Houghton County Road Commission looks for statewide sources to help match funds

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HOUGHTON COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - The Western U.P. recently received $19.2 million in emergency relief aid from the Federal Highway Administration.

The Houghton County Road Commission says this money will be used to pay back funds used for repair flood damage from heavy rains last June 17.

Of the $30 million in damages to the Houghton County Road System, about $15 million was repaired on some highways through FHA and on local roads through FEMA.

This money was spent in the fall in anticipation of this recent federal funding.

However, to secure the full $22 million in FHA funding assistance for road and bridge damage, the road commission still needs to provide around $4.5 million in matching funds.

"We only as a road commission receive about $5 million in gas taxes, so we need to find another source for it," said county engineer, Kevin Harju. "We already took out a SIB loan until we can find another source, but we are currently working with legislatures to try to get fund to pay that match."

The road commission is also using the winter bidding out contractors to begin repairs on local roads in the spring.

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