Barry County crews work to raise 3 Mile out of water

Barry County

PRAIRIEVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Barry County crews are working yet again to bring a section of 3 Mile Road east of Plainwell out of the water.

Casey Smith’s trip to work got slightly longer as workers spent their time Friday raising a section of 3 Mile Road east of Doster Road in Prairieville Township.

“I just have to go around,” Smith said. “It adds about, I don’t know, seven minutes onto my commute when it’s usually three minutes.”

barry county 3 Mile Road construction
Construction along 3 Mile Road near Doster Road, east of Plainwell. (Nov. 8, 2019)

Jake Welch, the director of operations for the Barry County Road Commission, said high lake levels dumped water onto that section of the road, forcing drivers like Smith to take a detour.

“There’s no natural outlet to this pond or lake, if you will, so there’s no way to direct the water away from here,” Welch explained. “This is just the lowest spot in the area.”

barry county 3 Mile Road construction
Construction along 3 Mile Road near Doster Road, east of Plainwell. (Nov. 8, 2019)

Flooding is common in the area. So they don’t have to keep shutting the road down every time it happens, county crews came up with a permanent solution.

“We’re going to bring it up about a foot and a half,” Welch said. “That gavel we’re putting in right now will be a permanent fix.”

According to Welch, crews are using 120 truckloads of gravel to raise the road. While he said it’s a costly undertaking — about $50,000 — it beats the alternative.

“It’s not as costly as a bridge, but this was a good repair, a price range that can be absorbed into our budget,” Welch said.

He said the road will reopen in about two weeks.

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