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October 16, 2012

City celebrates first road repaired through millage

By Brian Louwers
C & G Staff Writer

WARREN — As the construction season wound down for the year, city officials and engineers gathered against the chilly fall breeze Oct. 10 to celebrate the official reopening of the newly reconstructed Warner Avenue.

Officials said the half-mile stretch of residential street was completely rebuilt for the first time since the subdivision north of Common between Ryan and Dequindre was developed in the 1960s.

Though there had been spotty patching done over the years, one resident said Warner’s condition was “like a roller coaster” before it was reconstructed this summer.

What’s more, officials said, was that the work was done without grant funding, through Warren’s first-ever program dedicated to repairing residential streets.

The program was funded by a five-year, 2.1-mills residential streets millage, approved by voters last November. 

“This is the first road-improvement millage approval in Warren’s 55-year history,” Mayor Jim Fouts said. “I think this marks the beginning of a renaissance and the beginning of a new Warren.”

Fouts and Acting City Engineer Donna Dordeski said the first phase of the program, which included seven projects for the 2012 construction season, would be completed on time and below the estimated budget by Oct. 31.

Projects selected for 2012 span the entire city and include roads rated in “very poor” condition based on a citywide survey of all Warren’s neighborhood roads.

They said the millage would generate about $7.6 million annually, or roughly $38 million over the five-year life of the millage.

“There’s the old saying — ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,’” District 1 City Council member Pat Green said. “We started that step today, to repave most of the roads, if not all of the roads, in the city of Warren.”

Dordeski said repairs were selected based on an updated assessment of Warren’s 413 miles of city-owned road infrastructure conducted in September 2011.  The projects selected for 2012 and 2013 were picked from a backlog of complaint-driven maintenance requests, going back as far as 2002 in some cases.

In addition to the stretch of Warner north of Common, projects completed or nearing completion this year include Mac Arthur, from Dodge to Toepfer; Stephens, between Ryan and Mound; a lane of Nine Mile Road, between Van Dyke and Hoover; Reid Drive, Norrid Circle and Buchanan Drive; Irene, from Hoover to Gilbert; and a 700-foot section of Desmond, south of Irene.

Dordeski said the city has also concluded its citywide concrete pavement repair program for this year.

“I am sure that new roadway (Warner) will obviously improve the neighborhood,” Dordeski said. “It’s improving the lifestyle of the residents — not only the residents that live on those roads, but who live in those neighborhoods.

“It’s quite important. It’s not only for comfort and safety, but in general it will improve the quality of life.”

Resident Doug Mills said he bought his home on Warner in 1980, and that the road’s condition was abysmal before it was replaced.

“It was inconvenient for everybody, but actually they did a pretty good job,” Mills said. “They did a real good job. It was like a roller coater. It was really bad.”

The work on Warner was awarded to Warren-based Angelo Iafrate Construction Co.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Brian Louwers at brianlouwers@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1089.