involve laying down crushed stone and covering it with a liquid asphalt sealant. Hurt says the stone will eventually compact down and smooth out, much like what happened on Kalamazoo Avenue between 28th and 44th streets last year.

The Brenton Court project is part of the ongoing street maintenance plan supported by tax dollars through an extension of the city income tax approved by voters in 2014.

It is among 362 projects on city’s list this year.

“This year we’re slated to do almost 34 miles of streets. That’s a lot of streets,” said Hurt.

Some streets like Brenton Court will get a basic repair, like cape sealing. Others will be completely reconstructed. The city uses asset management to evaluate the condition of the road and decide what needs to be done.

“We use a one to 10 rating on streets. So those that are in the five to six range are getting this treatment to bring it up, make it last another seven to ten years,” Hurt explained.

While he admits it may not look pretty, Hurt says cape sealing Brenton Court will save money down the road.

Some neighbors remain skeptical.

“Our road was in pretty good shape, so we don’t think it needed anything yet,” said Cooke. “And now what they’ve kind of done is made it in worse shape.”

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