Per Discussion today with the engineering consulting firm hired to plan this project, we’re asking the right questions, and framing everything the right way, using the correct terminology, to have a chance of success at qualifying for a design exception. The pressure residents are putting on is having an effect.
Per phone conversation with the county DOT project manager, the project is temporarily on hold while the county, township, and village are sorting out jurisdictional matters; and the aforementioned engineering consultants are not authorized to do further new work on this project until the matter is resolved. I’ve asked the county for confirmation of this in writing. This is a great first step in the right direction! But remember it is not a final victory.
The project could be resumed at any point in time. And even if it were fully cancelled today, a day will come when the road will need maintenance. The road will not last forever without service, and when the time comes, some municipality will need to pay for it. Whether that municipality is the village or the township or the county, those politicians will need to fund it, likely via a tax on their residents directly, OR apply for federal funds.
If they want to use federal funds, they will need to build according to the federal standards, and we’ll be right back where we started.
We must be proactive today while we have momentum. Let us put the pieces in place to qualify for a design exception. This way, whether that day comes in 1 year or 10 years, when the road needs maintenance, funding may be used without needing to widen the roads or cut down the trees.