JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — It’s no secret that roads across Mid-Michigan are in rough shape.
But road crews in Jackson County now have a new weapon in the battle for better roads.
6 News was there as this new equipment rolled onto the streets for its first road repair.
The monster pavement-gobbling machine is the first of its kind for a county in the United States, and its rolling right past Luther Cox’s house on Rosehill Road.
“It’s really interesting, I like to see the new technology they’ve got going for them,” Cox said.
Rosehill is the first road in Jackson County to be repaved with this recently purchased $5 million road recycling system.
“We are actually building something great for the community, mile by mile,” said Christopher Bolt, Managing Director of the Jackson County Department of Transportation.
First, the machine breaks up the pavement and sucks it up.
The old road material is mixed with oil and water to make new asphalt, that’s then put back onto the road and pressed down to become a strong bottom layer of pavement.
A top coat of pavement is added later.
Bolt says this recycled roadway is built to last, and will better withstand pothole-producing Michigan weather.
“It’s very strong, robust. And it’s a good 6-8 inches thick, just using the former road material,” Bolt said.
With road conditions rapidly deteriorating in Jackson County, there’s no doubt that this new equipment will be a big game changer for JDOT.
“We expect to require a lot less maintenance for a decade, two decades, maybe even longer,” Bolt said.
Bolt says that translates to a project cost saving of $125 million over 50 years.
He’s thankful Jackson County government made this big investment, and is glad his department is paving the way for the future of road repair.
“We’re very excited to be leading the effort,” Bolt said.
While it does come with a hefty price tag, it’s an expense that neighbors on Rosehill Road say was well worth it.
“Our roads are getting bad. It’s really going to help the county out a lot,” Cox said.