Traverse City Record-Eagle

Other Views

October 9, 2013

Another View: Dams in state badly need repairs

Several weeks ago, an Associated Press report that bridges in the state of Michigan that are in difficult condition made headlines.

Now, it’s dams.

In an in-depth story for Sunday’s editions, The Detroit Free Press reported that dams scattered all over the Michigan map are in varying states of decay and/or disrepair. A number are in the Upper Peninsula. One, the Lake Sally Dam on the Ely Creek in Marquette County, is rated as just fair.

The Free Press story reported that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality oversees 88 potential high-hazard dams in the state - and all but six of them are approaching or past 50 years old, the average engineered lifespan for a dam.

The Free Press stated that overall, more than 90 percent of Michigan’s nearly 2,600 dams will reach or exceed their design life by 2020, the American Society of Civil Engineers stated in a report giving Michigan a D grade on the condition of its dams. Many are privately owned.

The Free Press story quoted a 2007 study on the growing crisis of aging dams in Michigan, prepared by Public Sector Consultants and Prein and Newhof for the Michigan Municipal League Foundation (the report) said Michigan has nearly 120 dams in need of an estimated $50 million to address their repair or removal.

“It’s infrastructure in our country today, not just dams. Bridges, highways. That’s a huge, ticking time bomb in my mind for the entire country,” Byron Lane, chief of dam safety at the Department of Environmental Quality, said in the Free Press story.

When the states’s or nation’s crumbling infrastructure is discussed, the conversation very quickly turns to money, specifically how much and who pays.

The Mining Journal advocates a statewide dialogue on those very questions and we think that should be done sooner than later.

The Mining Journal, Marquette

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl