- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

WYOMING, Mich. (AP) - Concrete is crumbling on a three-mile stretch of the M-6 freeway south of Grand Rapids years before it should’ve started deteriorating, according to state transportation officials.

“That pavement on M-6 should have lasted a decade longer,” Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman John Richard said. “Unfortunately, it sticks out like a sore thumb. It is rare for pavement to behave this way.”

Transportation officials are blaming the failure on a shortage in the natural resin used in highway concrete, which adds bubbles and helps it withstand big swings in temperatures, when the freeway was built about a dozen years ago, Richard told WOOD-TV (https://bit.ly/1SPdGfm ). Because more natural resin was being sold to the cosmetic industry, crews working on the project were forced to use synthetic resin, which hadn’t been perfected, he said.

“All these cold states that have freeze-thaw cycles experienced this pavement that had premature deterioration,” Richard said. “The joints are what’s failing on M-6 because of the bad concrete mix.”

The department plans to spend $10 million to tear out and rebuild the stretch of M-6 between Kent and Ottawa counties in 2018.

The nearly 20-mile freeway connecting Interstate 196 in Ottawa County to Interstate 96 in Cascade Township was completed in 2004 at a cost of $700 million. The warranty covering the concrete on the stretch of freeway expired in November 2011.

The state spent almost $2 million to fix crumbling asphalt on the east end of the freeway in 2009 because the warrant on that work also had run out.

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Information from: WOOD-TV, https://www.woodtv.com

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