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Grand Traverse County Road commission finds buried road

"From our perspective it's very surprising roads lasted as long as it has," said Grand Traverse County Road Commission Manager Jim Cook.

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY,Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- An old road in northern Michigan is causing some new expensive problems for taxpayers.

Crews found a road buried underneath the current South Airport Road in Grand Traverse County.

"We weren't sure what the condition was going to be," said Grand Traverse County Road Commissioner Andy Marek. "It could've been pummeled, it could've been crushed but when we saw the road the thing that amazed me the most was that the paint looks better than the stuff we have on top now."

In some spots the old road was as deep as 30 inches below the current road.

"When you look at how the road is constructed compared to today's standards it just shouldn't have lasted as long as it has," said Marek.

"From our perspective it's very surprising roads lasted as long as it has," said Grand Traverse County Road Commission Manager Jim Cook.

The road commission is getting ready to re-do south airport from Veterans Drive to US 31.

With this new find, the project could end up adding close to $1 million to the total cost. Bringing it up to nearly $3.5 million.

"It's sort of typical road construction where you have to deal with what you find and make the appropriate design decisions to have a good long lasting road when we get the project done."

Since the road was buried nearly 30 years ago, how it got there in the first place is still a mystery.

"My guess would be that somebody thought they would save money by just building a new road over the existing road," said Cook.

Cook said they will be presenting design options to the board at the next meeting. They will also be looking at different ways to pay for it.

"We're not going to increase your taxes to fix it, it's just a matter of what projects may or may not get done, or how we can get other finances from other sources to get the road fixed," said Marek.

Cook said they hope to start bidding out the project this winter and plan to have it completed sometime in 2018.

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