We are so excited and thankful to have two fantastic Grand Valley State University students helping us at the MACC this summer!
Madeline: “I have lived in Holland near Lake Macatawa my whole life. Exploring Michigan’s many beaches and forests has always made me curious about the environment. I started at GVSU in 2013, and was undecided about what I wanted to study. In my sophomore year I discovered natural resources management, and later added on minors in biology and photography. I plan to graduate spring 2018. After graduation I hope to get involved in community outreach and education around the environment.”
Every summer the MACC drives around our area roads to see how they are holding up. It’s like a yearly checkup at the doctors office, but instead its for our roads. Annually we are responsible to report the condition of 50% of our federal roads; therefore the MACC rates our portion of Ottawa County one year and Allegan County the next.
This year is special since we will be rating not only the heavily used federal roads, but also our local roads which include seemingly countless dead-end neighborhoods which can make us pretty dizzy after a few hours. This summer we will rate close to 600 miles of pavement!
PASER stands for Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating. It’s a visual survey of the condition of the surface of the road. It rates the condition of various types of pavement distress on a scale of 1-10. This system is used by most Michigan road agencies and helps us identify and prioritize future road resurfacing projects.
Road condition is entered into a computer system that is linked to a GPS navigation device connected to the vehicle. While an employee of MDOT is driving, he or she helps to identify the quality of the road and what rate it should be given. Once a number is given to the road, a MACC employee then enters that information into the laptop’s data collector software. Once back in the office, the data that was collected is then imported into RoadSoft. This software is used to evaluate road quality further. Each year, after rating is finished, the MACC reports all data to MDOT and the local units of government.
The Clean Air Action Coalition is all about educating the public on how air pollution can affect our physical health as well as the health of our natural environment.
Earlier this year the West Michigan Regional Dashboard, a dashboard that will track a common set of shared metrics on critical economic, environmental, and social outcomes in the 13-county West Michigan area, was released. Funded and supported by the West Michigan Prosperity Alliance, the goal of the dashboard is to track and share these 33 metrics as a regional dashboard so we can monitor our progress (or lack thereof).