Bluff Road closed on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
Bluff Road closed on the Old Mission Peninsula | Jane Boursaw Photo
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Today’s Op-Ed is written by Bud Stych, a resident of Bluff Road on the Old Mission Peninsula. For more stories about the Bluff Road erosion situation, click here.

The Grand Traverse Road Commission (GTCRC) was notified about erosion to the bank in the area where Bluff Road is now failing in 2018, but refused to look into the situation or to join property owners in stabilizing the bluff.

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When a fallen tree created the first significant slide in the Fall of 2019, a resident called the GTCRC, only to be told it was not their issue; Peninsula Township had to take care of it.

Bluff Road has always been a county road; the Township has no jurisdiction over it.

The resident then contacted Township Supervisor Rob Manigold, who was subsequently told by the GTCRC that the Township had to pay for the repairs or establish a special assessment district. After Manigold insisted it was the county’s responsibility, the GTCRC took minimal action, installing orange barrels at the problem area.

At the beginning of 2020, GTCRC Manager Brad Kluczynski said it could not assess the road until at least April. Manigold offered to launch a Township Fire Department boat immediately to help GTCRC assess the situation, but Kluczynski did not respond.

If that had been done, the GTCRC could have applied for permits in early 2020. But now, due to their foot dragging, it’s likely to be too expensive to repair!

The GTCRC is not doing what they should to protect the citizens of Old Mission Peninsula. We should support Traverse City attorney Grant Parsons’ efforts to change the Road Commission from an appointed body to an elected body that would be more responsive to the citizens of the county.

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A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

Bay View Insurance of Traverse City Michigan


  1. County roads are classified as either primary or local, and my guess is Bluff Road is a local road. If that is the case, Bluff Road is under the jurisdiction of the Grand Traverse County Road Commission (GTCRC), and the GTCRC is responsible for maintenance activities such as pothole patching, snow and ice control, pavement markings, roadside mowing, etc. However, if a local road needs to be rehabilitated or reconstructed, either the township or the residents, through a special assessment district, are typically responsible for anywhere from 50% to 100% of the cost of the work. It appears the author needs to do his homework to determine if Bluff Road is a primary or a local road before stating who is responsible for the cost of reconstructing the road.

    • Hi Mike, Thanks for your comment.
      I don’t know if Bluff Road is a local or primary road.
      Perhaps you should query the Grand Traverse County Road Commission.
      However because the Commission has made many comments about fixing the situation at the road closure it’s obvious they have accepted the responsibility to do it. The real problem is they don’t know how to do it.


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