ST. CLAIR SHORES — Higher cement prices have the city putting one street replacement project on hold in order to spread the money further and get more streets around the city patched.
In a memo to City Council, Community Development and Inspection Director Chris Rayes said that the prices per square yard of concrete had increased by about 20 percent over the 2013 pricing, primarily due to increases in cement and trucking costs.
The city had planned to pave Beste Street, Princeton Street from Sunnydale to Alexander, a portion of L’anse Street and Lingemann Street, as well as Gladstone Street using Community Development Block Grant money, but Rayes recommended some changes to that schedule because of the higher cost to do the work.
He suggested removing Lingemann from the full street repair schedule and moving it to the patching list, since two patches had already been done on that street the full width of the roadway, and the remaining portion of the street could be completed by the company contracted to do miscellaneous concrete repair. Using their prices, approved last year, the cost would only be about $100,000.
And Rayes suggested just paving L’anse from Harper to the west end of Rodgers Elementary School, and then patching — pouring the concrete by hand instead of using the paving machine — the rest of the street.
Councilman John Caron said, though, that after driving on the street, he didn’t feel that Beste Street needed a full repair.
“I was thinking that it might behoove us to look at pushing Beste off (and) taking that money into the sectional replacement program to try to get as many areas fixed in that round … as we can this year,” he said.
Removing Beste from the list would save just under $400,000, Mayor Kip Walby said.
Rayes said that would enable the city to do some larger patches that normally might be pushed off because they were more expensive. Beste would be repaved at a later point. He said they budgeted $150,000 this year for basic concrete patching, a reduction from the traditional $250,000 because of the decreased revenue in the streets budget.
Councilman Chris Vitale said he wanted to know how much money the city could save by doing all paving by hand instead of using a paving machine, which sometimes requires the felling of trees along the roadway to fit through. Rayes said, though, that the paving machine results in a better road and that they do try to save trees when they can.
“We are a tree community,” Rayes said. “We don’t cut down trees lightly, but sometimes it’s necessary.”
Council approved the bid to Florence Cement Company for just over $1.1 million, with Vitale the only nay vote.
The only major road to be reconstructed in 2014 will be Little Mack Avenue from Harper Avenue to 10 Mile Road. Rayes said a construction schedule has not been set yet.
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