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Wayne County lab testing roads before they are built

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Posted at 4:41 AM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 07:49:03-05

WAYNE, Mich. (WXYZ) — The Wayne County Department of Public Services has a special lab used to test the very last pebble that goes into our roads.

The lab dubbed ‘Wayne County Department of Public Services Testing Lab’ is located off of Michigan Ave., west of Venoy Road, in the city of Wayne.

“What it ensures that we are getting is the best bang for our buck,” said Elizabeth Taylor, who works inside the lap as a department administrator.

“We test federal funded jobs, MDOT funded jobs, county jobs local agency jobs, pretty much everything,” said Keith Donaldson, a department manager inside the lab.

7 Action News got the chance to take a tour of the lab to see what work is being done inside. They test the durability and chemical makeup of concrete, asphalt, pothole cold-patch and salt laid on the roads during snow storms.

They also test steel beams used inside roads and bridges, testing it to make sure it can withstand extreme amounts of pressure.

Taylor says the county has the technology to make the best roads possible, but what is lacking is funding.

“We are doing what we can, right now, with the money that we have, the issue that we are facing is a funding issue, we know how to build a good road, we just don’t have the funding to do it,” said Taylor.

Donaldson says there is more money this year than in years past for fixing the roads, which means they are doing more testing. He says if the project is a Wayne County project, they test before doing any work. They also help test other projects as well.