KALAMAZOO, Mich. — A section of road slightly longer than a football field has mistakenly earned Kalamazoo 53 years of state funding.
Kalamazoo Deputy City Manager Jeff Chamberlain told MLive (http://bit.ly/2d39ERp ) that an inaccessible section of Crane Avenue near Crane Park was wrongly certified as a public road in 1963.
“If it’s on the state’s list (of public roads), it was done in error at some point in the past,” Chamberlain said. “Anyone who is with the city in 1963 is no longer here now, (so) we’re not sure how it was put on this list.”
The road’s status is at the center of a conflict between residents who use it as the only safe way to access their condominium development and city officials who believe it should stay closed to traffic.
The 350-foot segment earned Kalamazoo $192 in local street funding this year.
Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman Nick Shirripa said steps are being taken to decertify the road. He says the department is aware of Kalamazoo’s mistake, although it’s unlikely there will be any consequences for the city.
“Now that we are aware that it’s closed, it’s required to be removed (from MDOT’s list of public roads),” he said. “It’s not our practice to require payment for such overpayments, and I don’t know of any law empowering MDOT to demand those refunds or penalize for wrong certifications.”
Vehicle traffic through a small section of Crane Avenue was stopped when a locked gate and boulders were placed on either side. What Kalamazoo calls a park driveway is listed on the MDOT’s list of public roads, meaning that by law, it must remain open.
Information from: Kalamazoo Gazette, http://www.mlive.com/kalamazoo